Life takes some strange twists and for Jamie Pascoe that happened when he left the building industry to run the family-owned hotel in Wagga Wagga at the tender age of 23.
It was a big jump with lots of challenges but the two industries have one thing in common – to succeed you must work hard and that is something Jamie has never had a problem with.
“With few systems in place and the business lacking structure, it was very hands on but it turned out I was really suited to running a hotel,” he says almost 20 years later.
“We aim to continually innovate and evolve to suit our customers’ needs by seeking feedback and adapting our services to suit our ever-changing market within an increasingly competitive landscape”.
He has worked relentlessly to improve the property during the past 15 years and the Best Western Plus Charles Sturt now features 31 hotel suites, 15 apartments and is home to the fully refurbished Roundabout Restaurant.
It is close to town and named after the explorer Charles Sturt, who first touched the banks of the Murrumbidgee River in 1829 some 200 metres from where the hotel stands.
Wagga has thrived since those early pioneering days when a couple of squatters set up sheep runs either side of the river.
With a population of more than 55,000, Wagga is now the biggest inland city in NSW and the centre of the Riverina, one of Australia’s most productive agricultural regions.
This has provided the inspiration for the Roundabout Restaurant, which receives glowing reviews on food sites such as Dimmi and is a favourite amongst local and travelling guests.
“Wagga Wagga is regarded as one of the most notable food bowls in Australia which provides us with a unique opportunity to showcase amazing produce available in the Riverina via our seasonal menus,” says Jamie.
“Virtually everything we serve is grown and sourced locally.”
Looking ahead, Jamie has plans to rebrand the restaurant while he is mulling over other options to improve the property.
If there is one thing he has learned, there is always something to do…