STEVE Coleman operated his first hotel in Rockhampton 30 years ago and according to him the hotel business is still booming.
Three decades later he's at the helm of the Regent Hotel Rockhampton as it opens its doors for business.
Steve, the general manager, said the hotel industry was strong in Rockhampton, though the mining boom has stagnated things, it hadn't hit Rocky nearly as much as the inland areas. The new hotel on Bolsover St has been up and running since last Monday, but had a quiet opening in order to get staff fully trained before an influx of customers.
While the accommodation side of the hotel is expected to take off with its CBD location, Steve said their cafe has been quite popular in the first week.
"We have the cafe open for the morning trade; we're surrounded by local business and it's close walking distance for the cafe," Steve said. The Regent Hotel is the first hotel-run business for the site, which Steve said was originally a high school college in 1914 that later transformed into a TAFE institute in the early '60s.
If you have driven by the Regent Hotel at night you'll have noticed the new modern lighting.
"We've tried to illuminate the sandstone feature work and columns, we have eight different colours," Steve said.
"(The lighting) looks quite attractive and is a point of difference for something in Rockhampton, this sort of thing is done in other areas like Brisbane."