Joy Barnes of Ormond St Motel, Woodville, is uncomfortable talking about the success of her business, when others in the town are struggling because of the closure of State Highway 3 through the Manawatu Gorge.

But she did admit the gorge closure hadn't affected business.

"It was quiet in June and July, but August and September weren't too bad.

"We get a lot of repeat business, but we work hard for it," she said.

Why so many people make Woodville's Ormond St Motel their destination, despite the closure of the road through the Manawatu Gorge.
Why so many people make Woodville's Ormond St Motel their destination, despite the closure of the road through the Manawatu Gorge.

"We get a lot of contractors who have been working on the high-tension overhead lines and last month Dannevirke had an overflow of visitors which we picked up."

The Ormond St Motel has been awarded a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor, which delighted Joy and her team.

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"It made our week," she said.

"I've a great team here and without them I'd be stuck."

Joy and husband Mike are also looking positively towards the construction phase of the new route to replace State Highway 3 through the gorge.

"It will be such a big project and I'm hoping workers will be needing accommodation," she said.

Tararua District Mayor Tracey Collis said the Ormond St Motel did well because of the outstanding hospitality Joy provided guests.

"She looks after them so well," she said.

Meanwhile, with a drawn-out timeframe before there is a new route, Woodville Viking trader Evan Nattrass wants the destination signs on the Saddle Rd to highlight the second-hand shops in the town.

Mr Nattrass said his Viking Haul emporium continues to suffer from a lack of visitors.

"The day trippers, often retirees, have been put off by the prospect of coming over the Saddle Rd.

"They think it's a goat track when it's not," he said.

"A lot of work has gone into the Saddle and it's a good road now."

Mr Nattrass said he just wanted the New Zealand Transport Agency to get on with the new route.

"If they'd done something after the 2011 slip we'd have our new road now and cheaper," he said.

Noel and Joanne Cunningham from Papatawa believe NZTA has put up four options which aren't options at all.

"All this consultation has been a waste of money. They [NZTA] should have got on and made a decision. I'm quite disgusted in the whole thing," Mr Cunningham, a farmer, said.

Mrs Cunningham said she was upset people would no longer get to enjoy the beauty of the Manawatu Gorge.

"It's been a wonderful attraction."