A nine-year, $12 million revamp of an iconic Northland hotel was finally completed on Saturday when Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters opened a new wing at the Duke of Marlborough in Russell.
The final stage of the upgrade included a new York St frontage, a 13-room accommodation wing bringing the total to 38, conference facilities, garden bar, gym, offices, staff accommodation and extra parking.
When the current owners bought the historic hotel in 2010 it was unloved, virtually boycotted by locals, and employed six staff. It now employs more than 100, a number expected to grow now the hotel has sufficient rooms and the facilities to host conferences.
With conferences expected to take place year-round, the expansion would also allow the Duke to reduce its reliance on seasonal workers and hire more permanent staff.