Elgins Hotel was called Wodonga Hotel when it was constructed in 1940 at a cost of £10,000.
The transfer of the licence from the Halfway Hotel was a hard fought battle. Sitting over two days in December 1939 the Licensing Board heard opposition from guest house keepers and hotelkeepers with a list of grounds of objections. G. A. Adams, owner of the Carriers’ Arms Hotel was refused a hearing as he was not a resident, so Rachael Spence his manageress objected on the ground that it would do her hotel a lot of harm.
Mr Luke Murphy represented the applicants, Irene Weatherall and Lena Pickering. He stated that the new structure would be of brick, cement and iron and contain 22 rooms. The site was near the municipal sale yard and near the railway station, and, he pointed out the trucking industry, which he believed to be larger than any other in Victoria, outside of Melbourne.
The hearing was told of the bad state of the Half Way Hotel, having been there for almost 100 years. Luke Murphy was quoted as saying “If Hovel were here he could give evidence on that.” The lack of accommodation and quality accommodation at Wodonga hotels was frequently heard of. Costa’s Wine Café had very excellent accommodation for but only five or six people.
The lessee of the-tea rooms at the municipal saleyards, also gave evidence. Mrs Lowden said that on sale day she served up to 130 dinners in addition to 10 or 20 breakfasts, and almost continuous light lunches. She did not think a hotel would provide a needed facility for patrons of the saleyards.
In April 1940 the application was granted on the condition that premises are erected within 42 weeks.
In August 1940 Mann and Son advertised that they were supplying the whole of the silverware, cutlery etc. for the new hotel, with a neat inscription bearing the name of the hotel an added attraction. A sample of these was to be on display in the firm’s window and advising residents of Wodonga there was no excuse to leave Wodonga to make similar purchases.