‘What Owners Want’: Hotels Director, Steve Skarott talks innovation and a focus on domestic leisure at AHICE 2020

In a room ‘permeated by a sense of optimism’ on Day 1 at the 2020 Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE) in Sydney, Australia, Salter Brothers Director of Hotels, Steve Skarott joined a panel discussion on the topic of ‘What Owners Want.’ 

Moderated by Nigel Greenaway, Colliers International Director of Hotels, the panel discussion centred around hotel brands needing to add value to their offering during these challenging times rather than ‘chase occupancies by lowering rates to unsustainable and damaging levels’.

So, how is Salter Brothers responding to the challenge with its 7 hotels across the eastern seaboard of Australia?  


A focus on Technology & Innovation

Technology and innovation are at the core of the Salter Brothers Group culture, values and operations.

On the Panel when asked ‘how hotels can avoid adding to their cost base during a period of low occupancy’, Steve’s reply centred around technology and innovation, saying “I’ve seen a lot of innovation in other sectors, particularly restaurants and fast food retailers and as hoteliers, we need to look at the opportunities out there and put it into practice.  Customers are a lot more comfortable using technology. We have to embrace that, push for change, set new benchmarks, deliver services differently and in a way our customers are seeking.”

Skarott said “the COVID crisis has driven the Hotels team at Salter Brothers to not only remove costs from the hotel operations but also think about how we can deliver services and product differently in the future, while operating at profit margins similar or better than before, on lower revenues. For us, it’s about driving innovation, both in technology and service delivery”.

Across the Portfolio, the Group is introducing automation and self-service, and for many modern day guests these innovations are well received and most often preferred over traditional models.  One such example of this is the new and innovative technology platform offered by AirService, an investee company of Salter Brothers Private Equity Fund.  AirService’s Guest Experience Tablet (GET) is revolutionising the food and beverage experience for hotel guests who are travelling for work and leisure and want the digital convenience and flexibility to order what they want, from their hospitality venue of choice, and at their leisure.

“Opening up new opportunities for guests to experience food, wine and customer service offerings from the comfort of their own rooms, is a key driver for the future traveller and one that Salter Brothers is focused on delivering through technology and service”, said Steve.


A focus on the Domestic Leisure Market

The newly refurbished Shutters Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Coogee

Approximately 76% of Salter Brothers Hotel Group guests in CY2019 were Australian and New Zealand residents, reflecting the domestic focus of the hotels in the portfolio.  Given this and the expectation that domestic travel and business activities are driving demand as part of a new ‘Covid-normal’, the Group is well placed to capture this domestic demand quickly.

As part of the Panel discussion, Steve Skarott spoke of revenue recovery plans and the development of additional product shelf to attract domestic leisure for city escapes and beachside retreats, and also the establishment of new distribution partners to gain greater access to leisure consumers.

“The restaurants and bars of our recently refurbished Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach and Crowne Plaza Melbourne Hotels have been redeveloped and reimagined. Under the leadership of Matthew Butcher, Salter Brothers Head of Restaurants and Bars, the new food and beverage offerings across these hotels are on-trend, representative of a diverse range of globally inspired food and beverage styles and experiences, and most of all, destinations in their own right. When combined with our recently refurbished hotel products, a great leisure experience can be explored and enjoyed”, said Steve.

With many more Australians now having to holiday at home, the Salter Brothers portfolio of hotels is poised for the recovery, with value-added offerings the focus for our Hotel teams in the year ahead.

Read more about Salter Brothers Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach and Crowne Plaza Melbourne refurbishments, and also how Shutters Restaurant at Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach was recognised last week with a Gold Award for Interior Design at the Sydney Design Awards.

Shutters Restaurant, Coogee Beach wins Gold Award for outstanding Interior Design

Salter Brothers Shutters Restaurant, Coogee Beach is proud to have been recognised today by Sydney Design Awards 2020 with a Gold Award for Interior Design – Hospitality – Eat & Drink.

The award which celebrates innovative and creative building interiors where people eat and drink, is due recognition for the outstanding design by AZBcreative, an international full service design agency in Sydney and partner to Salter Brothers, in the recently completed $28million refurbishment of its Crowne Plaza Hotel, Coogee Beach.

Shutters comprises a lobby bar, main dining room with open kitchen, and a shuttered patio opening to Coogee Beach.

