Bridgeport Hotel gets official opening – see the time-lapse video of its construction

The Murray Bridge landmark is already among regional South Australia's top destinations, says Premier Steven Marshall.

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The Bridgeport Hotel is one of South Australia’s most popular destinations, Premier Steven Marshall has said at its official opening.

Mr Marshall mingled with contractors and community leaders at a function at the hotel on Friday night.

He also mentioned an interesting stat.

When the latest round of Great State travel vouchers was given out by the SA Tourism Commission last month, the Bridgeport was among the six most popular beneficiaries in regional SA.

“This is truly an incredible facility,” he said.

“This is absolutely fantastic.

“I think every South Australian needs to get to Murray Bridge.”

Mary-Lou Corcoran, Graham Hobbs, Adrian Pederick, Steven Marshall and Ian Tregoning celebrate the Bridgeport Hotel’s official opening. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Murray Bridge Children’s Choir welcomed the Premier to the hotel, singing outside in the cold due to the COVID-19 restrictions which were introduced last week.

Mr Marshall and state MP Adrian Pederick jointly unveiled a plaque in the lounge area to commemorate the occasion, as hotel owners Ian Tregoning and Graeme Hobbs looked on.

After drinks and canapes, about 120 invited guests then moved upstairs for a dinner function emceed by radio presenter Chris Dittmar.

You can watch a time-lapse video of the hotel’s construction shown on the night, above, and see more social photos at the bottom of this story.

$250,000 donation will change young people’s lives

A highlight of the evening was EDP Hotels’ donation of $250,000 to Youth Opportunities, a charity which runs leadership programs for teenagers.

Chief executive Erin Faehrmann became a bit emotional as she talked about the difference the money would make in young people's lives.

“Often ... we work in communities where those young people aren’t surrounded by a lot of superheroes,” she said.

“People can’t be what they can’t see, and often these young people haven’t seen positive examples around them.

“We help them find it in themselves to navigate through the rest of their lives very successfully.”

Youth Opportunities wanted to be in every school for every kid, she said, and the donation would bring the organisation closer to that goal.

The hotel’s owners also spoke about their 28-year business partnership, and Mr Tregoning revealed how he got hold of the lease for the Bridgeport in the first place.

He had been trying to get his foot in the door for some time, but without any luck – at least until, as an Adelaide Crows member, he was seated next to the previous lessee at every home game for a season.

“For 11 matches I white-anted him until he said ‘for Christ’s sake, you’d better get the pub’,” he recalled with a chuckle.

The hotel opened its doors a month ago, after a $45 million redevelopment which had been nine years in the making.

Representing Carlton United Breweries and Treasury Wine Estates are Travis Kakoschke, Becky O’Mahony, Michael Egan and Alan Schwartz. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

Disclosure: The author attended the dinner as an invited guest of the Bridgeport Hotel.