Fairmont recovering from image meltdown

Fairmont recovering from image meltdown
By admin


The general manager of the Fairmont Resort in the Blue Mountains has lifted the lid on the spectacular decline of the property under its previous owners and branded it the “worst case of inept hospitality management I have ever seen”.

Geoff York told The Nibbler the once-iconic property had been run into the ground before it was taken over by receivers in 2010. It was acquired by cosmetic surgeon Jerry Schwartz later the same year and is now part of Accor’s MGallery collection.

The resort is still recovering but is now well on the way to restoring its image in the events and conference sector, York said.

Speaking at an event to showcase the property, which has undergone a $10 million overhaul with more improvements to come later this year, York revealed the full extent of the resort’s decline.

“The hotel had completely lost its credibility and reputation. It was a very public fall from grace,” York explained. “The previous owners took it for granted, there was no quality or customer focus. They were focused on reducing costs.

“When I came in there was not one piece of events business on the books. We thought of closing the property and selling it off but when we realised the damage was all self-inflicted. It was the worst case of inept hospitality management I have seen.”

Staff numbers had also fallen from 300 fives years ago to just 12, he said.

Following a revamp of all 210 rooms, the public areas and creation of a new lounge, the hotel began to rebuild shattered relations with the events and conference industry. A team dedicated to the events market, which make up 60% of its revenue, is making inroads and restoring trust, he said.

“We are half way there. We are turning over in a day what the previous owners were turning over in a month.”

To further appeal to Professional Conference Oganisers, the resort is building a 175-seat auditorium to be finished by mid year with work on a day spa expected to begin in June with a November completion.

Email the Travel Weekly team at traveldesk@travelweekly.com.au

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