NEW LOOK: Don Mcleod is the manager of the former Bridge Motor Inn, soon to become the Rockhampton Riverside Central Hotel following investment from a national hotel chain.
NEW LOOK: Don Mcleod is the manager of the former Bridge Motor Inn, soon to become the Rockhampton Riverside Central Hotel following investment from a national hotel chain. Allan Reinikka ROK070817abridge3

National hotel chain plans 're-birth' of iconic Rocky location

ECONOMICS lecturer turned national hotel-chain boss Sid Knell plans to "re-birth” an iconic Rockhampton location.

The Bridge Motor Inn caught the Central Apartment Group CEO's eye as he looked to expand his Central Queensland footprint.

The Bolsover St business went into voluntary administration in March, but Mr Knell said its central location and refurbishment potential made it the clear choice to add to his chain.

Mr Knell's move to purchase the entire business comes during what he believes is prime time to snap up such an establishment, with "economic improvement for the region just around the corner”.

Former university economics lecturer Mr Knell said he had a fascination with Australian regional economies and sees Rockhampton as a city underpinned by the international commodities market.

"Agriculture, mining, defence, education and tourism are just a few economic drivers for the region and with new trade agreements and a rebounding commodities market, Rockhampton will take off again with little to no warning,” he said.

Mr Knell added sometimes the green shoots of economic recovery are obscure, but for resource-rich Central Queensland, "recovery is a certainty”. This motivated him to add this Motor Inn to his portfolio.

The venue will reopen in coming weeks with a new name, new look and new breakfast bar with manager Don McLeod the friendly face on the ground at the "Rockhampton Riverside Central Hotel”.

The new owners have called in the expertise of experienced national refurbishment team which recently completed work on the Melbourne Metropole Apartment Hotel.

A re-designed breakfast room, new colours, the introduction of the Central Apartment Group bed system and new accommodation booking technology are just some of the changes planned.

The Rockhampton Riverside Central Hotel is designed to cater for both leisure and business travellers to the region, with a number of family suites.

An opening event will showcase the new look and feel at 31 Bolsover St.

Central Apartment Group run a successful national chain and have establishments in locations including Gladstone, Cairns, Toowoomba , Newcastle, Emerald, Sunshine Coast, Perth and Melbourne. The buyer did not disclose the sale price, but real estate data reveals it previously sold for $930,000 in April 2003. The unimproved valued was $1.1m in June, 2017.



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