It’s the end of a long party era for Mt Buller lovers of the iconic Kooroora hotel at the end of this season.
Yes, the hotel where so many found their feet regularly stuck to the floor is being demolished to make way for prestige apartments, retail spaces, car parking and a new pub that will never be like the old. Sob.
If you’ve done après right at Buller then you will have found yourself doing the jumping bean, the robot, the dance like a drunk person because you are one, in the early hours of the morning at the Kooroora, until ‘that’s amorè’ pumped out of the speakers at closing time.
Then you stumbled home with Dean Martin and shot skis in your head and woke wondering where you left your shoes.
I mean, the Hoo Ha (as it’s known) has been a Buller tradition since 1953, even with a rebuild after a fire in 1961. Countless people have lost their integrity within these walls. The dance floor has survived the punk rock, new romantic, disco, rap, hip hop, house and retro but it won’t survive this.
Come October the redevelopment begins and the dance floor (as we know it) is no more. Double sob.
Word is there’s been a strong pre-sale off the plan of the apartments and outlets so, well, progress beats nostalgia in a game of rock, paper, scissors every time.
Stage 1 will include retail spaces, a new pub and car parking in ready for winter 2019, to be followed by those prestige apartments on the upper levels for winter 2020.
“This bold $40m development is generating plenty of excitement in the Mt Buller community and shows the confidence and optimism we are seeing on the mountain right now” said the spokesperson for Kooroora Holdings Martin Ansell.
The current licensee for the Kooroora Hotel Joe Maisano is preparing a big celebration for the final day at the pub starting with a grand final breakfast, celebrations all day and a last “Last HooHa Hoorah!” on Saturday 29 September, after which it will close the doors for the final time.
Works on the demolition ahead of the Stage 1 development will commence immediately after the final night. The developers plan to conserve some elements of the legendary pub (that sticky floor perhaps?) and salvage a few special items that reflect the rich history of the venue (pretty sure I left some phone numbers there).