Ben Lomond hotel reopens after fire

Another chapter was written in the story of Ben Lomond’s Alpine Hotel on the weekend.

Alpine Kiosk

Alpine Kiosk

The business reopened for the first time since its previous location was ravaged by fire in May. 

While still based at Ben Lomond, it has moved to a container kiosk, which had been used as part of this year’s Agfest. 

Managing partner Megan Lourie said Saturday’s opening was not without its challenges.

“The container arrived a few weeks ago, but it has taken a fair bit of effort on a lot of people’s behalf to get the power and the telephone connected,” she said.

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“On Saturday, we had a massive power failure, so we opened and then closed again very quickly, while on Sunday, we had some problems with our eftpos.

“We still managed to be open all day and we are planning on being open again this weekend.”

Power troubles pale in comparison to what Mrs Lourie and her husband were faced with earlier in the year.

A fire not only reduced the hotel to rubble, but also caused extensive damage to the Parks and Wildlife Service day shelter, leaving Ben Lomond without basic amenities. 

The damage bill for the battery-cluster blaze exceeded $1 million.

Mrs Lourie said it took a collaborative effort to get the business up and running again.

“We’ve had a huge amount of support from the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service, which has allowed us to get to this stage,” she said.

“We’ve also managed to get a lot of equipment from our suppliers, as well as a lot of good will.

“There have plenty of comments and texts from people wishing us well.

“Someone even called through yesterday to say how good it was to see us open again.”

The Louries bought The Alpine Hotel in 2014 as part of a 10-year plan. 

At the time of the fire, Mrs Lourie said the plan had not changed and they aimed to rebuild as soon as possible.

She said their location meant finding a temporary replacement was not easy.

“We originally thought we would be able to get any sort of portable building, but because of the wind and weight of snow at Ben Lomond, a lot of them were unsuitable,” she said.

“We were fortunate this container was still in Launceston after being used at Agfest.

“It was a bit of a fluke we were able to get it.” 

While the container has a reduced capacity, the new location includes outdoor tables and a roped off area. 

Mrs Lourie said they would “wait and see” how the community responded to the set up before making any further plans.

“We’ll see if there is a need and if we are required,” she said.

“The plan is to be open every weekend from now on, but we will just have to see what happens.”

The Alpine Hotel is open 10am to 5pm on weekends.