FAMILY MATTERS: Mel, Michael, Bob, Julie, and Shelley Porter of Porters Plainland Hotel.
FAMILY MATTERS: Mel, Michael, Bob, Julie, and Shelley Porter of Porters Plainland Hotel. Rob Williams

'Risky' redevelopment vindicated by response, award

IT WAS an admittedly risky move to undertake a multi-million dollar redevelopment of a landmark pub alongside the Warrego Highway but one which is paying dividends.

Porters Plainland Hotel completed the $7.8 million project, which doubled the size of the business to add 16 motel rooms, an adjustable function room capable of holding 200 people and a new dedicated gaming room, in June.

The decision to go ahead with the large-scale redevelopment has been vindicated by the reception from customers both old and new and a couple of new awards for its bulging trophy cabinet.

Porters won two gongs at the annual Queensland Hotels Association Awards for Excellence on Monday night, taking home awards for best redeveloped licensed premises above $2 million and best on-premise liquor outlet for its bottlemart.

Hotel manager Michael Porter said the family business took 17 staff with them on the night to celebrate the occasion.

"It was a big risk undertaking such a large development in an area that's considered pretty regional still," he said.

"It's good to get the recognition for backing ourselves. We were up against some pretty good competition, a few pretty big hotels and a casino.

"We haven't had one negative piece of feedback thus far.

"The motel is running really well. It's above expectations at this stage and it's continually growing week in, week out."

The pub has been run by the Porter family since 1946 and adding accommodation had long been in the pipeline with a lack of options identified for visitors to the Lockyer Valley.

"We're getting all sorts of clients, everything from people visiting family, people attending weddings and corporate travellers as well," Mr Porter said.

"We're getting a lot more people staying overnight in the valley. The lack of accommodation meant they were going to Ipswich or Toowoomba. The options were scarce."

Mr Porter's parents, Bob and Julie, bought the hotel in 1976.

Mr Porter now runs the business with wife Shelley and his sister Mel.

Another local establishment took home a trophy, with the Esk Club Hotel being named best bush pub.