Grand Hotel will stay closed until week?s end
By MAT OVENDENmovenden@gladstoneobserver.com.au
TWO burly security guards at the entrance to The Grand Hotel were the first sign that all was not right for Gladstone's greatest icon.
The hotel closed its doors to the public at 1.20pm yesterday as voluntary administrators, KordaMentha, moved in to take over management.
Manager Bob See was dismissed and immediately replaced by new manager Michael Jones, who yesterday informed the hotel's staff of the situation.
Korda-Mentha partner Damian Bender said the hotel went into voluntary administration on Monday.
He said the business would remain closed for the rest of the week for a stocktake and Workplace Health and Safety audit. He also alleged hotel management had recently been issued with fines for liquor licensing breaches.
The Observer was unable to confirm the fines with the Liquor Licensing Division yesterday.
Mr Bender said police were in attendance when the hotel was closed, but confirmed Mr See left the premises voluntarily.
He predicted the hotel would be closed for the rest of the week, but would be open for normal trading next week.
However, he said the hotel would remain closed until 'staff and customers can be assured a safe environment.'
He confirmed there had been no changes to staff at this time. New manager Michael Jones is Gold Coast based but has moved to Gladstone after a stint at Barambah Ridge Vineyard & Cellar Door near Murgon.
The Grand Hotel was bought from the Hanson family by Brands Constructions and Partners in September 2003 which planned to develop a 120-room accommodation tower at the back of the hotel.
The Hanson family name had been synonymous with the hotel for at least three generations since the family's forebears purchased it in 1929.