Gloom no bar to Stamford plans

DESPITE the gloomy outlook for the Perth hotel sector, which industry pundits say cannot sustain another five star hotel development, Stamford Property Services project manager Anthony Ryce insists that the Stamford Hotel project is going ahead.

Located behind the Woodside Building on 899 to 927 Hay Street, the proposed Stamford development, which includes 235 rooms, a gym, restaurant, three function rooms and a swimming pool, appears to be at a stand still.

Apart from initial foundation work conducted in 2001, it does not appear that any further progress has occurred on the Knoxville Group Ltd owned site.

Knoxville is part of the listed Stamford Land Corporation (formerly Hai Sun Hup) that also includes the Stamford Hotels & Resorts Group.

Beyond stating that the project was going ahead and rumours that other developments were being looked at were incorrect, Mr Ryce had no further comment.

Since the Perth hotel market peaked in 1996 the industry has been reeling from a rash of calamities including the Asian economic downturn, the Ansett collapse, September 11 and the war in Iraq. The fallout from the current SARS crisis is still yet to be felt.

Hotel & Leisure Advisory managing director Alan Boys said on top of these factors the Perth hotel market was particularly tough because of a discounting war.

He said endemic discounting was undermining the industry and had been shown to do little to increase net overall gain. 

“Perth hotel rates are at half what they need to be to justify a stand-alone new hotel development,” Mr Boys said.

Colliers International research manager David Cresp said the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre would help attract more visitors to the city when completed, however, that alone would not improve the hotel market.

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