Will cop it sweet if trouble brews

Police will “quite rightly” come down hard on the Occidental Hotel if the venue breaches the conditions of their new licensing, manager Don Scholte said.

As a member of the Orange Liquor Accord the venue will continue to abide by the voluntary 3am close despite having a 24 hour licence for the downstairs area.

Mr Scholte rejected the suggestion that the upstairs venue was a night club as it will only hold a maximum of 200 patrons compared to “full-blown” night clubs with up to 1000 people.

He told Canobolas Local Area Command, Superintendent David Driver that he wanted to work with police to have a safe venue.

“That’s where the real work starts because we all know what alcohol can do,” he said.

Superintendent Driver told the Central Western Daily the new late night trading venue would increase the numbers of hotel-goers in town as the Occidental was hoping to attract people who wouldn’t usually go to a hotel.

But Mr Scholte rejected the claim, saying the hotel will instead aim to attract a “niche market” of existing hotel-goers with different music than what is already available in Orange.

While he believes there is “no easy fix” to discouraging foot traffic between venues late at night, establishing taxi ranks in front of venues such as his would help minimise problems when patrons leave hotels.


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