In an alarming sign for the future of the Australian motor inn, two Lilydale motels have been listed within two months of each other.
The Yarra Valley Motel at 420 Main St is listed for $4.5 million, while, just a few minutes’ walk up the road, Lilydale Motor Inn at 472-474 Maroondah Highway is seeking expressions of interest at the same price point.
Crabtrees Real Estate agent Gavin Dumas said the Lilydale Motor Inn was being thrown in with the land.
“We’re actually selling the business for a dollar,” Mr Dumas said.
“The elderly proprietors are really selling the property on a walk-in, walk-out basis (everything comes with the business) — whoever ends up buying will get the business for nothing really.”
With the couple’s family not interested in taking charge of the motel, the vendors decided to sell because “they’re not running at full pace”, Mr Dumas said.
“There’s no natural line of succession in their family to manage the property.”
The motel, still with the original proprietors, is attracting interest both as accommodation and for its ‘commercial two’ zoning.
“Some people might look at it as a knockdown job, but I think it’s got more economic life in it with a refurbishment and cosmetic enhancements,” Mr Dumas said.
“We’ve had a high volume of inquiries from local and international parties, the majority are motel operators. It’s a great opportunity for someone who’s got some vision and wants to modernise.”
Resort Brokers agent Damian Loorham said the nearby Yarra Valley Motel was being sold as a business.
“We sell based on business value, not really on land development,” Mr Loorham said.
“The Yarra Valley Motel is one of the best presented I’ve come across. It’s been in the family for so long, they basically treat it as their house — they’re quite selective as to who they let go there.”
The vendors were checking out of the motel for the final time, with plans to retire, Mr Loorham said.
“They’re looking for an easy life — they’re building a farmhouse,” he said.