By Melissa Keogh
A new $3m accommodation complex in Quorn is expected to draw more tourists to the town which has a reputation for being a Hollywood movie backdrop.
Great Northern Lodge in the heart of the historic railway town in the state’s Far North officially opened in early November by family business Rowesa.
The motel complex features 4.5-star apartments, loft-style rooms, a function centre, and Quorn’s first elevator.
Quorn, located 40km from Port Augusta, is known for hosting Hollywood royalty for the filming of various blockbuster movies including Russell Crowe’s The Water Diviner.
Great Northern Lodge features 22 self-contained units, 10 motel units, a 70-seat function centre, an outdoor area with a barbecue, pizza oven, fire pit, native orchard and kitchen garden.
Eight new ongoing full-time jobs are expected to be created at the complex over the next 12 months.
Co-owner Wendy Brown says that in July the partially completed motel hosted a film crew from the TV series Wolf Creek, an Australian horror production shot in the Flinders Ranges.
Rowesa is led by long-standing Quorn locals Wendy, her husband Robert and daughter Sally.
The first two letters in their names (RO-WE-SA) form the inspiration behind their business title.
Wendy says the opening of Great Northern Lodge has expanded Quorn’s accommodation offerings, helping to bring more visitors to the Flinders Ranges.
She says Quorn is experiencing high demand for tourist accommodation, with some venues often booked out and forced to turn people away.
“We have large groups of people travelling up here, including bike riders who travel on the Mawson and Heysen trails,” Wendy says.
The Browns have vast experience in the tourism and hospitality industry, running Quorn’s Old Willows Brewery Restaurant for more than two decades.
They also renovated the Great Northern Emporium (1878-2004) to become Emily’s Bistro, located next door to Great Northern Lodge in the heart of the town.
The construction of the new motel was backed by a $400,000 State Government grant through the Regional Development Fund (RDF).
“After so many years of planning and hard work it’s very exciting to be officially opening … much sooner than we ever could have thought without the support of the RDF grant,” Wendy says.
“Great Northern Lodge is proud to offer a range of sophisticated, comfortable and comtemporary accommodation options for visitors to Quorn, as well as the 70-seat function centre.
“We’re looking forward to attracting more people to our beautiful town.”
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