Hotel closure mystery; owners left 'suddenly'

The Fitzroy Hotel in South Dunedin, which is now closed. Photo by Peter McIntosh.
The Fitzroy Hotel in South Dunedin, which is now closed. Photo by Peter McIntosh.

The sudden closure of the landmark Fitzroy Hotel in South Dunedin several weeks ago remains a mystery.

A ''closed today'' sign has been in the hotel window for some weeks and attempts to contact the owner/operators, Liz Fox and Henry Mellon, have been unsuccessful.

Hospitality outlets in South Dunedin were contacted and one source said they understood the couple had left ''suddenly, a few weeks ago''.

Ms Fox and Mr Mellon are the sole directors and 50:50 shareholders in Glenorchy Lodge Ltd, which they placed in voluntary liquidation on August 1 last year.

Insolvency Management receiver Iain Nellies said, when contacted yesterday, the couple had leased the Glenorchy Lodge, and were the owner/operators of the Fitzroy Hotel, the former held under the registered Glenorchy Lodge Ltd, while the Fitzroy was held as a partnership, without limited liability status.

Dunedin City Council alcohol licensing and project officer Kevin Mechen said, when contacted, the licence was still current. He had heard the Fitzroy was closed, but had not been notified it had ceased trading.

Mr Nellies said there was ''potentially'' a tie-up with the Glenorchy liquidation and the two trading entities, but his investigation into the liquidation was still ongoing.

In the second report in mid-February of receivers Insolvency Management, receiver Don Millis said the business and assets of Glenorchy Lodge were sold before August 1 and the balance of funds was transferred to the liquidator's trust account.

Receipts from the business sale and GST refunds amounted to $47,407. After the liquidator's costs, the balance held was $39,909.

Mr Millis estimated unsecured creditors were owed $89,192, while claims made by preferential creditors amounted to $86,231 and unsecured creditors $56,648.

''A review of the company records is continuing. At this stage, we are unable to estimate a likely date for completion of the liquidation,'' Mr Millis wrote in his report.

simon.hartley@odt.co.nz

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