Founder of Computershare Chris Morris has spent $7 million to give Portsea Hotel on the Victorian coast a facelift in a bid to bolster Victoria’s tourism.
The hotel will open its doors again to the public on December 10, after its closure in May to accomodate refurbishments including a large open-style kitchen, a new burger bar overlooking the water and a whiskey-inspired cocktail bar.
The historic 142-year-old building was purchased by Morris in 2000 for $9.3 million after remaining unoccupied for 18 years.
The pub was sold to pub baron Mazen Tabat for $17.1 million in 2016, but remains part of the Colonial Leisure Group’s $300 million tourism portfolio.
Morris, estimated to be worth $1.02 billion, made his wealth in technology after co-founding share registry business Computershare.
Morris has since become a heavy investor in Australian tourism, owning some of the country’s most iconic destinations and venues including Orpheus Island, Mount Mulligan, Print Hall in Perth and Half Moon in Brighton to name a few.
“Portsea Hotel has been a great place to go in the warmer months and although it is seen as a Portsea icon, the charm had left the building some time ago,” Chris Morris said.
“We’ve utilised every space in the venue to truly realise its full potential; we’re creating a pub that is a true destination for the Mornington Peninsula and one where people can come and enjoy fresh local produce after exploring nearby regions.”
Currently, the group is also undertaking renovations on the popular Albert Park Hotel.