'Big investment': Multi-million dollar CBD hotel revamp pays off
GLADSTONE'S The Reef Hotel Motel was the big winner at The Observer Best in Business Awards on Saturday night.
Revamped and with a bright new buzz, the Gladstone establishment was crowned 2016 Overall Best in Business winner at a function attended by more than 300.
A mulit-million dollar upgrade was achieved by its Queensland owners Star Hotels with extensive refurbishing during a nine month makeover, went a long way to securing the The Reef Hotel Motel the top award.
The extensive work, reaffirming its owners confidence in Gladstone as a market, has led residents and visitors into having a new love affair with the CBD landmark hotel, again becoming a destination in itself with its restaurant, bars and Industrie nightclub.
Acting hotel manager Darren Hutchinson said its strategy focus was to make it family friendly. The work showing confidence in the viability of the Gladstone market.
"There has been total refurbishment of all 53 hotel rooms and hotel," he said.
"The gaming room, lobby, and other areas. The TAB was moved upstairs.
"It is a big investment by its owners."
With Gladstone filled by thousands of men and women working on the Curtis Island gas development, the hotel, like many others in the city, was full of workers and afterward in need of an update and makeover. All bathrooms were gutted and renewed.
Crowded and pulsating with young workers, the city then had a bit of crazy reputation with wild Saturday nights out.
However, Mr Hutchinson said the big change in culture since the big numbers of workers left town also necessitated a change.
The hotel is now enjoying unprecedented occupancy rates in the 90 per cent range.
The Reef Hotel Motel also was voted Best Restaurant in the awards.