Hilton has confirmed it is “very keen” to pursue further opportunities in Western Australia, following last week’s announcement it would open its first Australian DoubleTree property in Karratha.
Vice president development Australasia Robert Scullin told The Nibbler’s sister publication Travel Today the hotel chain was considering additional properties in the region on the back of the resources boom.
He revealed construction costs in the region, traditionally high, had been made viable by its new cost effective construction model combining traditional and modern techniques.
The lower two floors of the new Karratha property will be built using traditional methods, with the upper six storeys to be effectively pre-built, transported to the site and slotted into place. It is a similar format used on housing projects, Scullin said.
“The new model has certainly reduced the construction time and the size of the teams required to build a hotel,” he said.
Scullin revealed the firm was targeting significant Australia expansion from its current eight properties although no target number has been set.
He confirmed more Hilton properties would be unveiled in Australasia over the next 12 months, with some of those in Australia, although he identified the “tight financial market” as a challenge.
“We’d like to have a nice network of Australian hotels,” he said, adding the firm was looking beyond WA.
In addition to new-build opportunities, the firm is eyeing potential conversions in state capitals, with an additional Perth property high on the list.
“The Perth market is where every hotel would like to have more inventory,” he said.
Its DoubleTree brand has opened 25 properties in the Middle East and Asia over the first six months of the year. The property in Karratha will feature 144 guest rooms, three function rooms and an all day restaurant and bar. It is expected to open in mid 2014.
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