Progress on Brydone Hotel upgrades

Oamaru Licensing Trust general manager Cathy Maaka walks through the Brydone Hotel’s dining room,...
Oamaru Licensing Trust general manager Cathy Maaka walks through the Brydone Hotel’s dining room, one of the multitude of rooms that have been upgraded as part of the trust’s ongoing refurbishment project. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD
Extensive upgrades to rooms at Oamaru's Brydone Hotel have so far cost about $700,000, and when completed - expected to be in early 2021 - will be at least double that amount.

Work to refurbish the hotel, owned by the Oamaru Licensing Trust, started about two and a-half years ago.

In the Pacific wing, built in 1974, 28 of its 32 rooms had been fully upgraded; new beds had been bought for the entire hotel; the main dining room, Flanagan's, had been upgraded; and sound-proof doors had been installed in the Moeraki and Lindis conference rooms.

Other, smaller, upgrades had also been completed.

Trust general manager Cathy Maaka said the refurbishment, particularly that of the rooms, was driven by the need to remain a key player in the market.

"Ongoing maintenance hadn't been done on a routine basis for many years and we identified to keep going within the market we had to upgrade. "We had some rooms that had only been wallpapered. In the 45-odd years, they hadn't been renovated.''

Next on the list was the hotel's 17-room historic wing, where some rooms had not been touched in at least 14 years.

At least six of those would be brought up to four to four and a-half star standard, with more likely to be upgraded in the future.

That would be followed by full upgrades to the hotel's restaurant, bar and reception areas, which would likely push the overall cost up to between $1.5million and $2million.

"We really need to make those an important focus. They need to be an important part of hotels.''

The project had so far cost the trust about $700,000, which it had funded through its own cashflow.

Mrs Maaka said the project would ensure the hotel remained an "asset to the community''.

The trust also owns the Northstar complex, Sports Central Brewhouse and Oasthouse Liquorland.



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