In designing the space, the brief from Salter Brothers’ Tina Schober, Director of Development and Matthew Butcher, Head of Restaurants & Bars, was to create a multi-use site complete with breakfast dining room that is closed off for lunch trade and then reopened for dinner, cocktail and bar service. With this brief, AZBcreative undertook to design three distinct enclaves, creating an environment that is luxurious and comfortable, able to be scaled throughout the day while remaining visually beautiful, with the view of the ocean paramount.

Thrilled to receive the award today, Salter Brothers Managing Director Paul Salter said ‘Shutters is an outstanding venue and we’re pleased to see the design work by AZBcreative recognised.  I’d also like to recognise our team who worked closely with AZBcreative, Tina Schober, Matthew Butcher and Steven Skarott, Director Hotels for their work in ensuring this venue, together with our Estate venue, also housed at our newly refurbished Crowne Plaza Hotel Coogee Beach, deliver the exceptional experience sought by hotel and restaurant guests in this growing domestic leisure and tourism market of Coogee Beach, Sydney”. 

Shutters is one of five hospitality venues opened by Salter Brothers in 2020 across its Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach and Crowne Plaza Melbourne Hotels, demonstrating the Group’s capability to develop, manage and operate restaurants and bars as part of its Hotel & Hospitality Funds Management offering.


Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach and Shutters Restaurant shortlisted for Eat Drink Design Awards 2020

Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach and Shutters Restaurant have also been shortlisted this month as finalists for Best Hotel & Best Restaurant at the Eat Drink Design Awards 2020.

Endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Design Institute of Australia, the Eat Drink Design Awards to be awarded in November 2020, support innovation and excellence in the design of hospitality premises of all scales and types. The Best Hotel Design award recognises achievement in the design of an accommodation premises where eating and drinking are integral to the experience, and the Best Restaurant Design Award recognises achievement in the design of a restaurant / establishment that provides a dining experience.

Private Equity Investee, DisplaySweet’s Co-CEO talks innovation for residential property buyers.

Salter Brothers Private Equity Fund made an investment in PropTech company, DisplaySweet in 2019. Co-CEO, John Paige talks here about DisplaySweet’s competitive edge in the real estate market and how during a challenging 2020, the company has pivoted to launch its new online platform, OpenPlans which is delivering further innovation for developers to enhance their residential property buyers’ journey.


Tell us a little about your background prior to starting DisplaySweet.

Until I was 25, my life revolved around music. I was a bass player in a rock band but with a little nudging from my wife, I decided to settle down and ventured into the property industry. I got started as a sales assistant at Hocking Stuart (now Belle Property) in 2008, working mostly on resales but after working on a few developments I decided to move directly into development and went to Caydon Property Group to manage their project marketing.

How many years were you in real estate?

It’s been over 12 years now.

Did you always have a desire to start your own company? Or was there an ‘aha moment’ where you decided to go out and do it differently?

Establishing my own company was never my main motivation, I was always more interested in making a significant difference to the property industry. The reality is to disrupt any industry is a high-risk venture and I didn’t see any other way of doing this effectively other than by going out on my own.

Where did the inspiration come from for DisplaySweet? How did you recognise the need in the market?

I am obsessed with creating the perfect buyer experience and sales tool. I have spent hundreds if not thousands of hours talking with sales consultants, agents and buyers, I have lost countless weekends secret shopping every display I could and have attended numerous  property investment seminars. Back when I was working at the property developer, one rainy Saturday, I was with an investment group and I came across a display Steve (Steven Mieszelewicz, DisplaySweet Co-CEO) and his interactive art agency had created. It was a drastically different experience and I immediately knew that leveraging technology to enhance the customer experience provided a solution to the problem I was looking to solve. I went on to work with Steve on two projects and in 2014 we decided if we could somehow productize the concept it could transform the industry and DisplaySweet was created.

Tell us a little about DisplaySweet, what you do, what your point of difference is in the market?

We create interactive solutions for property developers that enhance the customer experience. Our DisplaySweet platform is used to create immersive technology from touchscreens through to fully life-scale projection rooms that enable buyers to experience their new property in a tangible and engaging way, as if they  were standing in it.

Tell us a little about your unique offering and why everyone (particularly larger real estate agents and developers who have the capacity) aren’t doing it?

