Food Drink

Big things coming for Salisbury Hotel with Mathews group taking ownership

One of South Australia’s largest family-owned hotel groups is investing more than $13 million in local communities across the state.

Photo: Matthews Hospitality – Andrew, Lee and Naomi. Photo by John Kruger

One of South Australia’s largest family-owned hotel groups is investing more than $13 million in local communities across the state and its looking like big things are on the horizon for the venues who have recently come under the Mathews group name.

After finalising the purchase of the Salisbury Hotel, Matthews Hospitality announced an extensive renovation of the Maylands Hotel that includes a complete internal refurbishment due for completion by the end of June.

Plans are also underway for accommodation upgrades and the creation of local tours and overnight tourism packages at the Mount Gambier Hotel. This follows part funding being received via the latest round of Tourism Development Industry Fund grants, announced by the Premier last month.

Matthews Hospitality is also investing in new technologies across its hospitality venues including support for the attraction and retention of staff.

Following the purchase of the Salisbury Hotel, the group now employs around 350 people across all of its venues that includes the Salisbury, Feathers, Maylands, Buckingham Arms, Eyre, Mount Gambier, Park and South Eastern Hotels, as well as Colhurst House B&B.

Matthews Hospitality CEO Andrew Kemp said acquiring the Salisbury Hotel would extend the footprint of the family business into the outer northern suburbs.

“We currently have a strong presence in the eastern suburbs and regional South Australia and we now look forward to bringing our customer-first hospitality approach to the Salisbury community,” he said.

“We want to maintain everything that customers enjoy about the Salisbury Hotel while enhancing its offering through an expanded bistro layout and food offering.

“Matthews Hospitality strives to be part of the communities we serve and to offer great hospitality experiences for our customers.

“We also champion South Australian businesses through our ‘homegrown heroes’ approach, sourcing produce and services from local suppliers.

“The resurgence of intra-state travel as a result of Covid-19 has resulted in strong patronage at our regional hotels and we are pleased to create new tourism experiences in the South East.

“These are intended to grow visitation to encourage more visitors to Mount Gambier to enjoy the world-class experiences and produce the Limestone Coast has to offer.

“Meanwhile, we will soon complete extensive renovation works at the Maylands Hotel, maintaining its position as a premium hospitality venue for the local community.”

Mr Kemp said the $13 million investment represented a vote of confidence by the Matthews family in South Australian communities. In mid-2020, the family implemented a succession plan with Matthews Hospitality now wholly owned by third generation siblings Lisa, Scott and Ward Matthews.

“We have been fortunate and humbled by the support of our customers following Covid-19,” Mr Kemp said.

“This investment is our way of giving back to our communities and playing a role in their future success.

“Matthews Hospitality has a proud family history, legacy and values, and we continue to preserve and honour these qualities.”

Matthews Hospitality was established during World War II by Seymour and Doris (Dossie) Matthews with the Bayview Hotel lease in Whyalla who have since owned, operated and sold many iconic South Australian venues over the years totalling some 36 hotel licences and freeholds.

The family has a legacy of pioneering innovation, establishing Australia’s first drive-thru bottle shop, smorgasbord and counter meal. They also paved the way for night-time entertainment in hotels as the original home of world-famous bands and artists including AC/DC, Jimmy Barnes and Cold Chisel.

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