ALMOST three decades ago, Steve Colmean opened his first motel in Rockhampton.
Now, he and business partner Tony Sergiacomi are getting ready to unveil a project which could be the jewel in the city's hotel crown.
The pair have been refurbishing the old TAFE buildings on Bolsover St in Rockhampton's CBD for a year and hope to open The Regent Hotel Rockhampton to customers by the end of August.
While it was the heritage-listed Technical College building that first drew them to the site, Tony and Steve were also excited by the region's potential.
"We found Rockhampton to be a good solid motel town and everything went from there," Steve said.
When it's completed, the pair hope the complex will score a 4.5 star rating from RACQ.
The rating is based on the hotel's facilities and services, cleanliness, quality and condition. As well as accommodation, Steve said The Regent Hotel would include a function room, cafe and cocktail lounge with alfresco dining open to the public.
Steve said they had focused on high quality finishes during the refurbishment.
And they plan to continue this with good quality food and service once doors open.
Keeping business local was also important to the pair, who used local builders during the refurbishment and will buy their coffee from Yeppoon's Cuppa Cabana.
Steve said the refurbishment had been more work than a straight construction, but they hadn't had any problems working around the building's heritage listing.
He said the exterior had stayed the same, apart from some minor repairs, while the interior layout had been designed around the existing rooms.
"After 12 months of hard slog, we're getting near the end now," Steve said.
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