Country Plaza hotel gets $15 million extension
By REN LANZONrlanzon@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE businessman Evan Ryan is preparing plans for a $15 million, 60-unit expansion to his Country Plaza International hotel.
Earliest concepts are for a six-storey structure to rise on an 1800 square metre allotment he bought recently which takes in the Taco Bill's building on Goondoon Street and through to Oaka Lane.
Mr Ryan, who has just returned from China where he is building a steel mill to provide products for the domestic market, said the accommodation units would be on four floors with 15 units on each floor.
'A lot of those units will be suites and all will have harbour views,' he said.
A 500-seat conference centre will take up the entire ground floor with parking below that.
'The concept plans are being drawn up now and we hope to lodge them with Gladstone City Council by Christmas this year,'' Mr Ryan said yesterday.
'We'd like to start construction in April or May 2006 and be open at the beginning of 2007.'
Mr Ryan said it was planned the new building would be connected to the existing 100-room Country Plaza International possibly at the Brass Palm restaurant level.
Mr Ryan said Gladstone needed the extra quality accommodation. He was in the process of undertaking a $500,000 revamp of existing suites "The Country Plaza is full five nights a weeks and I believe Glad- stone can support between 150 and 200 extra motel beds each night.
Mr Ryan said Gladstone was losing accommodation customers because it did not have the facility to cater for the bigger jets, which made it necessary for company representatives to fly to Rock- hampton rather than straight to Gladstone.
'About a third of the reps go to Rocky and commute to Gladstone , which is a big loss for this city.'