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Come on in . . . Duntroon Hotel owners Ken Urquhart (left) and Brent Murdoch are attracting customers who can relax in their outdoor seating area alongside State Highway 83. PHOTO: SALLY BROOKER

Patrons are taking advantage of the Duntroon Hotel’s reopening.

Owners Brent Murdoch and Ken Urquhart were doing a brisk trade on Friday afternoon, the first day of their new bar, restaurant, cafe, and outdoor space being available to the public.

The pair bought the hotel in August 2017, eight months after the Waitaki District Council closed it because of concerns about it being used for accommodation without an appropriate fire alarm system.

They gutted the ground floor and installed their new amenities, which flow into the alfresco area, where tables are shaded by umbrellas.

Mr Murdoch said he hoped cyclists on the Alps 2 Ocean cycle trail would be “rather thirsty and hungry” by the time they reached the hotel.

Many customers were motorists driving along the Waitaki Valley.

The Duntroon Hotel, believed to have been built in the mid-1860s or early 1880s, had always been a popular spot, Mr Murdoch said.

He was delighted to be able to offer the hotel services permanently after the business was closed for so long.

Further plans included converting the upstairs level into nine bedrooms with en suite bathrooms.