ONE of the Latrobe Valley's most iconic watering holes exceeded expectations when it went under the hammer last week.
The Morwell Hotel or 'Top Pub' as it is better known, sold at auction for $3,060,000 on March 31 to an undisclosed private investor from Brisbane.
The sale of the 1.82 hectare property by previous owners Australian Leisure and Entertainment (ALE) Group includes the pub, motel and bottle shop.
Selling agent Michael Gilbert of Burgess Rawson said the property, which had been estimated to sell around the $2.75 million mark, garnered a significant amount of bids.
"It shows that with the right opportunity there's a lot of capital looking for a home and far from seeing the Latrobe Valley as a negative, it's seen as a positive," he told The Express.
Mr Gilbert said the hotel received between 85 and 90 inquiries pre-auction, a figure which compared favourably to the 26 other commercial properties offered at auction on the day.
"That amount of inquiries from people nationwide is a sign of confidence, it's a shot in the arm for the area as people look at Morwell and are really comfortable investing in the region," he said.
The hotel comes already occupied by tenants Australian Leisure and Hospitality (ALH) Group, who are locked in to remain the pub's operators until at least 2028.
"Nobody will notice any difference because there can be no change, all that's changed is the owner of the real estate," Mr Gilbert said.