King Island Hotel: a story of community, hospitality & home

For 64 years, John Smith, owner of King Island Hotel, has been a part of the hospitality industry. His parents, grandparents, and those before them worked and lived in hotels, and were integral members of the hospitality community.

For John, the atmosphere of hospitality – being surrounded by new people and sharing experiences on a daily basis – is built into his personality. He grew up around it, and soon became a hotel owner himself.

Today, John runs a quaint island hotel, situated on King Island off the North-West coast of Tasmania

“I’ve been around hotels my whole life. My parents worked in hospitality so I’ve seen it all and done it all – I was brought up in hotels. It’s been a long journey! I love the industry; particularly meeting and talking to new people.”

– John Smith, Owner & Manager


Community values at the centre of King Island Hotel

King Island Hotel is a charming hotel in the centre of Currie, King Island, Tasmania. It has 13 rooms, a public bar and bistro and convenient function rooms.

As King Island is a remote location, the property is unique in two regards: it is popular both with local and visitors from mainland Australia and Tasmania, and overseas foreign visitors.

John tells Preno that about 1300 live on the Island, many of which are regulars at King Island Hotel’s pub. In fact, since taking over ownership, his pub is serving a second generation of locals!

A property that acts as a central hub both for both locals & tourists

“Here in Currie, we’re a fairly tight-knit community – a lot of locals come through our hotel pub and everyone knows each other in the area. I enjoy being able to host both locals and tourists as I can introduce the two, making it a memorable experience for visitors.”

– John Smith, Owner & Manager


Inspiring community strength & business adaptability

As a beautiful Australian island, with two world-renowned golf courses – Cape Wickham (in the top 10) and Ocean Dunes (in the top 50), in addition to the local King Island golf and bowling club – it isn’t a wonder that many guests like to visit.

Of course, with covid-19, John has had to realign some of his practices. International visitors are cut off and domestic visitors are limited, but his strong community presence with locals is strengthening his business.

“Pre-covid-19 we had a lot of international tourists coming through due to the famous golf courses on the island, but we still have domestic travellers from various areas of Australia, when border restrictions permit. But mostly, we get a lot of locals, so tourists are a bonus to us.”

– John Smith, Owner & Manager

A vibrant, inclusive hub: how King Island Hotel thrives, despite covid-19

King Island Hotel has always been a local hub for the residents of Currie and the wider areas of the island. Locals come through for dinner, drinks, and a fun, welcoming atmosphere.

The pub hosts live music, great beer and fresh, local food (e.g. crayfish, oysters, beef and cheese). John has also just recently hired a new culinary chef, who creates exceptional meals.

“King Island Hotel is a place of home – a place where visitors and locals enjoy favourable experiences which make them want to come back. I treat hospitality like a party – today I’ll host guests, we’ll have fun and be merry, and tomorrow I’ll clean up, and we’ll do it all again.”

– John Smith, Owner & Manager

Re-shaping daily practices, all the while upholding a positive, progressive outlook

For King Island Hotel, it was as simple as thinking of new ways to adapt to a new world; one where we must face a pandemic.

John introduced takeaway meals from his pub, in addition to extending opening hours – ensuring locals could still enjoy his services, as well as keep connections with the community as strong as ever. Beyond lockdowns, John has kept these changes going, in order to shift with the times.

More than this, King Island Hotel’s strength, in addition to its strong sense of community, ties back to John’s positive outlook on life.

“When covid-19 hit, we sat down and reinvented ourselves. We adapted and moved forward – we accepted the need for change, and didn’t get bogged down by what we normally do.

In this industry, you can’t let things go to heart. I only take things seriously when it is absolutely necessary – most things are not worth worrying about. I like to have the mindset that ‘today’s a new day, so let’s start again’”.

– John Smith, Owner & Manager


King Island Hotel & Preno: a mutual value for community & hospitality

Just as John has a passion for the hospitality industry, meeting new people and welcoming repeat guests, Preno holds similar values.

At Preno, our main focus is people. Hoteliers dedicate their time to serving their guests, so we do the same for them. This is why we couldn’t be happier to welcome John as a customer to Preno and assist him in strengthening his business; so that King Island Hotel can continue to be enjoyed by locals, and hopefully sometime soon; international visitors.

Delighted to assist in providing reporting tools to strengthen business direction

“We made the move to Preno in early December 2020 – the other PMS we were using weren’t delivering us enough information or detail, so it was time for a change.

Preno is a lot easier to use and provides a lot of detail – the reporting tools enable us to drill down and see where our business is going. Preno allows me to track my business performance and stay on top of things.”

– John Smith, Owner & Manager


Motivational words for other hoteliers

Covid-19 has taken the world by surprise, and hoteliers all over are having to reinvent their businesses. Just remember, that like John, you can do it – just don’t be afraid to make changes.

When asked what advice John would give to hoteliers in a similar position to him, he replied:

“I’d say go back to the basics. Look at the different software packages out there like Preno that can actually help you with your business. Sometimes people are too reluctant to change, but now’s the time to think about where you are, where you want to be and let things flow the way you want.”

– John Smith, Owner & Manager


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