PEOPLE'S CHOICE: Couple transform motel into family haven
JOCELYN and Nick Stubbs are the first to admit the Five Mile Hotel had a reputation to turn around.
The Coffs Harbour couple took over the business a year ago and have put everything they have into turning it into a haven for the Valley's families.
"I want to make a hotel where you feel comfortable," Ms Stubbs said.
"We're putting a playground in.
"We've got a beer garden - one for people who want to smoke, and one where families can go.
"We've put footy goals in, and we've got footy balls so the kids can run around, and we have jumping castles on the weekends."
Ms Stubbs said the relocation north was difficult but after 12 months she already felt at home.
"I go back to Coffs now and feel like I don't belong there. I belong here now," she said.
The hotel has also played hosted to several weddings and birthday parties, slowing building itself a new reputation as the place to be for any family event.
"I feel proud of what we've achieved in such a short amount of time," Ms Stubbs said.
"When I found out we made the top 12 I sat and just cried and cried. "It's mine and Nick's heart and soul." Ms Stubbs said it really was a family affair with the staff and customers quickly becoming members of the team.
"Our patrons love our kids. They come and watch their footy games.," she said.
"The Five Mile is a family. "I pride myself as not just having staff, but family.
"The feedback we are getting is, 'whatever you are doing, keep doing it'."
The award winners will be announced on Saturday night at the Clarence River Jockey Club. More information visit valleyexcellence.org.au.