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Publicans Adrian Hood and Jan Rutherford have put the historic Royal Hotel in Naseby on the market, and hope to find a buyer with the energy and passion to develop the adjoining land that is also for sale.

Mr Hood said the land, that includes the hotel’s garden bar and is bordered by Killarney and Broom Sts and the Hogburn Creek, was large enough for about eight potential sections.

He and Miss Rutherford hoped it would be developed as accommodation or hot pools instead, providing another attraction for the town of about 150 residents who are supplemented by hundreds of visitors at weekends and holidays.

Miss Rutherford has worked in hospitality for 33 years, including about 18 years at the Danseys Pass Hotel, and Mr Hood for 16 years.

The couple bought The Royal Hotel in 2018 and undertook extensive renovations, replacing the toilets and opening up the dining room, in addition to refurbishing the accommodation.

“We’ve just done it long enough,” Miss Rutherford said.

“It’s mainly a change of lifestyle for us, with the potential for someone else to come in and do further development.”

They plan to spend more time with their families, and enjoy their home in Naseby and another property in Dunedin.

“We want both the city life and Naseby life,” Miss Rutherford said.

Naseby was becoming more and more of a destination as an “antique town”, with people likening it to “an olden-day Clyde or Arrowtown”, Mr Hood said.

More people from Wanaka, Queenstown and Dunedin were buying properties in the town, which still had reasonable prices for such a quaint, pretty village, he said.

Many of the properties were rentals and the attractions included the indoor curling rink; an ice rink, luge and snowpark; swimming; golf; and cycling; as well as unspoiled landscapes and pristine night skies.

“People thinks it’s a sleepy wee town but they come here and there’s lots to do and it’s full,” Mr Hood said.