SHARE

ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

The company which has bought the Dunstan Hotel in Clyde is staying tight-lipped about the future of the historic building.

Dunstan Hotel, a popular pub, restaurant and accommodation provider, located in the town’s main street, has been sold to Timeless Land Investments Ltd.

The sole director and shareholder of Timeless Land is Philippa Thomson, who is also the sole director and shareholder of Cycle Surgery Rail Trail Ltd, which operates from Middlemarch.

The News asked her if she could comment on the purchase of Dunstan Hotel.

“Not at the moment,” she said.

However, she said she would be willing to discuss the matter further once she was able to, in about a month.

Residents and local patrons, who have heard suggestions the pub would be turned into a bike shop, have expressed their concerns via social media.

Nathan Love is among them.

He said he had tried to stay “impartial” on the issue, but was now “just upset and cross”.

“Dunstan Hotel is sold and will no longer be a hotel so Clyde has lost its pub.”

He said some people were of the opinion “it’s just business and that with time we have to accept changes”.

“But people, even business people, need to have a social conscience.”

Peter Henderson said it was a “very sad week for the local Clyde community” after hearing the pub could close.

He had heard the building would be converted into a cycle store “to compete against the existing local businesses for the ever-growing tourism dollar”.

The heart of the local community had been ripped out, he said.

Cory Crosbie, of Clyde, said while he could see why people were upset, he believed it could benefit the proposed cycleway from Clyde to Cromwell.

A Dunstan Hotel employee, who wished to remain anonymous, has also spoken out about the pub’s possible closure.

“Naturally, I am upset and uneasy that I will be potentially losing my job, but the rumour that the pub will be closing breaks my heart.

“It is an integral part of the Clyde-Earnscleugh community.”

Kevin Gallagher, who has owned the hotel for the past three years, confirmed the sale, but could not comment on speculation it was to close.

“I’ve heard of the bike [shop concept],” he said.

“But that’s the thing, I can’t say what’s happening, because I don’t know what’s happening.”

What he did know was that “financially, pubs are under some stress these days”.

“[But] in terms of what [the new owner is] doing with it, I’ve had zero feedback at this stage.

“It does look like some people are concerned, others are more [of the opinion] things happen.

“I can certainly understand that [concern] for the more regular patrons.”

– Additional reporting Otago Daily Times