Construction of the Hunter Valleyâ€™s first conference centre and an on-site brewery and distillery headline a host of major enhancements for Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, which InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will continue to manage after signing a new 10-year agreement with owner, Schwartz Family Company.
More than AU$5.5 million is set to be invested into Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley with all upgrades are due to be completed by the end of 2014.
Construction of the AU$4 million Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley conference centre has received significant Government support, with the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism granting AU$250,000. With the conference centre will come an upgrade to the existing exhibition space at the hotel, installation of a new large-scale commercial kitchen and establishment of a permanent marquee on the grounds.
Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley will also become the centre of operations for the Schwartz Familyâ€™s Sydney Brewing Company, with a 300 square metre brewery, micro distillery and cellar door due to be established as part of the hotelâ€™s main complex. Within the next two years a larger, purpose- built craft brewery and distillery will be established on 41 hectares of newly-acquired adjacent land. Other enhancements to be made include a soft refurbishment of Crowne Plaza Hunter Valleyâ€™s 150 hotel rooms and 169 two and three bedroom villas, improvements to the hotelâ€™s 18-hole golf course, expansion of the kidâ€™s club (which has already received a childrenâ€™s train and 22-horse carousel), an extension of the hotelâ€™s Grapevine Bar and Restaurant, and new energy and water consumption infrastructure.
Bill Edwards, head of operations, IHG Australasia said the company was delighted to extend their management agreement for Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, and said the team was eagerly anticipating the upgrade of the hotel which draws the majority of its visitors from Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.
â€œThe Hunter Valley region is focusing on increasing its share of corporate, meetings and leisure business; so the timing couldnâ€™t be better to undertake this sort of upgrade to Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. The team are looking forward to the new and improved hotel facilities that guests will be able to enjoyâ€ he said.
Schwartz Family Company Director, Dr Jerry Schwartz said about the announcement, â€œWe have an enormous opportunity to build on whatâ€™s already been achieved at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, and establish it as one of the most popular leisure and conferencing resorts in the country.
â€œIHG has managed this hotel very successfully since it opened in 2006, and is unquestionably the best partner to help us realise our long-term plans for this facility,â€ Schwartz said.