Brisbane accommodation booked out for G20 Summit

The Courier-Mail, Brisbane’s leading newspaper, reports on October 3, 2013, on the move to secure the best hotels and apartments for the 2014 G20 Leaders Summit. You can read the original article here:

BRISBANE hotels have been booked out for next year’s G20 summit – with organisers signing lucrative deals locking up everything from entire five-star highrises to a 38-room, $130-a-night motel on Kingsford Smith Drive.

More than 50 hotels have signed deals with the Government to host the leaders of the world’s biggest 20 economies, and their entourages.

With fewer than 10,000 hotel rooms in Brisbane, government tender documents reveal G20 officials have had to scour every corner of the city – extending their scope to Chermside in Brisbane’s north – for accommodation in November 2014.

More on the Brisbane G20 and Griffith University

A handful of high-end hotels – including the Stamford Plaza, the Treasury Brisbane, and the Sofitel – have pulled off the coup of being booked for “sole use” accommodation during the summit.

They are expected to host leaders including US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

But dozens of other hotels, motels, and serviced apartments have also signed lucrative bookings deals with organisers more than 12 months before the meeting.

The five-star Sofitel Hotel has pulled off the biggest deal – a $2.61 million “sole use” contract for one delegation. But even the Kingsford Smith Motel at Hamilton has won $40,000 in bookings.

About 4000 delegates are expected to jet in for the talkfest on November 15-16 next year. Queensland Tourism Industry Council boss Daniel Gschwind said the event presented Brisbane with a rare opportunity to put out the full-house sign.

With fewer than 10,000 hotel rooms, Brisbane has a long history of bed shortages. That has meant G20 officials have had to scour every corner of the city, from five-star resorts to bargain-basement motels.

Government tender documents reveal the upscale Sofitel has secured the most lucrative contract.

The documents, released by AusTender, also reveal the Stamford Plaza will receive $1.6 million. The upscale hotel is the most likely venue for the US delegation.

The $4000-a-night Stamford Suite 11 years ago hosted the Queen and features a baby grand piano and designer artwork.

The Marriott’s deal is just shy of $1.4 million, while the Hotel Pullman in King George Square will be paid $1.57 million for its role in accommodating world leaders.

The Hilton will be paid $1.43 million, Rydges South Bank $1.42 million, and the Royal on the Park $841,000.

Organisers have also booked a raft of rooms at the Mantra ($129,000) and Oaks on Felix ($655,000), as well as serviced apartments at Spring Hill (such as the Quest Apartments, for $31,000) and Chermside (the Essence Apartments, for $28,000). Also in on the act are boutique hotel blocks such as the Emporium in the Valley ($28,000).

At Hamilton, management of the Kingsford Smith Motel had several meetings with G20 officials, who have now secured a $39,000 contract for 26 rooms spread across two weeks next November.

While Mr Obama is likely to stay in one of Brisbane’s five-star options, manager John Burden said the Kingsford Smith would be pretty tempting for the leader of the free world.

“We’ve got tea and coffee facilities in the rooms,” Mr Burden said. “It’s a short walk to some magnificent restaurants and we’re very close to the CityCat so he can go for a ferry ride across the river.”

G20 member countries are responsible for meeting the cost of accommodation for their delegations. Taxpayers will foot a $370 million bill for the event.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott will host the gathering, which will see the CBD turned into a virtual fortress.