The Quarters at Blyth is open and ready for business.
Situated at the former nurse quarters at the old Blyth Hospital site, the project has long been in the works for owners Nicole and Anthony “Max” Haitana.
With a maximum occupancy of 12 people and featuring nine bedrooms, it is the ideal place for seasonal workers on the look for limited stay accommodation.
It has opened at the ideal time with plenty of workers sprinkled throughout the Clare Valley as vintage gets underway.
After a fire cruelly brought a halt to the Haitana’s popular take-away restaurant BDH Bites, things have turned a corner.
As well the Quarters opening its doors, a planned bed and breakfast on the site is a few mere weeks away from opening too.
The long awaited return of BDH Bites is also edging closer.
Mr Haitana said it was a relief to open this new venture.
“With the fire that probably put us back about 12 months with our plans because we couldn’t really start any works in the hospital until after they finished with the fire work,” he said.
“To get this up and open, and we should have the Bed and Breakfast open in about a months time, it will be good.”
Each bedroom features a fridge, TV, Wi-Fi and air conditioning to provide comfort and a welcoming atmosphere to make the length of stay as enjoyable as possible.
A kitchen area, dining room and lounge room allows for communal interaction between the guests.
BDH Bites was originally intended to be the centerpiece of a wider redevelopment of the historic hospital site but the timeline was set back due to the unfortunate kitchen fire.
However the site is rapidly beginning to take shape.
Seasonal workers were originally planned to be included in a 46-bedroom backpackers hostel in the vacant hospital block.
“We changed our plans slightly but after a lot of research and talking to more people and talking to backpackers we realised we needed a quieter area for the seasonal workers,” Mr Haitana said.
“Our intention was to use the hospital but on speaking to a lot more people we decided we would still have that as a backpackers and affordable accommodation but this will be more for your longer term seasonal workers.”
It is hoped that the opening of the Quarters and the bed and breakfast, along with the reopening of BDH Bites, will help stimulate the local economy in Blyth.
“It is putting the confidence back in the town that things are moving along,” Mr Haitana said.
“With Bites we employed nine people and eight of those were from town, so I think we are bringing more work back into the town.
“It is good for the pub because if we can bring twelve people in here I am sure they will go down to the pub and have a bite to eat and a drink, it is good for the cinema and good for the sporting clubs.
“I think it brings more people into town and the more people we get into Blyth and other smaller towns there is more opportunity for them to come back and live or invest.”
A $100,000 Regional Development Fund grant was secured to help with the development of the hospital block, and Mr Haitana said they had some exciting ideas in the pipeline for that.