PRESERVING THE STORY
Central Otago value: Meeting obligations
Every historic Central Otago building has a story. The Hurds understood this immediately. Their dream was to bring the old store façade back to life. It was a project that took years longer than they anticipated, but now rewards them daily, through the reaction of customers and passers-by.
Many buildings in Ophir are private homes, so you can’t see inside – but people love looking inside buildings. Because the store was just a shell, we could make it whatever we liked. Yes, we were restricted on the outside, but we had no restrictions on the inside. We’ve always been fans of the combination of old and contemporary, because they actually do go together. It’s not what people expect, which is exactly what we wanted.
YOU’VE GOT TO BE GOOD
Central Otago value: Adding value
A big part of Central Otago’s beauty lies in its remoteness. Colleen realised early on that premium quality food would be the difference between success or failure – a concept she has embraced.
I’ve always been a fan of the French idea – that some of the best restaurants are in the sticks. They pride themselves on the fact they’ve got to be good to attract people. Exceptional food is a balance of flavours, tastes and textures. We use as much local produce as we can and most of our wine we stock is from the Alexandra Basin. It’s not just about loyalty – it’s bloody good wine. Then there’s the fruit, which I love to showcase. People are amazed at their size and taste.
A LITTLE GEM
Central Otago value: Making a difference
In Central Otago, people talk about “making a difference”. In Ophir, Hurds have made a difference. While passion brought them to Ophir, careful planning and a clear vision have ensured they can continue making a difference.
The accommodation is upmarket and comfortable. It exceeds people’s expectations. They walk in after a big day on the rail trail and I say ‘beer, spa or shower?’ and their faces just light up. Then they sit and enjoy themselves. They often lament that their stay is only one night. Everyone comments on what a little gem Ophir is. That’s one of the things we didn’t realise when we started the business: the fact we’re doing this has made a difference in the town. The community is proud of it.