The proposed four-star accommodation project at the Albany Waterfront would be a 140-room Mercure-branded hotel which would be open in time for the 2014 Anzac Centenary commemorations, according to the man behind the proposal.
On Tuesday, the State Government announced a body called the Hotel Development Group Albany had been selected as the preferred proponent to enter into an exclusive three-month working period with Landcorp on the waterfront hotel project.
The Albany Advertiser has confirmed the group is a proprietary limited company which was registered just last Friday and is headed up by All Seasons Albany owner Roger Foster.
Responding to queries via email, the Perth-based hotelier said the planned establishment would have 140 rooms and be branded Mercure, a badge of the global company Accor Hotels.
All Seasons, which Mr Foster has run in Albany for 10 years, is also an Accor brand.
Mr Foster said Mercure Albany would be an entertainment hub, and would include restaurants and bars, alfresco dining, meeting rooms and a large banquet area which overlooked the marina and would be suitable for weddings.
“The international standard of the accommodation and its proximity to the Albany Entertainment Centre will enable Albany to attract the lucrative conference and convention market, as well as cater for other international groups currently not visiting Albany due to a lack of suitable accommodation,” he said.
“The hotel is expected to open in the last quarter of 2013 or the first quarter of 2014, in time for the Anzac commemorations.”
Mr Foster, who is based in Mt Claremont, said the new hotel development group was a syndicate of West Australian investors.
He described himself as a veteran hotelier with close to 40 years experience in major hotel corporations, including Sheraton, Radisson and Accor.
Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive Graham Harvey said the backing of Accor Hotels would be a major boost to the viability of the proposal.
Mr Harvey said having a Mercure hotel next to the entertainment centre would mean Albany would be an attractive destination for major conferences.
Albany Centenary of Anzac Alliance chairman Peter Aspinall said it was “tremendous” the hotel was planned to be running by 2014.
Landcorp regional business manager Peter McNally said the ideal exclusive-working-period result would be a binding contract to build, own and run the hotel.