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Mixed use club projects spur Accor’s growth

Simon-McGrath-EDITED

The announcement of an 84-room extension to the Mercure Sydney Liverpool hotel adjoining the Liverpool Catholic Club signals the increasing popularity of mixed-use hotel developments incorporating a range of complementary facilities.

In the past four years, Accor has been involved in four hotel developments linked to major clubs, starting with the original AUD$20 million 4-star Mercure Sydney Liverpool hotel in 2010.

With, demand for conference and function facilities in the Liverpool region reaching an all-time high, the hotel extension will add a new nine-floor tower and increase the size of the hotel to 194 rooms. The extension is scheduled for completion late 2015.

Accor currently operates four club hotels in Australia including Mercure Sydney Liverpool, Novotel Rooty Hill (part of Rooty Hill RSL), Mercure Caroline Springs (part of WestWaters Club), and Mercure Gladstone (part of Yaralla Sports Club).

Earlier this year, Accor signed a franchise agreement with Diggers at The Entrance, whose owners are developing a new 52-room ibis Styles economy hotel. The project is part of the Diggers master plan to take full advantage of a growing tourism industry on the NSW Central Coast and fully cater to the corporate and events markets.

The NSW Government is behind the hotel project and has granted $430,000 from the Destination NSW Regional Visitor Economy Fund towards the $8 million plus development. The 3.5-star ibis Styles The Entrance hotel will link with and complement the recently refurbished Diggers at The Entrance dining and gym facilities and is expected to open in December.

The growth of mixed-use property developments reflects the powerful impact the Australian clubs industry has in Australia, with the most recent KPMG National Club Census revealing that clubs make an annual economic and social contribution of almost AUD$10 billion to the Australian community each year, with the figure set to grow as clubs invest in new facilities and developments over the short to medium term.

Accor Pacific Chief Operating Officer, Simon McGrath said that mixed-use developments were becoming an increasingly important driver of new hotel developments, with clubs providing fertile opportunities for complementary accommodation.

“Over the past four years, hotels linked with sports and recreation clubs have been strong performers in the accommodation sector,” he said. “It is encouraging that state governments are encouraging the development of clubs in suburban and regional communities as clubs are often one of the largest employers, tax payers and provider of entertainment and sports facilities in many areas.

“Since the Novotel Rooty Hill, part of Rooty Hill RSL, joined the Accor franchise fold in 2010 we’ve seen the growth in this sector, which has not only benefited the clubs but the local economies. The addition of international branding has helped the hotel win more corporate and conference business thanks to its access to Accor’s global distribution, procurement, marketing and loyalty platforms.

“Most club accommodation falls outside of the traditional 250-plus room hotels located in tier one cities and, therefore are heavily dependent on a number of market segments to make them profitable. Clubs are very successful in managing their own facilities, however in such a competitive accommodation market, the strength of a global distribution platform, a recognised brand such as Novotel, Mercure or ibis, and robust loyalty program are some of the reasons that clubs partner with Accor.

“Our franchise model provides clubs with the support they need without the full management toolbox while leaving them to concentrate on the hotel’s operations and service which is intrinsically linked to that of the club.

“Clubs will long continue to play a crucial role in local communities and Accor is working towards securing further club-based hotels over the next two years,” McGrath said.

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