Insights / Annette Blake, 2022

Surviving and thriving with Annette Blake


By renae hanvin


Oct 28 2022


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For Katoomba local businesswoman Annette Blake, participating in a pilot training program with Resilient Ready proved to be the turning point for her accommodation business. As the innkeeper of No.14 Lovel St, her business was hard-hit by the pandemic, resulting in a reduction of 60 per cent of their business, which largely consisted of international travellers.

It is only since September this year that No. 14 is finally returning to its previous income levels, thanks to some important lessons learned around diversifying your business model and income streams.

From the Resilient Ready training, we started to think of ways to diversify our income, and sources of guests.

– Annette Blake

“One way was to write this book, which also cross promotes our business and longer stays in the Mountains.

“It’s not about the famous walks, they are well covered by people far better than me. However, I have included some recommendations on expert guides and tours on offer.

“This is my love letter to the Mountains – I hope it inspires visitors to explore more and realise that a Blue Mountains visit is SO much more than a day trip

Small Changes

In addition to spending most of the pandemic lockdowns pulling together the ultimate local guidebook, Annette and her husband Gavin invested more in the house and pivoted to private guesthouse rentals for small groups and extended family get togethers.

The changes reaped immediate rewards for the upper Mountains accommodation business.

“This remains a large part of our business going forward – and our future bookings are better than they’ve been in 5 years!” Annette said.

Big Reward

It was by spending time and investing IN her business that Annette was able to work ON her business. This also meant changing up the way she ran her business at the coalface, with her cleaner stepping up to become her front desk person, freeing up Annette’s time to spend on other things that made her business thrive.

The recently published Out of the Blue features more than 250 local businesses from Lapstone at the bottom of the Mountains right up to Mount Irvine.

The guidebook is being sold through local retail outlets. You can purchase it directly and find a list of local stockists on the website.



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