Burswood avoids feud

BESIDES the dedicated Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre, WA will gain a facility capable of accommodating 2,300 people with Burswood Resort Casino’s $75 million expansion.

Burswood is spending $35 million on its convention centre that will include a new ballroom capable of accommodating up to 1,800 people in plenary mode.

The resort has turned away convention business due to a lack of space.

Because the resort has merged its Theatre with its Showroom, it has less space for conventions.

This means if there is a theatre show such as the Boy from Oz is running, conventions miss out. After the expansion, conventions will be able to be held at the same time as theatre shows.

Burswood public relations manager Julie Cameron said the resort was chasing the 500 to 1,000 delegate market.

“We won’t be going into competition with the PCEC,” Ms Cameron said.

“We hope to complement each other. We’re trying to make sure our marketing complements their’s, although there will be times when we’re both booked out.”

Perth Convention Bureau managing director Owen Cook said he was pleased Burswood was proceeding with its redevelopment.

“The majority of conventions that total up to 400 delegates prefer to have their facilities all under the one roof,” Mr Cook said.

A recent Australian survey found 34 per cent of the country’s convention market was for meetings with 400 delegates.

Mr Cook said it was a different matter when conventions had more than 500 delegates.

“It’s a matter of where Burswood positions itself,” he said.

Mr Cook said the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre would still benefit the casino because 41 per cent of delegates will visit a casino.

“Even if they don’t necessarily house the conference booking, Burswood will still benefit.

“The yield for Burswood is on the casino tables rather than in conventions.”

In fact, when the WA Government was considering funding a convention centre, several operators approached it saying they would build the centre to whatever size and specifications the Government decided – for free.

However, the Government had to give the convention centre operator a casino licence.

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