A long-term Cromwell establishment is shaking off the past and moving into a new era.
For years the reputation of the Cromwell’s Golden Gate Lodge preceded it, widely referred to as the ‘‘Golden Gloves’’ or the ‘‘Flying Jugs’’.
In 2016 the lodge underwent the first stage of multimilliondollar renovations which transformed it into The Gate Hospitality & Tourist Centre, complete with introduction of Forage Cafe and Five Stags Restaurant.
The work continued two years later with the upgrade of 30 hotel rooms.
Now the final stages of The Gate’s redesign — a new hotel entrance, reception and restaurant — are set to be complete in the next few weeks.
The addition of a bike rental and sales space for Bike It Now will follow in mid-October.
The Gate general manager Glen Christiansen said after a Covid-induced hiatus, tour groups had started to return last summer and he was anticipating the next 18 months to two years of business would be ‘‘phenomenal’’.
‘‘We need to be putting our best foot forward. There was actually no better time occupancy-wise to be able to do this work.’’
The entrance and reception would become a focal point when people arrived, and moved the complex away from its late ’80s travel-lodge design.
The hotel restaurant would seat 80 people, and included a buffet station and smoother access to the kitchen, Mr Christiansen said.
‘‘We’re very excited.’’
The success of the Lake Dunstan Trail had created an opportunity to partner with Bike It Now with a bike rental and sales space being built out the front of the complex.
It would be in the same style as The Gate and would also block the wind which had been an issue for outdoor diners.
‘‘[That] will allow us to create a vibrant village green and when people come off the trail they’ll be able to sit outside, listen to some nice music.
‘‘We’re currently booking out bands and DJs for the summer period based around that cruisy evening style of dining and drinking that we do.’’
At about $2 million, the renovation was a ‘‘significant investment’’ but was not only about future-proofing the complex with additions such as cables for electric vehicles.
It was also about upholding a quality standard for the town.
‘‘We’re very focused on the fact that actually we have a duty to Cromwell because we are one of the first buildings you see as you come in to Cromwell, so even the Bike It Now building, for example, has that beautiful schist out the front.’’
With work on track to finish in October, the business would be ready to launch in the tourist season, Mr Christiansen said.