By James Wilkinson in Melbourne
Victorian Tourism Minister Tim Holding has officially opened the new $33 million Crown Conference Centre in Melbourne, further boosting the city’s business events infrastructure.
Holding jointly opened the centre with Crown’s Chief Executive Officer David Courtney yesterday (Feb 3) and said the purpose-built hotel convention centre well and truly pushes Melbourne ahead of Sydney for MICE facilities.
“Melbourne has the greatest share of the lucrative business events industry in Australia and we are now ranked alongside some of the world’s top convention cities including Beijing, Singapore and Dubai,” Holding said.
“This is a great addition to Melbourne’s tourism infrastructure and further boosts our competitive edge to attract business events and conferences.
“Crown’s ongoing investment in tourism infrastructure shows the confidence the private sector has in Melbourne as a world-class tourist destination,” he said.
The original Crown Conference Centre caters for large residential conferences, meetings, product launches and exhibitions, while the centre’s extension means Crown can now cater for conferences up to 840 delegates with 20 concurrent rooms, all on one site.
“This major investment by Crown is a demonstration of our confidence in Melbourne as an international tourist destination and host city for world-class conference and exhibitions,” Courtney said.
“To date, more than 30 conferences and over 100 meetings have been booked for the first 6 months of operation, which has exceeded our expectations.
“By the end of 2010, we expect that over 50,000 delegates will have been guests of this impressive new centre,” Courtney said.
In perfect timing, the opening of the Crown Conference Centre comes just six weeks before the city’s newest hotel, Crown Metropol, opens for business.
“With the new Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre and the Crown Conference Centre, three hotels here at Crown with over 1,600 rooms, a precinct with the very best in restaurants, bars and entertainment – Melbourne has a compelling offer to both the national and international meetings market… it is an offer that is hard to beat,” Courtney said.
The main Crown Conference Hall’s operable walls mean it can to host up to 840 delegates seated theatre-style and provides the option of using up to 19 concurrent rooms all located on a single floor.