The Imperial Hotel at Murwillumbah is up for auction.
The Imperial Hotel at Murwillumbah is up for auction. Scott Powick

The Imperial goes to auction, ghosts included

THE Imperial Hotel is set to go under the hammer on April 7, vacated with the exception of a ghost or two.

First National real estate agent Byron Glen said sellers Matsal Investment wanted the pink hotel at 115 Murwillumbah St “sold on auction day”.

Last changing ownership two years ago at around $2 million, the free-standing hotel features two bars, a bistro, 20 guest rooms and a three-bedroom manager’s residence.

“It’s totally superfluous to the seller’s requirements, it’s not part of their core business,” Mr Glen said.

“They are selling it with vacant possession and a construction certificate, meaning it’s a clean slate for any operator to come in.”

There’s been local and interstate interest in the property, wanting to use it as a wedding venue, hotel and backpackers.

Iconic Imperial Hotel is up for sale, lock, stock and ghost

The agent said he wasn’t surprised ‘The Impy’ was rumoured to have ghosts, and jokingly welcomed the feature as a selling point.

The public bar was completed in 1931 by Builder AF Webb Contractors in the style of the day, which included an Art Deco street façade blended with Spanish Mission and Neo Georgian elements.

“Iconic is probably not the word for it, it’s viewed as a very stylish old building,” Mr Glen said.

“It would be nice to see it restored to its former glory, and it doesn’t need a large amount of work to bring it back.”

Paul Wilson purchased the building from Toohey’s Brewery in 1988. It’s next owners were John and Laurie Bortolli in 1994 before they sold it to the Lewis family in 2001.

In 2003, the Taphouse Group commenced their trade with the purchase of The Imperial, removing its fireplaces, while renovating other parts of the pub. It has changed hands several times since then.



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