We service one in seven of all apartment developers in Australia as well as many of the leading land and house and new estate developers. Until recently our team reached capacity and we were unable to service any more clients. It was a good problem to have and meant we had relied on repeat business and word of mouth for new business rather than traditional marketing methods.  We recently finished rebuilding a scalable version of our platform and are about to commence our first-ever marketing campaign to reach and educate those developers not yet using us. It’s a really exciting new phase and has already allowed us to expand into new markets such as the UK.

How did you go about the product development, who was involved?

Initially, we spent months designing the product and figuring out what exactly it was. Since then feedback from clients and buyers has been integral in us continually iterating. This has made us flexible and responsive in a fast-moving market.  Most importantly, we’re proactive in the development of new enhancements and improving our services; our approach is to imagine what the world will look like in the future and build for that now.

What has been the response from the market to your core product since you launched it in 2014?

When we first went to market it was really difficult, very few people believed  they needed to do things differently. But, over time, the reported conversion rates from clients who used our platform were so phenomenal that word-of-mouth spread and sales consultants  who used it with great success started telling the next developer they were working with about the exceptional results they had achieved. These agents became advocates, urging new clients that they had to use DisplaySweet and it kept growing.

It’s been a year since the Salter Brothers investment. What has the investment allowed you to do?

The investment from Salter Brothers allowed us to rebuild our entire platform and fast-track the release of a new end-to-end web-based digital product, OpenPlans, to further service our clients.

Tell us about OpenPlans; how you saw the need for this originally and now with the COVID-19 pandemic, how it has been the necessary and perfectly timed pivot for you and for the industry?

The original plan was to release OpenPlans in September. DisplaySweet enhances the customer experience in the display environment but the moment a buyer leaves the display their experience reverts back to a traditional method involving emails and PDFs. We saw an opportunity to make that at-home experience engaging while enabling sales consultants to present to buyers remotely, from anywhere in the world. It was a natural extension for us and naturally, due to the current lock-down environment we took the opportunity to fast-track OpenPlans to market.

Speed to market is critical with new products and you seemed to have got this right with OpenPlans. Tell us a little about what you believe is the key differentiator of the product. Is it about the product itself? Or is it about the DisplaySweet team? Or time to market? Or all of the above?

Technically speaking, our incredible real-time 3D digital building models which allows near-instant rendering is a big differentiator. With OpenPlans buyers can load high-quality buildings, masterplans and properties instantly online. This capability means developers can showcase their products around the clock in a timely and efficient manner. It reduces the risk of losing a buyer due to a connection or product misunderstanding. But more holistically speaking, I think it’s an excellent example of  how deep our understanding is of our market niche and our vision. This is not a quick fix in response to current market conditions, this is part of our long-term growth and aligns with our vision of creating the perfect platform for selling new developments.

So now you have a company with 2 core products for the real estate development market. How will your customers benefit from both products, particularly post-pandemic?

The market is moving very fast and there’s been near constant change since March. At the beginning of the pandemic we had a lot of clients purely interested in buying OpenPlans as soon as we launched but since May we have found an uptake in existing clients taking up both DisplaySweet and OpenPlans. Developers of house and land estates and new apartment projects  know that displays will re-open and see the value of a buyer walking into a sales gallery, having a wonderful experience that can be extended into the home. Plus the practical benefits of using OpenPlans to sell interstate and overseas in an engaging way is emerging as a very real benefit. 

Is there anything you’re seeing in the current pandemic environment and the impact it’s having on the real estate / property development industry that you’re particularly excited about?

Putting aside the heart-breaking health consequences of the pandemic, I am excited to see how quickly our industry adapted and transformed. In times of crisis like now, patterns of behaviour that block more productive ways of doing things get removed and opportunities present themselves. I always believed we’d move towards a more online model, but our current environment has fast-tracked the evolution of selling new developments and it will remain permanently more online. That’s exciting.

How big a role do your customers play in your strategy and product development? What are they looking for at this time?

Property developers are always looking to sell faster and provide a greater customer experience. That simple reality is an easy way to keep strategy and product development aligned. In this climate, sales cycles will increase for a lot of developments and by focusing on improving the customer experience for buyers to positively influence the closing of more sales is going to be front of mind for every developer.

What’s ahead for the future? More complimentary products for the DisplaySweet portfolio and real estate development customers? An expansion to new markets?

Over the next 24 months we will be expanding our service offering and geographic footprint. We believe we haven’t even scratched the surface in what we can do for this industry, it’s going to be a very exciting time, this really is just the beginning.


