Grand Hotel to change hands
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.dyndns.org
The Grand Hotel will change hands early next week as the sale to the Reed Property Group is finalised.
Spokesperson for the group Deb Juleff said the final payment of $7 million could occur as early as Monday.
Administrator Robert Hutson and Reed Property Group managing director Ken Reed said the pre-conditions for the sale had been met.
The Reed Property Group had requested the transfer of liquor and gaming licences be made before the sale became final. Mr Hutson said all the necessary probity checks had been made and the licences approved.
The Reed Property Group has purchased the Grand Hotel for $7.2 million.
Ms Juleff said in addition to extensive upgrades to the Grand Hotel, the site would also host a 104-room Ramada Encore to provide accommo-dation and conference facilities to the business and leisure markets.
'Construction of the $20 million project is scheduled to begin around June this year, with the Ramada ex-pected to be open for business in mid-2007,' she said.
'We anticipate that the Ramada will capture business traffic during the week and allow the weekends for weddings and other major functions connected to the Grand Hotel.
'The Ramada will be a three and a half star complex.'
Ms Juleff said the refurbishment of the Grand Hotel would start within the next two months and take the form of a 'rolling renovation' with the Grand remaining open during the anticipated six month timeframe allocated to the refurbishment.
'Gladstone City Council has already approved the development plans which include upgrades to existing amenities and the inclusion of an al fresco dining area at the front of the hotel, together with the hotel accommodation component,' Ms Juleff said.
Reed hospitality operations manager Ashley Robinson said it was important to keep the Grand Hotel open and operational during the fitout.