Darlington Point's lone pub will reopen with an eye to becoming the central hub of tourism in the town.
The Punt Hotel will officially reopen on October 6 after 10 weeks of construction, with a view to making the historic hotel a gathering place for all members of the community.
Darlington Point couple Bruce and Marie Gowrie-Smith are leading the revival of the hotel, purchasing the property from the Sydney-based Moore family and returning ownership to local hands for the first time in decades.
Mr Gowrie-Smith said one thing the hotel is hoping to take advantage of is the town's location near the intersection of the Sturt Highway and Kidman Way, aiming to evolve the hotel into the central point for all things tourism in the area.
"Part of the hotel has been set aside as a tourism information centre-point," Mr Gowrie-Smith said.
"From observation, there's most probably about 100 caravans a day go past here [the hotel] going north and south, that's without the ones going east and west.
"That I think is going to be the long term future of this hotel."
Mr Gowrie-Smith said the new hotel aims to showcase the best the area has to offer, from local produce and wine to organising activities at local hot-spots like Altina Wildlife Park.
Extensive alterations have been made to the hotel, with every room transformed to modernise the hotel.
"It is a landmark in this town," Mr Gowrie-Smith said.
"There's hardly a crack anywhere in the whole building, but it desperately needed a major, major upgrade and renovation."
Helping the hotel through the reopening is new licensee and Murrumbidgee Councillor Phillip Wells, who was the former licensee of the hotel between 1987 and 1994.
Mr Wells said he returned to the position to help the hotel reclaim its title as a social gathering point.
"When I was the here previously the hotel was alive," Mr Wells said.
"The patronage just hasn't been here in the last 10 years, and i'd like to hopefully be part of that rejuvenation to bring it back to a social hub for locals and visitors of the region and get it back to what the hotel is capable of doing.
"I think they'll be pleasantly surprised when they walk in and they'll feel welcome and comfortable in the facilities that we can offer now for everybody."
Mr Wells said the additions implemented will help to keep the hotel modern and help transform the hotel into a draw-card for the area.
"I believe they'll keep the hotel in good stead for many years to come," Mr Wells said.
"He's come along and put time and effort into rejuvenating it and bringing it back to something that will be an asset to the town well into the future."
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