STALLED: Plans to re-open the hotel this month have been put on hold as the owner and its new management partner encounter issues.
STALLED: Plans to re-open the hotel this month have been put on hold as the owner and its new management partner encounter issues.

Plaza Hotel reopening plans in disarray

RENOVATIONS at Rockhampton's Plaza Hotel have reached a standstill as the building's owners move to part ways from the new management partners.

It comes after Vision Hotel Group revealed exclusively to The Morning Bulletin in February that the company had signed a partnership with the Taiwanese Chang family who owned the establishment.

However, it seems last month were much happier times for the pair, after Plaza Hotel's managing director James Chang last week announced Vision's plans to dissolve the contract after the group's solicitor issued notice.

Reasons for the unexpected decision, Mr Chang claimed, were due to the hotel group citing an Occupational Health and Safety clause in the existing contract, specifically about non-compliant pest control.

After news of the partnership last month, contractors quickly started work which lasted for around a month, before work stopped at the site around two weeks ago.

The building's abandonment left it with holes in the floor and roof, towels and cleaning trolleys strewn throughout hallways, unkempt gardens and piles of linen left in rooms.

Mr Chang said Vision had since accused his company of providing it false information, claiming that the conditions of the hotel were not what was agreed upon in the contract.

He admitted parts of the building had fallen into disrepair during its six-year closure, including a leaking roof on the sixth floor and stained carpets throughout various rooms.

A dispute had arisen over which party should pick up the tab on the expenses which were earlier estimated would cost between $100,000-150,000.

Mr Chang claimed the original contract detailed Vision's commitment to cover all costs incurred by renovations, along with land tax, council rates and insurance.

"I thought it was a really good deal they put forward. I was happy for them to take those costs back out of profit when some started getting made," he said.

He also claimed Vision had since requested Chang Holdings cover the costs of the repairs, asking the company to deposit $578,000 into their account, including the $180,000 for roof repairs.

"They've requested many changes to the building which was not written into the original contract," he said.

"This is not a brand-new hotel; they knew this coming into the deal. We didn't agree for my company to cover the costs when we signed the contract, it was supposed to cost me nothing."

While he does not have issue with Vision backing out of the deal, Mr Chang is instead frustrated with the condition Vision Hotel Group left the building in.

"We want to finish the relationship by making sure everything is right for both parties and they've not done that," he claimed.

Mr Chang added he was already looking at other potential management contracts, however remained hopeful the relationship with Vision Hotel Group would end amicably.

"We have no drama if they want to pull out and cancel the lease agreement, however they have to restore the building to its original condition. Instead they've just left the building in a mess," Mr Chang said.

Vision Hotel Group was contacted for comment however declined to comment.



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