The original Summerhill Hotel was opened in 1967, built by John Stoddard on the site of Preston Council gravel pits. The site had been viewed as an eyesore by the community, and a headache to the Council for many years and the building of the hotel would have been regarded very positively.
Stoddard spent a large amount of money on landscaping the area. The original hotel was on the opposite side of the shopping complex to its present location.
In December 1987 the hotel advertised the opening of a liquor barn and the forthcoming opening of its bistro and pasta bar. Shortly afterwards, possibly in the first half of 1988 the hotel was destroyed in a fire.
By 1993 the site of the former hotel was a little more than a waste land and informal tip with nearby residents complaining about the smell and the presence of rats. A short time later the Target Group undertook to construct a new hotel, the hotel being opened in early 1997.
Carroll, Brian & Rule, Ian (1985). Preston: an Illustrated History. Preston: City of Preston.
Edge, Gary (2004). Surviving the six o’clock swill: a history of Darebin’s hotels. Melbourne: Darebin Libraries.
Forster, Harley W. (1968). Preston Lands and People. Melbourne: Cheshire.