The George IV Inn owner has given up on his dream of re-opening the iconic pub and now intends to sell the Picton landmark.
The George was flooded and extensively damaged in heavy storms in June last year and has been closed since.
Owner Patrick Moloney said he was in the process of contacting real estate agents and expected the inn would go on the market in May.
“A final decision has not be made but it is likely that I will end up selling the George,” he said.
“This is the result of the predicament the George has found itself in as a consequence of the insurer’s attitude.
“I don’t want to sell it but it is what it is. Selling the pub is upsetting but ultimately if the inn is sold to someone with the appropriate sympathies then that will be good.
“Hopefully the George will open again, which is important for the inn and the community.”
Insurance company Assetinsure denied the claim in January.
Mr Moloney, who has owned the pub since 2011, said he had more than 10 unsolicited inquires from people hoping to take advantage of the situation and acquire the hotel cheaply rather than paying market value.
He said he would prefer the hotel to be sold with the liquor and gaming licences so the inn could remain and continue to operate as pub.
“I would hate to see the George transformed into something else,” Mr Moloney said.
“And I would hate to see the George chopped up and separated and I think the community would agree.”
He said he hoped the new owners would keep the George’s character and charm which patrons had loved and he would rather see the hotel open for business than fall into disrepair.
Wollondilly mayor Judith Hannan said the council would be happy to work with whoever owned the pub.
“The George is a prime community and tourism asset and I hope it is up and running as soon as possible for the sake of the town,” she said.
“If the council can help the new owners then we will.
“We all love the George and if it takes being sold to get it up and running then that is necessary.”
Picton Chamber of Commerce president Brodie Pitt-Owen said re-opening the George would be good because the pub was a drawcard for the community and for tourism.
He said he would like to see the hotel re-opened whether by the current or new owners.
Mr Moloney said there should not be any unusual or heritage conditions placed on the sale and the agent would likely be one with expertise in selling hotels.
He said there was no price estimate for the sale at this stage.
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