OpenPlans by DisplaySweet now available at
Everlea Keysborough

Salter Brothers proudly introduced OpenPlans by DisplaySweet last week for our residential townhouse development, Everlea Keysborough.

Recognising that home property buyers currently have more time at home and online, this new innovative VIP platform quickly shows prospective buyers the detail around our Everlea townhouse development, all in one place. 

With an interactive 3D masterplan, zoom-able floor plans, detailed property information and a Keysborough suburb report, buyers can further explore the Everlea development via the VIP site – giving them even more confidence in their prospective home purchase.

www.everleatownhouses.com.au

Innovative Events & Conferences at Crowne Plaza Coogee


As the hotels across our Australian portfolio remain open through the current lockdown, the IHG management and staff at Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Hotel have been innovative and forward thinking in positioning the newly refurbished hotel for ‘social distance friendly’ events, meetings and conferences. 

From hosting micro weddings which make the most of the hotel’s new world class restaurant and bar spaces, and views across to magnificent Coogee beach, to positioning for ‘social distance friendly’ conferences and meetings which make use of new state of the art content sharing technology, the hotel is positioning to recover strongly as restrictions ease and domestic travel opens up.  

Well done to Gareth Long and his team at Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach for featuring in the media extensively over the past week, driving awareness and demand for the hotel’s domestic tourism, business travel and conventions markets.


As seen on-line

CIM Business Events

Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach offers tech solution for social distancing requirements


Financial review

Financial review – Saying ‘I do’ in the time of coronavirus


The Hotel Conversation

Crowne Plaza introduces ‘Covid-proof’ technology for meetings


Crowne Plaza Melbourne
Stage 2 Refurbishment Unveiled

Following the $25 million Stage 1 transformation of Crowne Plaza Melbourne’s 402 guestrooms completed in November 2018, Salter Brothers proudly unveils its Stage 2 refurbishment this quarter, opening 6 inspiring multi-purpose conference and event spaces, 3 new globally inspired restaurants and bars, and a stunning new arrival experience.  

Bringing business class to a new level, Tina Schober, Salter Brothers’ Director of Development said “the fully refurbished venue is now much more than a hotel, it is a destination. Situated right on the Yarra River within walking distance to the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, with public transport right on its door step and only 25 minutes from Melbourne International Airport, the vision to turn this asset into not only one of the city’s most enviable hotels for business and leisure travellers, but also a destination for conferences, events and functions, has been realised”.  

Here we feature the elements of the Stage 2 refurbishment which together deliver on the philosophy of ‘work, restore, inspire’ at every level.


Conferences & Events 

Pearl Riverfront is the transformation of a multi-functional conference and events centre that will delight delegates; with the flexibility of 6 multipurpose spaces overlooking the Yarra River. With an abundance of natural light and state of the art audio visual capabilities, the design delivers on all core conference and event needs, together with the capacity to deliver a diverse culinary offering.

An expansive pre-function lounge and beverage bar area connects to the 400 person capacity banqueting space, opening up the entire floor to host approximately 750 guests for a cocktail reception.

Versatile event rooms have also been re-designed to provide greater flexibility and increased capacity. 

In addition to the refurbishment of our existing function floor, additional social and focused workspaces, and a further four exclusive meeting rooms and boardrooms on level 3, have been created to align with our ‘New Modern’ feel, by incorporating bold layers of timber, stone, metal and glass.

Fully equipped with a fireplace, contemporary furniture and food & beverage tablet technology, it provides the perfect place for professionals to hold meetings, co-working sessions and social gatherings.   

An extensive culinary offering includes providing delegates with options to experience modern curated cuisine, with a combination of tastes that is new to Melbourne’s food culture from our exquisitely designed and globally inspired restaurant and bar venues

Throughout the entirety of this new space, Crowne Plaza Melbourne embraces its iconic view of Melbourne’s sprawling city skyline. Whether guests are using it for corporate or personal needs, it offers the ultimate backdrop for anyone who chooses to host their event or function in this newly-created space. 

Guestrooms & Suites

With 30 new guestrooms to be added by end July 2020 as part of the Stage 2 refurbishment, the hotel’s 432 newly transformed guestrooms and suites provide an aspirational style that delivers a sense of personality, quality and warmth; bright and inspiring accents complement the neutral and calming tones, in a design that is purposeful and contemporary, and provides the perfect place to retreat and relax after a day of meetings.  

