Sporties Tavern have taken away two prestigious awards at the Australian Hotel Association, SA Hotel Industry Awards for Excellence (AHA, SA).
Unknown to management, Sporties Tavern were secretly judged earlier this year for two awards that they nominated for, including the best redeveloped hotel in the country and and the best bar presentation and experience in the country.
On Tuesday July 24, the Solomontown venue were announced as the winners of both categories they were nominated for and staff have been ecstatic ever since finding out the good news.
“We were pretty shocked. We were pretty happy with the redeveloped award and the bar one surprised us as we were up against some pretty good competition”, Rachel McLaughlin, the bistro manager said.
Now that the team have won the state awards, they now head straight to the national awards where their nomination was forwarded.
It is unknown on how the team was scored or if there is anything they can improve on because they do not get to see the results or read the judges comments, but Rachel is confident that their new changes have been the best thing for the hotel.
“It is pretty exciting and it is good for the image for our hotel”, she explains.
“It is also good for the owners, for the amounts that they invested into it and to know that their work is paying off and that the community trusted us.”
The tavern had to close for 10 months whilst the renovations were taking place and during that time they only operated a gaming area.
Since the revamp, a lot of changes have been made and Rachel says the one which has had the largest impact on them has been the new alfresco area which has made the venue bigger and better.
“There is a lot that has change including the Saturday nights and the live entertainment on the Fridays and Sundays, to promote the afternoon and evening sessions”, Rachel said.
“When a redevelopment happens, there is often not a lot that changes, but this was quite a lot that changed which is to keep up with the times.”
With the alfresco area unique and attractive to diners, Sporties have received multiple comments with many feeling like they are in metro Adelaide when they visit.
“I think our alfresco area and our customer service is pretty unique for regional South Australia. I think it gives it a metro feel for the country. We get a lot of comments saying that they feel like they are going out in Adelaide when they step through the doors.”
The management and owners are absolutely humbled at their awards and addressed their gratitude in a public Facebook post.
“We are humbled to win against some amazing competition. Well done to Mount Gambier Hotel, the Port Lincoln Hotel, Vine Inn Barossa and the Woolshed Inn Bordertown. Thank you for your contribution to the industry and being such worthy competition.”
The general manager of the AHA SA, Ian Horne has congratulated all the winners in the 2018 Hotel Awards for Excellence.
“South Australian hotels continue to innovate and produce top-quality venues right across the state, something that hoteliers and their staff should be proud of”, Mr Horne said.
“The flow on effects of these successful hospitality businesses will be felt by their local communities and beyond, through the people they employ and the suppliers they use.”