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For the uninitiated, Alex Volkanovski is the current UFC World Featherweight Champion, who proudly hails from our home, the Illawarra.  Beyond being simply a divisional champion, he currently sits 3rd in the Pound for Pound rankings of the UFC and in the coming years, is poised to take the throne as the best UFC fighter of all time.  Yep, we're calling it.

In 2020, we started a petition (of sorts) in the attempt to strong-arm the City of Wollongong to build the champ a life-sized Christ the Redeemer adaptation.  This was the sit atop Mount Keira, arms spread, as the Volk thoughtfully watched over the Illawarra.  Although over 4,000 legends jumped on board this lunacy, it sadly didn't happen.  So we decided to take matters into our own hands to honour this humble local champion, who is putting our region on the map, globally.

Like any brand, a name is just an arrangement of letters.  It's what's behind it that makes the magic.  After close to 3 years of putting our heart and soul into bringing life to 'The Illawarra' brand, the decision to change it up, albeit temporarily, was not something we took lightly.  After all, the driving force behind our renovation, and how we conducted the hotel thereafter, was built around honouring the past.  That being said, the opportunity to show an unprecedented level of support to this local champion, as well as raise money for a kids charity, and in the process, support the great local producers of our region, made the prospect bloody exciting.  And so, we made the decision to change The Illawarra Hotel to The Volkanovski Hotel.

What followed exceeded our wildest imagination...