Modern bathrooms, walk in showers, premium bedding, designer furnishings and commissioned artwork are a standard.  

The hotel’s City View rooms also boast spacious walk-in wardrobes and sleek workstations; while the hotel’s Luxury suites feature additional deep bathtubs and sweeping views of the Yarra River and Melbourne city skyline, providing a home away from home and the perfect balance for blending work and leisure.

Restaurants and Bars

Salter Brothers’ new Restaurants and Bars Team under Executive Chef and Creative Director, Matthew Butcher, has achieved an outstanding result with the three new restaurants and bars, each bearing a unique and distinctive experiential quality. From the interior design to the menus, Butcher said “we are trying to excite people, create trends, and make the experience not only a standout for hotel guests, but also for the Melbourne community”. 

Yugo brings together the best of new world Japanese cuisine with the tradition of French cooking; the interior design combines teal blues with brass and bronze accents, black and white striped patterns and monolithic terrazzo flooring, bringing a ‘beach life meets city’ feel. The space has been created to be free flowing, interactive and focused on the main entertainment – the kitchen. A spectacle in the centre of the restaurant is the Private Dining Room – a glass box inspired by late-night viewings of the crime drama series, Lie to Me.  The four glass walls have been installed with instant frosting technology for a unique full private dining experience at the quick switch of a button.

Dive Bar evokes the old-school dive bar feel of New York’s East Village. Layered with neon and street art, and a touch of glitz, incorporating a fluorescent pink pool table and a juke box to control the mood. A lot of personality has been thrown at the specially curated drinks menu. 

Pow Wow is slang for a conference, meeting or discussion amongst friends or colleagues and the space which is fresh and bright, with a relaxed and cosy vibe is the perfect go-to café and co-working space.. Self-sufficient and eco-friendly with no kitchen and no chefs, Pow Wow offers a grab-and-go lunch bar where guests are in the comfort of their living room. Exceptional coffee and convenient service are Pow Wow’s drawcard for the white collared workers in the surrounding CBD towers. 

Pool

To complete the refurbishment, the pool will be upgraded by end July 2020, building on the leisure aspect of the hotel. Pool side cabanas will be added and the pool depth reduced, making it suitable for children joining parents on work trips to make the most of the work and leisure experience this hotel so perfectly delivers.  

Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach
Stage 1 Refurbishment Complete

Salter Brothers proudly unveiled its new-look Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach Hotel in early March 2020, following the completion of Stage 1 of its multi-million-dollar refurbishment. 

Leading the refurbishment, Tina Schober, Salter Brothers’ Director of Development, said “the refurbishment brings to life the company’s vision to add value to this high quality underlying asset, an iconic Sydney property, perfectly located across the road from one of the city’s most beautiful beaches and coastal destinations”. 

Phase 1 included half of the 209 guest rooms re-imagined with a fresh, new look, reflective of the hotel’s beachside location and a complete re-fit of all the bathrooms.  It also put the hotel firmly back on the business radar with a new purpose-built events centre, with 10 new flexible meetings spaces, state-of-the-art technology and new group event dining concepts and menus.  

Tina added that “with 13 event spaces in total, including our new and exciting restaurant concepts open and available for events, and the introduction of our own dedicated Restaurants & Bars Team, the hotel further cements its position as the place to stay, meet and dine in Coogee”.


Here we share the key features of our Stage 1 Refurbishment.

Lobby, Studio, Meetings & Events Centre

The arrival experience is welcoming with spaces that include a light filled lobby, studio and meeting/function spaces which have all been designed to feel part of Coogee’s coastal vibe, with a strong connection to the Coogee beach front.  Using natural finishes and fresh colour schemes that complement the beach, surf and sky palette, the coastal mood and ambience also flows through to the restaurants and open spaces. 

The flexible Meetings and Event spaces are connected to the lobby via the feature staircase and light filled pre-function spaces link the function rooms with ‘the Terrace’, an open air, casual space for drinks and dining. All of the 10 meeting spaces have been refreshed and modernised with upgraded technology and are ideal for corporate business meetings, executive board meetings, social events, private dinners or cocktail functions, up to 400 guests.

Guestrooms

The guestroom design epitomises seaside chic, with a subtle colour palette that complements the blue hues of the beachside surrounds, and optimises ocean views. All rooms have been fitted out with premium bedding, carpet and curtains, and a fresh new bathroom re-fit.

