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Boutique B&B a heritage jewel

Wednesday, 8th April, 2009

It's only been open for 12 months but the city's latest pub-turned-boutique accommodation has already won its second local award. The restored Miners Arms in Crystal Street has taken out the Commercial Heritage category of the John Reid Memorial Heritage Awards. The annual awards are aimed at preserving the city's built heritage by recognising individual efforts in conserving their premises "in an exemplary manner". The residential award was shared between Donna Corner of 673 Blende Street and Garry and Ann Vella of 479 Beryl Street. Dayna Pascoe of 336 Thomas Lane received a commendation.

Winners were presented their awards at the BH Regional Art gallery last night. The Miners Arms owners, Marjorie and Michael Raetz, bought the 1888 stone pub three years ago but were "not sure what we were going to do with it". Mrs Raetz said yesterday that her husband works as a geologist and has been travelling to Broken Hill for the past 30 years. "He was up here drilling on the Wentworth road and kept driving past and noticed it was for sale," she said.

The couple decided to turn the building into a boutique bed and breakfast and spent the next two years "travelling backwards and forwards" from Melbourne to restore the hotel before deciding to move here 15 months ago. The old pub, which has also been used as a boarding house, hospital, art gallery and residence since it was de-licensed in 1925, now boasts four units all with bathrooms. While plenty of work has gone into making the building comfortable and appealing, Mrs Raetz said it still maintained its original charm.

"It's a beautiful old building with lots of beautiful features." Earlier this year the couple won the Best Guesthouse and Bed and Breakfast category at the Broken Hill Tourism Awards.

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