Big night set for Lismore?s grand dame
By ZOE SATHERLEY
DALLAS BAYLEY hopes the grand old dame will Winsome hearts when she kicks up her heels on Saturday night.
He is pouring almost $2m into her purchase and makeover ? major surgery rather than nips and tucks.
For the first time in over a year, North Lismore's iconic Winsome Hotel will open its doors to show off the first stage of its massive facelift in an opening night party to remember.
A quick peek yesterday into the revamped hotel found the place a hive of industry.
Floors were being sanded, pressed metal ceilings repainted, slate laid, giant TV screens installed, computers for the free Internet cafe were arriving along with leather lounges, funky stools, sculptures and snazzy lights.
In the backyard, a pig on a spit was roasting to feed the army of workers sweating day and night to get the building ready for its grand opening.
Calm in the eye of the frenzied activity, new owner Dallas Bayley talked with enthusiasm about his plans but also with reverence for the heritage building.
"I see myself as holding the building in trust for the community ? I don't really feel like an owner," he said of the hotel he paid a cool $740,000 for just five weeks ago.
"I have been into property development in Sydney. This is my first foray into hotels.
"I love the area and was looking for a project to get involved in so I could move up here to live permanently."
Further down the track Dallas dreams of building prestige residential apartments and a gym but for now the $1m facelift will include four unique bars, a restaurant, coffee shop, luxury accommodation suites, sauna and plant nursery.
Saturday night's massive opening party for the 'who's who' of the Northern Rivers will kick off its metamorphosis.
Tickets sold out a month ago but the fireworks will be free to anyone who wants to watch from the adjoining Fawcett's and Coleman's bridges at around 9pm.