The race to own the region's hotels continues, with another Armidale pub hitting the market this month.
Current lessee Brett Neilson is part of the package on offer for the Grand Hotel, which is being marketed as a 'passive freehold interest' but says he is unsure what the future holds.
"Based on the current New England pub climate and the operators that are in the market, I am really concerned about the future of the Grand," Mr Nielson said.
"New owners are coming in to remove assets and then shutting the pubs down, as opposed to buying them as an investment with an operator in them who cares about the community and what the hotel provides to the community," he said.
HTL Property managing director Andrew Jolliffe said there had been an 'extraordinary increase' in the number of metro-based investors prepared to invest regionally.
Down the road in Uralla, the infamous Pie Mechanic has reopened with new owners, and excitingly for fans of the bakery, the "original mechanic" Phil Tutt has returned with all the old recipes that made it a household name.
The new owner says he jumped in to save what he describes as an 'iconic brand' in New South Wales.
And one of the first events in the region to capitalise on the easing of COVID-19 restrictions across the state happened last weekend when more than 600 bikers cruised into town for the inaugural Walcha Motorcycle Rally.
Despite the rain, visitors from Sydney, Canberra, south and central coasts, and across the northern tablelands enjoyed the entertainment on offer. They also joined local vintage car enthusiasts to put on a street parade for the gathered crowd on Saturday.
As we all try to adjust to living with COVID-19, it certainly seems that our region will have no shortage of visitors in the short term.
And entrepreneurs are seizing the opportunities that brings.
Acting Group Editor
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