Free lease for pub with no proprietor

Macraes Community Trust members Annie Fitzgerald, of Oceana Gold, and farmer Mat O'Connell are...
Macraes Community Trust members Annie Fitzgerald, of Oceana Gold, and farmer Mat O'Connell are encouraging people to lease Stanley's Hotel and join them as part of the Macraes community. Photos by Craig Baxter.
Stanley's Hotel.
Stanley's Hotel.

Are you looking for an opportunity, a change, a slower way of life?

Then the Macraes community needs you.

Stanley's Hotel, a registered historic place, is without a proprietor and the Macraes Community Trust is on the hunt for the community's next publican.

Trust member Mat O'Connell is keen to get someone signed up to keep the pub open after failing to attract a lessee over the past year.

''The perks are coming into a business with little or no money, [and] the opportunity of a free lease,'' Mr O'Connell said.

The lease, for ''someone that really wants to get involved in the community'', comes with the hotel business, a manager's residence, 2.2ha of land, tourism business opportunities and ''plenty of hunting on your doorstep'' all for nothing.

''You're not as isolated as you feel or as it seems [and] it's only an hour from Dunedin,'' Mr O'Connell said.

''The trust are going to invest a bit of money into it ... before the new person comes in.''

Stanley's was given to the trust by previous owner Oceana Gold, which runs the country's largest gold mine nearby.

The trust was set up for community sustainability and an important part of it was keeping the hotel open.

Mr O'Connell said there was the opportunity ''to make some good money'' for the right person.

Patrons included locals, tourists and miners, and he expected the mine would be in operation for the next ''five to 10 years''.

Bar manager Robyn Fraser said the Macraes community was a very social one and the hotel and adjacent Macraes Moonlight School were at the heart of it.

''There's always a lot of community events,'' Miss Fraser said.

''Friday night tends to be our busier night. It's a decent commitment.''

Oceana Gold trust member Annie Fitzgerald said the company bought Stanley's in 1997 and it was an important part of the community.

''At the end of the day, when the Macraes mine closes, what is going to happen to this place?

''It's a chance for the trust to really make this work. It's a fresh start.''

Anyone interested in the lease should contact Stanley's Hotel directly.

rhys.chamberlain@odt.co.nz

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