Rev­ellers book out ho­tels

Par­ty­go­ers do sen­si­ble thing for New Year’s Eve

Townsville Bulletin - - News - By JADE KET­TLE

AC­COM­MO­DA­TION is scarce in the twin cities this New Year’s Eve, with many hote­liers re­port­ing ca­pac­ity book­ings for the night of cel­e­bra­tions.

Mag­netic Is­land’s new­est $90 mil­lion re­sort Mantra One Bright Point opened its doors just in time to wel­come the in­flux of rev­ellers for the New Year.

Meri­dien chief ex­ec­u­tive War­wick Bi­ble said he was happy with the level of in­ter­est in the re­sort de­spite hav­ing been open for mere days.

‘‘We are thrilled with the strength of early book­ings and en­cour­aged to learn that the ma­jor­ity of th­ese book­ings are from Townsville res­i­dents, many of whom are dis­cov­er­ing the is­land par­adise that’s right on their doorstep,’’ he said.

Older fam­ily favourites are not be­ing forgotten, with Aquar­ius on The Strand fully booked for New Year’s Eve, hav­ing re­ceived in­quiries all year round.

‘‘We have had a large num­ber of book­ings from over­seas, tourists from Eng­land and Ger­many, as well as a lot of lo­cals,’’ spokes­woman Kerry Day said. ‘‘ A lot of peo­ple go straight for the bal­cony rooms, so peo­ple can watch the fire­works on The Strand,’’ she said.

Also re­fresh­ing was the num­ber of lo­cals do­ing the sen­si­ble thing and stay­ing close to cel­e­bra­tions in­stead of driv­ing home.

‘‘We have a min­i­mum two-night stay, so many of the par­ty­go­ers will be check­ing out on the sec­ond of Jan­uary, giv­ing them plenty of time to re­cover from cel­e­bra­tions be­fore head­ing home,’’ Ms Day said.

Mag­netic Is­land In­ter­na­tional Re­sort gen­eral man­ager Bill McGrath agreed, say­ing the big New Year’s Eve party at X-Base and fire­works on the beach at Horse­shoe Bay at­tracted some of the rev­ellers stay­ing at the re­sort.

‘‘We do have full po­lice fa­cil­i­ties over here, peo­ple can get breathal­ysed and can get caught out, so the smart thing to do is stay nearby and use pub­lic trans­port,’’ Mr McGrath said.

Mr McGrath said so far the re­sort had re­ceived a rel­a­tively even num­ber of do­mes­tic tourists and lo­cal book­ings, with ap­prox­i­mately 10 per cent in­ter­na­tional vis­i­tors.

‘‘We’re not to­tally booked out for New Year’s Eve yet, but we usu­ally get a late in­flux of peo­ple around Christ­mas who make or change their hol­i­day plans,’’ he said.

Golden Chain group di­rec­tor David Kel­lie said last-minute News Year’s Eve book­ings were typ­i­cal for the re­gion, par­tic­u­larly for smaller, less con­spic­u­ous ho­tels.

Mr Kel­lie said the Golden Chain Group, re­spon­si­ble lo­cally for the Sum­mit and Ridge­mont Ex­ec­u­tive ho­tels in the city, the Beach House on The Strand and the Bil­l­abong Mo­tel in Rosslea catered for a di­verse range of clien­tele, and had book­ings avail­able for most of its prop­er­ties.

Hol­i­day Inn gen­eral man­ager Dean Palmer said there were plenty of rooms avail­able at the inn for New Year’s Eve, with ap­prox­i­mately 50 per cent of rooms al­ready booked.

Photo:EVANMORGANGMB71394

POP­U­LAR HAUNT . . . Sum­mit Mo­tel pro­pri­etor David book­ings are look­ing good for New Year’s Eve

Kel­lie says

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