Rocky motel owner's push to invigorate Rocky's CBD
ROCKHAMPTON'S Regent Hotel owner Steve Coleman is a man on a mission.
He is supporting a push for businesses and government to work together to turn Rockhampton's CBD into a buzzing hive of activity.
Hosting an influx of guests from defence forces and a number of events like Beef Week, Mr Coleman, 55, has found there was a strong demand for people seeking centralised accommodation, function spaces and associated tourism infrastructure.
"We are getting supported by the Singaporean Army and the Australian Defence force in the way of accommodation bookings and functions, we've got a function for the Singaporean army on Thursday night and another in October,” Mr Coleman said.
"Both of these events are attracting VIP dignitaries, the Australian Minister of Defence will be here.”
He thanked both defence forces for their support for the region noting their invaluable financial contribution to businesses within the CBD.
"What I'm trying to do is encourage more people to come here and we have to entice other businesses to support the CBD,” Mr Coleman said.
"I get supported by the Commonwealth, ANZ and Westpac banks which are the three immediate banks I'm surrounded by that all support me through accommodation bookings and functions as well.”
The Regent Hotel was constructed in 1914 serving originally Rockhampton's Technical College before Mr Coleman purchased the building in March 2013.
After undertaking a year-and-a-half of renovations, he now presides over "the most luxurious motel in Rockhampton” with a four-and-a-half star rating featuring 49 rooms, a function room and cafe/ restaurant with outdoor dining.
"We've invested a significant amount of money into this building and the reason why was because of Rockhampton's long term strength as a commercial hub for a regional town,” Mr Coleman said.
Mr Coleman said thanks to the strength of this hub, their business hadn't been as adversely affected by the mining downturn as other mining dependent towns in the region.
"We're still forging ahead, things are picking up, there's a good positive future for Rockhampton,” he said.
He said several of his returning guests had provided positive feedback regarding the changes along the river.
"I want to thank the council for having the foresight to do the beautification along Quay Street,” Mr Coleman said.