Bill Korte and his sons Bradley and Cameron.
Bill Korte and his sons Bradley and Cameron. Tamara MacKenzie ROK141217tkkort

Two Rocky hotels honoured with prestigious national award

ROCKHAMPTON tourism is set to sky rocket after two local hotels were named in Trip Advisor's Top 25 Hotels in Australia.

The announcement was made at this year's Travellers' Choice Awards, with Kortes Resort and the Empire Apartment Hotel named as 12th and 19th best in the country.

The Empire has seen a rise in commendation in recent years, after receiving awards at the Queensland Tourism Awards: Gold for 'Business Event Venue' in 2017, silver for the best 'Deluxe Accommodation' in 2016 and 2017 and gold for the best 'New Tourism Business' in 2015.

The hotel is also a finalist in next month's Australian Tourism Awards in Perth.

This most recent award is a welcomed acknowledgement of the Central Queensland hotel's service for the last four years of operation.

Empire managing director Grant Cassidy said he was "thrilled" to place in the list two years in a row.

This year, Empire has "moved up the ladder" from placing 21 last year.

"Being ranked in the Top 25 Hotels in Australia for the second consecutive year is an incredible acknowledgement of the world-class product and service our team deliver every day in Rockhampton," Mr Cassidy said.

"I would like to congratulate my team and thank each one of them for their commitment on consistently delivering a product so our guests can experience Rockhampton like they've never seen it before.

"With Travel Choice awards, it's totally up to people who travel and visit to rank us on a whole host of criteria and obviously what we're doing is working.

"Like everything, you've got to look for improvement all the time and keep tweaking."

Mr Cassidy said his hotel focuses on customer service and providing respectable great service and hospitality.

 

Grant Cassidy in the reception of the Empire building, Rockhampton. 
Photo Sharyn O'Neill / Morning Bulletin
Grant Cassidy in the reception of the Empire building, Rockhampton. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK120215sempire4

"One thing we hear a lot from customers if you could put Empire in any Australian city and it would hold it's own," he said.

"It's nice for a regional property to be acknowledge as one of the top 25 in Australia an in the top 1 per cent in the world.

"Quite often you see those acknowledgements for capital city and big chain hotels.

"Being an independently branded property, we just love doing what we do and customers obviously think the same."

Kortes resort managing director Bill Korte said making "number 12 out of all of Australia is certainly an achievement".

Mr Korte has been in the hospitality industry for the past 15 years and had always dreamed of establishing his own family-run resort on the land.

The resort has continued to "go with the times" by opening a new function room in October, with the potential for further developments in the future.

"There was definitely a need for it and we go out of our way to be different and not just a normal motel," he said.

"When the complex is finished, it will be a fully fledged resort with a massive function room, steak house and wine bars over the river.

"We're definitely expanding with a pool, play areas and putt putt area hopefully as soon as possible."

Mr Korte said the resort delivered with the "true meaning of the word hospitality", which has continued to draw in customers.

"We focus on value for money and quality," he said.

"It's all about personalised service which we are extremely good at. We don't have numbers, we have names."

Mr Korte's son Bradley said with two Rockhampton hotels in the top 25 list for Australia, the town could see a huge pay off in terms of tourism and economic inflow.

"It's a massive award in it's own right," he said.

"Rocky has never been known as a tourism destination... I hope having two hotels here named definitely pays off."



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