Grand back as ?family venue
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
THE excitement in the air was palpable yesterday as executives from the Reed Property Group took over management of the Grand Hotel.
The Reed Property Group settled on the grand old lady of Gladstone on Monday, paying over $7 million to secure the hotel.
Reed operations manager Ashley Robinson said they were excited at returning the hotel to what it was.
"I am sure we can do the right fitout and have the right person running the hotel,'' he said. "We have appointed Matt Jones as the hotel manager and feel confident Matt's expertise in the hotel industry here in Gladstone will stand us in good stead.
"Matt will be supported by some good key staff already in place,'' he added. Mr Robinson said they were keen to make the Grand a family venue. "To that end we will not be reinstating the nightclub upstairs,'' he explained.
"Instead we will be making it similar to what it was some years ago and that is a place where people can come and host weddings and functions comfortably.
"There will be a dry bar upstairs and we plan to make the balconies areas where patrons can sit and either have a meal or a few drinks.''
Mr Robinson said what was particularly exciting was opening up the hotel to encompass the new streetscape.
"We will be taking out the windows at the front of the hotel and replacing them with bi-fold doors that will open up the lounge area onto the street and allow us to incorporate al fresco dining.''
Mr Robinson said the poker machines would probably stay where they were and the public bar would be updated and made more roomy and inviting.
"We will be keeping the TAB in the public bar of course, but it will be less noticeable,'' he said.
Mr Robinson reiterated that they wanted the Grand to be a family venue.
"To that end we will be purchasing a courtesy bus to transport our patrons to and from the hotel,'' he added.
"The Reed Property Group are renowned for getting involved in the community,'' Mr Robinson explained.
"At our home base on the Sunshine Coast we have a number of charities that we support.
"I expect that we shall be supporting a number of charities here in Gladstone,'' he said.