Where does $100 really get you these days? A tank-and-a-half of petrol? Twenty pumpkin spice lattes? Less than a third of a bag of coke? In 2018 Australia that amount of money is, as they say, peanuts. But what if I told you that that for 100 pissant dollars you could become the proud proprietor of a two-storey, 13-bedroom, Australian country pub?
Introducing the Shirley Hotel: a fully functional pub and hotel located in the regional NSW town of Bethungra—about 70 kilometres north-east of Wagga Wagga and 400 kilometres south-west of Sydney. The Shirley was last bought in 2014 by Robyn and Allan Cox, Fairfax reports, and they’ve been running the old girl as the Bethungra Hotel B&B for the past four years. Now, for personal reasons, they’re looking to sell. And they’ve offered to hand over the keys to the pub for a cool 100 bucks.
“We are giving away our home/business,” reads the ad, as posted on Facebook by the happy couple last week. “We will cover the settlement costs and the stamp duty. All you have to do is fill out an application, pay $100 for a processing fee and wait.”
The idea is that just about anyone can apply to receive ownership of the Bethungra Shirley Hotel—which the Coxes paid $470,000 for back in 2014—without having to break the bank on administrative fees and overheads. Rob and Allan are hoping to receive a minimum of 20,000 applicants over the next three months to foot the cost of stamp duty and settlement, after which they’ll bring in a neutral party to elect a successful applicant via a ballot-style process.
“We are hoping enough local interest will keep this lovely old lady in local hands,” they say. “If not this will ensure somebody will have a debt free start with her.”
The Shirley is decked out with 13 grand bedrooms, pressed tin ceilings, and a wraparound balcony looking out onto the surrounding Riverina. Commercial Real Estate reports that anyone interested in taking over the property is encouraged to submit an application and provide an outline of everything they hope to do with the pub. The lucky winner will be judged in three months’ time.