Mercure Gladstone still stars despite downturn
TEAM morale is high at Mercure Gladstone after winning the Gladstone Observer's Best in Business Awards for accommodation and resorts.
The four-and-a-half star hotel has strived to become a five-star venue under the the leadership of general manager Craig Conley.
"We've got the product and we've got the service here as seen over the last two years," he said.
"It's a good combination to have, and not only to show Gladstone that we are the best in town here."
Mr Conley completed a university degree in tourism management before starting work up north in Port Douglas before settling in Gladstone.
"I always tell the staff we could move this property straight down to Brisbane or Sydney and we'd be competing straight away," he said.
"It's a good thing to have in Central Queensland."
Mr Conley said the staff have been happy with the hotel's efforts and in receiving the awards.
Yaralla Sports Club chief operations officer and life member Liz Carruthers has worked closely with Mercure Gladstone to deliver a positive experience for all guests.
And it's clear the two businesses have good synergy.
"Communication has to be very precise," she said.
"If Craig has a lot of people in house, we have to have staff on the floor to cater for his guests.
"We just work well together communicating, it seems to flow from the front of his hotel down to the restaurant."
Ms Carruthers has lived in Gladstone for 30 years, and worked her way up the ladder at the Yaralla Sport Club.
Mr Conley said it was a good experience to be a part of the awards and great to have recognition for the team's efforts.
Although the population of Gladstone and visitor numbers have dropped, Mr Conley said regulars continued to support the hotel.