Holiday Inn expands Melbourne footprint

The InterContinental hotel chain’s growth strategy has gathered momentum with a second new hotel signing in a week, being a Holiday Inn at Werribee, in Melbourne’s west.

On November 20, IHG unveiled plans for a $200 million Holiday Inn & Suites in Geelong, as the group gets a foothold into the fast-growing tourism sector in regional areas.

It will partner with Pelligra Group and Citinova, to develop a 150-room property, on the corner of Synnot Street and Duncans Road, Werribee. It is scheduled to open in three years.

The hotel will be part of a mixed-use development project, valued at about $50 million, which will include offices and retail space.

The hotel itself will feature dining and a bar, and a 300 square metre function room for up to 400 people.

Karin Sheppard, IHG’s chief operating officer for Australasia & Japan, said Holiday Inn is one of the “world’s most recognised and fastest-growing hotel brands and “we’re excited to be continuing that momentum here in Australasia”.

“The signing of Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee and Holiday Inn & Suites Geelong adds an important western Melbourne presence to the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express portfolio, which today includes 20 open and additional nine in the pipeline,” Ms Shepard said.

Ross Pelligra, chairman of Pelligra Group, said Werribee and the Wyndham region is set to become a driving force in the development of Greater Melbourne, with a population that’s forecast to increase by 53 per cent in the next 15 years.

“Already we are seeing a flurry of development activity currently in wider Wyndham Council, and we’re proud to be part of that progress,” Mr Pelligra said.

“I’m particularly excited to partner with a global hotel leader like IHG to bring Holiday Inn Melbourne Werribee, a hotel that is expected to be the best development of its kind in Werribee.”

The expansion also comes at a time of consolidation in the hotel sector, including the $1.2 billion takeover of the listed Mantra group by the French-based Accor SA.

There is also the new Folkestone Green Square Fund which is developing the second Veriu hotel in Sydney. The private Melbourne-based Lancemore Group has also recently opened its Larmont Hotel in Potts Point, Sydney while AccorHotels has opened the doors on the Sofitel Sydney hotel, Darling Harbour.

Speaking at the Mantra annual general meeting, Mantra chairman Peter Bush, said the Scheme Implementation Agreement remains subject to a number of customary and regulatory approvals.

Mantra chief executive Bob East said the group’s strategic pipeline growth continued to be a key focus in 2017, which added six properties across several brands and operating models.

New properties joining the Mantra portfolio included the 1176-room Mantra-branded Ala Moana Hotel in Honolulu, Hawaii, Mantra Residences @ Southport Central, Peppers Kings Square Hotel at Perth, Mantra the Observatory at Port Macquarie, Mantra Club Croc at Airlie Beach and Tribe Perth.

Mantra’s acquisition of the Art Series Hotel Group, which was acquired for $52.5 million, has been settled and will add seven luxury hotels, being more than 1000 guest rooms, conference and event facilities, restaurants to the group’s portfolio.

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