Work begins on Coast’s first hotel in three decades
Constructions on the 4.5-star Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites in Maroochydore start on Wednesday morning – more than a year later than planned.
COVID-19 shutdowns from March to July last year have been blamed for the delay of the first hotel being built on the Sunshine Coast in more than three decades.
The constructions were planned to start before Christmas in 2019 with a view to opening in early 2021.
Tourism and Hospitality Services AustralAsia managing director Rodger Powell said the construction would show prospective developers they too could plan and receive approval for an international hotel on the Coast.
“This is the first major hotel built on the Sunshine Coast in 30 years,” he said.
“ Everything else has been either a strata-titled apartment complex or a motel.
“It will open up the Sunshine Coast to new markets seeking the assurance of international hotels brands and hotel facilities and services.”
The new nine-storey hotel on First Ave will feature 181 rooms, a rooftop swimming pool, bar and dining venue, conference and function facilities, parking and ground-level retail space.
Leading Australian hotel development and investment firm Pro-invest which develops and operates the Holiday Inn Express brand in Australia and New Zealand is behind the new hotel on a prime 2535 sq m site, close to the proposed future light rail network.
“We believe Holiday Inn Express & Suites Sunshine Coast is a great addition to Maroochydore,” said Pro-Invest Group co-chief executive Jan Smits.
“Particularly as the region transitions from a largely leisure-based to a more diversified market with major growth in businesses establishing themselves in the city centre.
“The Holiday Inn Express brand is ideal for the destination as its midscale positioning will make it highly-suitable for targeting business, meetings and leisure travellers.”
Mr Powell said the Holiday Inn Express would be the first of many internationally branded hotels that would be required if the Coast was to win its fair share of the southeast Queensland Olympic Games in 2032.
“This is first business sector hotel that will support the council’s successful strategy of diversifying the local economy by attracting new industries to the Coast,” he said.
“The hotel project (also) complements the new runway at Sunshine Coast Airport which has the capacity to change the face of Sunshine Coast tourism over the next decade.”
Sunshine Coast Council Mayor Mark Jamieson said Pro-invest’s commitment was another vote of confidence in the Maroochydore city centre and the Sunshine Coast.
“Our council is very pleased to see this project come out of the ground, at a time when we are encouraging opportunities to support the recovery of our tourism and hospitality industries,” he said.
“This project will provide a significant economic boost to the region with up to 1500 people working on the project during construction as well as 30 full and part time staff employed when the hotel is operational.”
SunCentral Maroochydore chief executive John Knaggs said the development was the fourth major construction project to have commenced within the first stage of the Maroochydore CBD.
“There’s multiple tower cranes and hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of investment currently underway within the Maroochydore CBD,” he said.
“It’s a real hive of activity and it is pleasing to see so many tradespeople and suppliers working onsite each day to create a lasting legacy for future generations.”
National construction company Minicon has been engaged to build the hotel which is scheduled to be completed by May 2022.