Geocon’s Abode Group will become Canberra's biggest hospitality operator within three years.
Geocon managing director Nick Georgalis said Abode Hotels was already the largest single hotel brand in Canberra, operating four properties, and the opening of the new Murrumbateman hotel today and a new Kingston hotel mid-year would see the company with six properties under its Abode Hotels banner.
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“The combined enterprises of Geocon, the ACT’s largest property developer and builder of apartments, and Abode Group make the company one of the ACT’s largest employers,” Georgalis said.
“By the end of 2020, we will have more than 1,000 hotel rooms under management with new Abode hotels coming online at Geocon developments Midnight in Braddon and Republic in Belconnen, and five-star hotels emerging in Garema Place in the CBD and West Block in the Parliamentary Triangle. A further five-star hotel will be built at the Kingston Arts Precinct.
“The Abode Group has already expanded into food and beverage offerings with our No.10 Restaurant + Bar in Woden and Foundry Coffee Co. café in Tuggeranong, with more restaurants, bars and cafés to come in our various developments.
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“This will enable us to deliver a more complete hospitality offering and to collaborate with local winemakers, food producers and chefs to create vibrant destinations and experiences for domestic and international visitors alike.”
Abode Murrumbateman was officially opened today by ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Yass Valley Mayor Rowena Abbey.
“The new Abode Murrumbateman has been much-anticipated and it certainly lives up to expectations. It will enhance the choice of accommodation for visitors to the region and potentially open up the Yass Valley to a whole new group of people who had not previously considered coming here," Councillor Abbey said.
"We know we are a fantastic destination and providing our visitors with enhanced accommodation choices will continue to spread the word and entice people to visit."
The Chief Minister said tourism was an important industry for the ACT and the region.
“Tourism contributes around $2 billion to our economy every year, as well as being one of the region’s largest private-sector employers. This new hotel will be able to play a key role in our attempt to grow the region’s tourism offering,” Chief Minister Barr said.
50 rooms, four-star accommodation
Known as "the long house" because of its allusion to the grand pastoral homesteads famous throughout Australia’s rural heritage, the building was designed by local Canberra architect Hugh Gordon. It is north-facing with a low scale that features a series of linked single-storey pavilions.
The reception is in the main entry pavilion with dining and living areas. This pavilion has high vaulted ceilings and tall window glazing to the north and south. To the east and west are the rooms in various sizes and styles with the larger bedroom pavilions clad in timber, with timber pergolas in keeping with the main entry pavilion.
The exterior design and material selections of brick, stone, timber and glass walls and corrugated steel roofing is in keeping with rural vernacular in the Murrumbateman area. The architecture is complemented by extensive landscaping.
Abode Murrumbateman has boosted the Yass Valley’s accommodation offering by 30 per cent
Abode Murrumbateman will be a long-term contributor to the local economy and supports the goals of the Yass Valley 2030 strategy
The hotel will attract an extra 23,000 visitors per year to the region
Assuming a modest average spend of $80 per person outside of the hotel, this represents an injection of over $1.85 million into the local economy annually
Around 15-20 new jobs will be created directly in Murrumbateman
Training pathways will be available for team members through “Abode Academy”, Abode Hotels’ training partnership with CIT
International inbound marketing will focus on Canberra’s top five APAC markets
The new hotel will support existing local events and help generate new events to boost visitor numbers e.g. Sculpture in the Paddock and Festival of Flavour