Facelift for ?Fitz? and a new name
By LEE McDOUGALL
AFTER 98 years of locals calling it 'the Fitz', Coffs Harbour's Fitzroy Hotel is about to change its name, its face, its interior and ? quite possibly ? its clientele.
The Coast Hotel, as it will soon be called, has a development application into the Coffs Harbour City Council for a major redevelopment.
The DA involves returning the front facade to its original character by removing aluminium windows and doors, restoring the balconies, constructing a cocktail lounge upstairs that targets the over-30s professionals, a new internal layout and design, a new beer garden and an improved general visual appeal.
"We'll be changing so much so why not change the name," acting manager Simon Wilson-Brown said.
"The name Coast Hotel better reflects its location and the atmosphere we want to create."
The hotel was bought in April this year by John Partridge and Steve McEvoy.
At the time, Mr Partridge, who owns the recently renovated Federal Hotel in Bellingen, was quoted as saying the Fitz would not go down the same path.
"The Fitzroy has a loyal clientele and is a solid little business, so we won't be making any quick radical changes," Mr Partridge said in April.
However the success of the Federal Hotel's $1- million redevelopment has obviously prompted a change of heart. "The redevelopment will cost between $1.5 to $2 million and, once approval goes through, should take between three to four months," Mr Wilson-Brown said.
The DA states that the owners' motivation for the redevelopment was to 'attract more and varied clientele, thereby improving the profitability of the hotel'. The renovations will also see an upgraded footpath and a new internal and external colour scheme.