'Complete shock': Gladstone businesses recognised at awards
THE who's who of Gladstone business gathered in a sea of glitz and glamour at the Yaralla Sports Club on Saturday night for the 2018 Best in Business Awards.
With 21 awards up for grabs, a number of businesses picked up more than one accolade, including Mercure Gladstone who took home the Overall Best in Business award.
The Mercure also won best Accommodation and Resort - its third consecutive win in that category - joining Gladstone Flooring Xtra, Dance Kix, Boyne Smelters and Gladstone Ports Corporation as multiple award winners on the night.
Mercure Gladstone general manager Craig Conley said it was positive the hotel had retained its consistency in order to snare a hat-trick of wins in the A&R category, but winning the Overall Best in Business Award took him by surprise.
"It was a complete shock with the Overall," he said.
"When you listen to what some of those companies have done ... they've done a lot of things. To be placed among that and be awarded with the overall prize was far exceeding what we were expecting.
"It will drive us now to next year with a little bit of innovation and different things coming on board such as new king apartments which step away from the normal hotel rooms."
Mr Conley said guest loyalty was a huge factor for them with one of Mercure's latest initiatives, a Wall of Recognition behind its reception desk, honouring guests who have stayed 100 nights or more.
The wall comes in the form of framed cricket bats to represent a century of stays.
Donna Hann from Dance Kix took home two awards - Best Individual Service and Business to Watch - capping a huge 2018 for the dance school.
Formed in 2016, the studio received nominations during its first two years but cracked a finalist position this year.
"We've worked tremendously well over that time - myself and my team who are amazing," Ms Hann said.
"I'm so grateful to have a fantastic team that go above and beyond, they have passion teaching the kids and they know the benefits dance can have for children.
"To be recognised among so many other amazing businesses is great and I'm in awe to even be in the same category as some of them."
Ms Hann said the work of her Dance Kix team was one of passion.
"It's not easy but it makes it easier when you don't feel like you're working because you love it so much."
2018 Best in Business Winners
Accommodation & Resort: Mercure Gladstone
Restaurant: Rydges Gladstone (Encouragement Award)
Tourism Attraction: East Shores (Gladstone Ports Corporation)
Best Cafe & Takeaway: Blend Cafe
Events: Boyne Tannum Hookup
Best Individual Service: Donna Hann (Dance Kix)
Industry Engineering & Manufacturing: Gladstone Ports Corporation
Trades & Services: Rayment Excavation
Auto & Marine: Reef City Motors
Health Beauty & Wellness: Dhillonz Hair & Beauty
Retail Less than 10 staff: Gladstone Flooring Xtra
Retail with more than 10 staff: Fordy's Spa Express
Entertainment & Recreational Business: Gladstone Entertainment Convention Centre
Young Business leader: Megan Leane
Business leader: Joe Rea (Boyne Smelters)
Local Franchise: Gladstone Flooring Xtra
Not for Profit Clubs Community & Association: Gladstone Gymnastics
Business of Choice: Garage Barber Shop
Observer Innovation Awards: Boyne Smelters Limited
Business to Watch: Dance Kix
Overall Best in Business Winner: Mercure Gladstone.