Staff stunned as Cambridge Hotel unexpectedly shuts doors

HIGH-PROFILE HOTEL: The Cambridge Hotel Motel yesterday shut its doors for a redevelopment.
HIGH-PROFILE HOTEL: The Cambridge Hotel Motel yesterday shut its doors for a redevelopment.

IT'S one of Rockhampton's high-profile hotels, so it was a surprise for many yesterday to see a closed sign on the door at the Cambridge Hotel Motel.

A small sign on the front door said the hotel would be closed for "a redevelopment".

However, the owner and manager of the Cambridge yesterday declined to comment about the closure or redevelopment.

The Bulletin understands staff only found out about the closure about 8am yesterday after arriving for work.

There were about 20 people employed at the hotel motel.

Leigh Turnbull, owner of The Criterion Hotel, said the past two years had been tough for the region and those involved in the hotel industry.

He said it was disappointing to see long-standing Rockhampton businesses closing their doors.

Earlier this year The Heritage Hotel was closed and put into receivership.

"It's indicative of what's happened to the hotel or hospitality industry over the last couple of years," he said.

The Criterion has also felt the pressures facing the industry, but they're trying to be pro-active in a diminishing market.

"Our bar trade and food trade has probably not suffered too much, but where we suffered quite dramatically is in the accommodation," Mr Turnbull said.

"Accommodation is down 25%… certainly over the last 12 months."

Mr Turnbull said business confidence had plummeted since the last election, and bigger developments in the CBD were also "a double-edged sword" for those in the industry.

"We know where our market is, and we obviously want to stay in that market and make it work," he said.

"We're pro-active in a very, very low market. Those who aren't pro-active won't be in the market."

Topics:  cambridge hotel pubs the criterion hotel

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