Museums & Tours

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Mount Morgan has a vast array of businesses that cater for just about everything anyone would ever need. The hotel industry is no exception. Spending an afternoon with Ty and Esther Bates at the Grand Hotel was a refreshing and insightful experience.

Esther was born in Albury, New South Wales, on the 11th of September 1972. She lived at Bright and came from a family of ten. “My twin was the last of the first five and I was the first of the last five” she laughs when asked where in the line-up of ten did she fit in.

Horse riding was a passion for Esther in her growing years and she loved hanging around her country town enjoying the simplicity of her surroundings. She also enjoyed netball. Esther attended Mount Carmel Christian College through to year twelve.

“I didn’t have any favourite subjects” she chuckles.
“I was good at sport and enjoyed school but could have done a lot better if I’d applied myself.”

After completing her education Esther worked for Telstra over a five year period before changing her career path to nursing. She is a division two enrolled nurse and did her training in Victoria.

Ty was born in Colac, Victoria, on the 9th of October 1975 and likes the fact his birth date is the same as John Lennon. “I am a country boy through and through” he states proudly. His father worked for the Forestry Commission which caused regular moves, so Ty had attended various schools over the years. The longest time spent in one place was at Mount Beauty in Victoria where he travelled an hour and a half to a catholic college until he completed year twelve. He then went to TAFE. “I learned how to swear in Croatian” he grins as he reflects back on those years.

At the age of seventeen Ty started working at the Oxford Scholar Hotel. “It was a time when you could have fun on both sides of the bar in a relaxed atmosphere.” He often did a variety of casual work of a day and worked in the hotel of a night. After ten years working in the hotel industry Ty found it to be a lifestyle he enjoyed.

Ty and Esther met in 1996 and were married on the 12th of March 2000. Esther went straight from nursing into hotel work. After Ty experienced a long bout of ill health, he and Esther travelled around Australia and say the Kimberly region was one of their favourite areas.

They spent a lot of time together exploring the bush. They have met some amazing people that have become lifetime friends through their travels. The moved to Mount Morgan was a positive step for them both.

They love the Grand Hotel and Esther finds many similarities to where she came from in Beechworth.

“The weather is better here and the people are great. I also love the history of the town and the fact my husband is here with me” she states with a smile.

Ty feels the same way adding “I love the potential of this place and the food and hospitality is great at the Grand Hotel, as is the hospitality with many of the businesses in town. We love the growth in the town and I’m happy to be sharing it with Esther. It is all quite exciting really.”

Ty and Esther are excited about the improvements they have made already and the new improvements that will be taking place in the near future at the Grand Hotel.

They believe the town will grow and agree that it could be made one of Australia’s top hotspots for tourism if it is advertised correctly. They thank the people of Mount Morgan for being supportive of their efforts in giving the town another place to enjoy.

In future issues it is hoped Ty and Esther’s hotel journey can be updated as they bring new ideas to the already popular Grand Hotel.

- Profile and photograph by Heather Quarry, supplied to the Mount Morgan Argus 2012 -