Crown Hotels has risked incurring the wrath of Sydney hotels by declaring the city is lacking in quality accommodation and offers little for upmarket travellers.
After lodging a $1 billion proposal to develop a six star hotel and casino at Barangaroo, Crown heralded the plan, predictably enough, as the answer to Sydney’s lack of quality.
Still in early preliminary planning stages, Crown is hoping to repeat the success is has enjoyed in Melbourne by harnessing the high-end tourism market in New South Wales.
“The problem in Sydney is lack of quality”, a spokesperson said. “Wealthy people visiting our shores in Sydney are finding that there is nowhere to spend money. They’re looking for quality accommodation, restaurants and retail and if you look at most of the hotels in Sydney, you’re lucky to get 5-star,” he said,
While there is no doubting Sydney’s need for more hotel rooms, the comments are likely to rile some of the more upmarket properties in the city.
Concept plans for Barangaroo have been put to the government and the industry, while urban planners and designers have also been approached.
The 350-room hotel would offer a number of suites and VIP accommodation with facilities including a ballroom, deck pool and a casino component that would mainly be VIP gaming.
“Crown has requested permission to increase its share in Echo Entertainment, owners of The Star, which could take up to six months. Things aren’t likely to move until that happens,” the Crown spokesperson said.
But the development has been criticised by Sydney’s lord mayor, Clover Moore, who insisted the proposed location at Barangaroo Central was originally designed as an open community space.
The Crown spokesperson said 60% of the Barangaroo area would still be available for the community to use and construct sports grounds.
“The development would make Barangaroo a destination which would mean the facilities would actually get utilised,” the Crown spokesperson said.