LAKE Hume’s popular cafe has become an unexpected victim of the sudden closure of the nearby resort.
Lake Vue Cafe owner Colleen Smaluch said the business she had owned for nearly three years had suffered a sharp downturn since the revelation Lake Hume Resort had closed its doors at short notice.
She said many locals had wrongly assumed the resort, cafe and caravan park were the one entity.
“The only customers I’ve had this week have said ‘we thought you were closed down’,” she said.
“As a result the place is like a ghost town.
“It’s ridiculous and clearly shows news does travel fast, but we are the ones hurting.
It’s ridiculous and clearly shows news does travel fast, but we are the ones hurtingLake Vue Cafe owner Colleen Smaluch
“We are expecting an influx of visitors for the long weekend, but a lot of them are from Melbourne and don’t follow the news up here and what has happened at the resort.”
The Lake Hume Resort website has been closed down after still being able to take bookings less than a week ago.
Ms Smaluch, who first started visiting Lake Hume in 2004 before buying the cafe more than a decade later, said she was “gob-smacked” at the negative impact on her business in such a short space of time.
She employs more than 10 people on a casual basis to work in the cafe.
“I’ve paid two staff to do not very much since the news of the resort closure broke,” she said.
“We are not all the same.”
She said the cafe trade was unpredictable, but the drop off in customers was noticeable.
“It has been dead all week and that is not normally the case,” she said.
“Every day is different.
“I was serving cyclists at 7.30 this morning and last night we had grey nomads rock up.”
The Lake Hume Tourist Park operates from the same building and managers Bob and Kym Rutten said they had encountered similar feedback leading into the long weekend.
“The general feeling in the public is we are closed as well,” Mr Rutten said.
“But we make the point we’re open and so is the cafe.
“The enquiry as to whether we are still open is ongoing, but it is definitely not the case.
“We’ve got quite a few in for this weekend and Easter is fully booked.
“But we’ve still had some people ringing up to see if their booking is still okay.”