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A northerly meeting

RENDEZVOUS Hotels Inter-national begins work on its new $35 million Broome resort next month.

The Rendezvous Sanctuary Resort, located at Broome’s Cable Beach, is due to open early next year.

Unlike the high-rise Rendezvous Observation City in Scarborough, the Cable Beach resort will be a cluster of studio rooms and one and two-bedroom apartments, which are available to investors.

Project and Development managers and architects Rothe Lowman director, Kim Lowman, said this was a unique arrangement.

“We are selling the units which act as holiday houses. A person can own it and, when they are not using it, the hotel can lease it out,” he said.

“The investor gets a higher return because they get hotel rates.

“It’s great for the investor and the hotel. The hotel can focus on what it’s good at and doesn’t have to worry about the infrastructure, and the investor gets a cheque in the mail every month.”

The unit prices range from $144,000 to $374,00.

Rendezvous Hotel International chief executive officer Alan Fetherby said that, while the decision to build the resort was made before September 11 and the Ansett collapse, he remained confident of its success.

“We saw September 11 and Ansett as blips on a longer term plan,” he said.

“We didn’t see them hampering our long-term plans. If you ignore the ‘one-off blips’ everything tends to move in predictable cycles. I am very confident and optimistic about its (the resorts) success.”

The Rothe Lowman-designed resort will be built in an open, eco-based style, which Mr Fetherby said was important for a Broome resort.

“The architects have incorporated key elements of Cable Beach into the design,” he said.

Mr Lowman said the low-density complex was a modern interpretation of the Broome architectural style.

“It’s the first smart piece of architecture Broom has seen. The units are in clusters of no more than six to make it more personal, “ he said. “Privacy is assured.

“The pool structure is a major focal point and views are towards the pool or to private open spaces. We’ve added Asian-type furnishings and incorporated local Broome art.”

The resort will be located close to the Cable Beach Intercontinental Resort, about a five-minute walk apart, and Mr Fetherby said while it had the same market, Rendezvous Sanctuary Resort would join with Intercontinental to attract tourists.

“Their (Intercontinental’s) response has been quite good,” he said.

“We are in the final stages of acquiring a spa at the moment, which we can both use. While we have the same market we can work together.”

Mr Fetherby said Hotel Rendezvous would be addressing the decline in demand during the off peak season.

“We will be looking at attracting international tourists to Broome during the shoulder season,” he said.

“It’s still a warm and pleasant place for people, such as Europeans, and they are a market that we will be targeting.”

Mr Fetherby said the company would be aligning the Scarborough development closely with the Cable Beach resort.

“There are substantial synergies,” he said.

“From a marketing point of view we can operate both hotels at tradeshows. We also work closely with all the airlines and get a quite a lot of business from them.”

Qantas began daily flights of its B737 fleet to Broome this week to complement the BAE 146 flights currently operating. Mr Lowman said that Virgin also was looking at servicing the area.

Hotel Rendezvous is also building a boutique, 80-room hotel in St Kilda, Melbourne.

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