Hidden away in the Karangahake Gorge, just west of Waihi, lies the Waikino Hotel. The historic hotel had been damaged by a flood in 1981 and had never received full repairs. Heavy trucks rolling past on State Highway 2 had shaken and chipped away at the building for decades, leaving it in a derelict state.
“The building looked like it was smiling, but it certainly wasn’t happy – there was a big curve in the middle,” owner of the Waikino Hotel, Jaimee Beck said.
Local contractors have added new foundations to the building, and the first floor of the hotel is now fully operational. The second floor is still undergoing restoration, but the owners are hopeful it will be open for service in the future. The hotel is scheduled to re-open on April 21, creating eight new hospitality jobs in the area.
A hotel has been on the Waikino site since 1897. The first hotel burnt down in a fire in 1906, local prohibition laws led to the demolition of the second hotel in 1909, and the newest hotel now stands on its ashes, built in 1926.