Room hire a bit rich

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - FEEDBACK -

ONCE upon a time Port Dou­glas was a thriv­ing tourist lo­ca­tion with the rich, the fa­mous and the spend-free hap­pily do­nat­ing their money to the lo­cal econ­omy.

These days Port Dou­glas could be con­sid­ered noth­ing more than a beach­side sub­urb of Cairns Re­gional Coun­cil and be­com­ing more so a des­ti­na­tion of the thrift and bud­get-hunt­ing tourist.

Busi­nesses are drop­ping like never be­fore and more and more you hear about how tough they are do­ing it as no one is spend­ing.

Ac­com­mo­da­tion venues are drop­ping room rates to the low­est pos­si­ble price try­ing to lure the tourist dol­lar in to the stricken town. Un­for­tu­nately the same can­not be said for the un­sus­pect­ing lo­cal who wishes to hold a func­tion.

Try­ing to or­gan­ise a pri­vate re­cep­tion has be­come a sim­ple night­mare to the point that we are now con­sid­er­ing hav­ing our func­tion in ei­ther our home or in Cairns to es­cape the ex­tor­tion of over­priced venues and/or drink prices charged in this town. Surely gross turnover rather than gross profit has to count in this fi­nan­cial cli­mate, es­pe­cially as one could be util­is­ing an empty room.

To this point, one venue ad­vised us there would be a 10 per cent ex­tra charge if it was a cash bar for the in­con­ve­nience. This brought the price of a soft drink to over $6 a glass and a lo­cal beer to near on $9 each. One stubby at Dan Mur­phies $1.60, an 80 per cent mark up on top of a $1250 room hire.

An­other venue of­fered drinks at $30 per hour per per­son also on top of room hire. An­other venue $1100 room hire plus drinks also at high mar­gins plus the cost for ta­bles, chairs, table­cloths etc.

One other venue never even called back - it’s now three months. Se­ri­ously, if you’re all that hard up for busi­ness try walk­ing in the shoes of the com­mon wage earner and re­assess your venue charges.

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