Dining

In an exciting move for the Salter Brothers Hotel Group in 2020, the commencement of our dedicated Restaurants and Bars team brings a fresh new approach to operating restaurants and bars in hotels in Australia, and has seen the launch of destination restaurant concepts being created at Coogee. Headed up by the extremely talented Executive Chef, Matthew Butcher (who has worked with Shannon Bennett (Vue de Monde) and Gordon Ramsay), the new and innovative hospitality concepts provide on–trend experiences for our hotel guests and local communities, and distinguish our hotels from competitors. 

At Coogee, light and bright is the best way to describe the new-look Shutters Restaurant and Bar, located off the lobby, which has been dressed in beachside blue greens while pastel aqua booths reference Miami style lounge bars beneath umbrella trees, palms and yuccas.  An all-day dining menu encourages leisurely lunches at Shutters, along with a smartly curated wine selection from Australia, Italy and France.

In addition to Shutters, Estate offers three new dining venues;  Terrace is an open-air casual kiosk style diner for beach-lovers, all tropical palms and bean-bag seating; Kitchen is a formal restaurant offering seafood specialities; while Taqueria, is a Margarita bar and Mexican-style cantina. To add a bit of drama, hidden within the hotel is Confessional, a private karaoke hideaway reserved for late night renditions.

Stage 2

The second stage of the refurbishment, also set to be implemented with lead partner from Stage 1, Schiavello Construction, is set for completion in time for Summer 2020.  Stage 2 will include the remaining guest rooms, the hotel exterior and a new infinity edge pool and pool club on the deck, with unmatched 180 degree views over the Pacific Ocean.

Salter Brothers Hotel Group featured in HM’s Industry Leaders Forum


Salter Brothers were pleased to be invited to be part of the HM Magazine 2020 Industry Leaders Forum, published in February/March 2020.


Leading Owners 2020

Salter Brothers is one of Australia’s leading investment managers in the hospitality sector. Following another successful capital raise in the second quarter of 2019, we settled on our 7th asset acquisition in our Australian hotel fund, Next Hotel Brisbane, which saw our fund achieve circa $1 billion in asset value – a fantastic milestone. We also completed our refurbishment and relaunch of the voco hotel Gold Coast in early 2019 and substantially completed major redevelopments and refurbishments of both Crowne Plaza Melbourne and Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach.

Leading our hotel relaunch activity for 2020 is Crowne Plaza Melbourne. We will relaunch this riverfront hotel to the market in June with an additional 40 guestrooms and a new dedicated focus placed on attracting events, conferences, meetings and exhibitions to utilise a variety of new spaces, following the completion of its multimillion–dollar redesign. The hotel has been redeveloped to now include a purpose–built events centre, 10 new flexible meeting spaces and new event dining concepts, with all 430 guest rooms also having been renovated. With a new–look lobby and arrival experience and informal and formal co–working spaces which can be booked by the hour or the day for private meetings, workshops or dining, our new offering aims to capture the evolving trends of our customers.

This story is also very similar for our Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach hotel which will be relaunched in two phases; 1st March with most facilities available and then finally on 1st October, with the new infinity edge pool and pool club with unmatched 180 degree views over the Pacific Ocean.

Also new in 2020 will be the commencement of our dedicated Restaurant and Bars team, which will operate our facilities in the relaunched hotels. Headed up by the much celebrated and extremely talented Executive Chef, Matthew Butcher, we are excited to be investing in, creating and operating innovative new hospitality concepts which will provide on–trend experiences for our hotel customers and local communities and distinguish our hotels from competitors. We’ve created this dedicated team to bring a new approach to operating restaurants and bars (R&B) in hotels in Australia and, along with other owner operators in our sector, will look to reposition hotel R&B experiences to be the first preference for guests.

On the development front, we are progressing our planning on new hotel projects in Canberra and Melbourne. Our site in Canberra is adjacent to our currently held Crowne Plaza Canberra hotel, which neighbours the Canberra Convention Centre and Casino. We plan to commence construction by year–end on a Holiday Inn Express hotel and target the select–service accommodation opportunity in this fantastic location. We also expect further growth opportunities may present and we will remain active on further acquisition opportunities where we see value in line with our investment strategy.

Some other major focuses for the Group in 2020 include furthering our sustainability goals and innovations through technology, delivering improved digital services for guests and improved margins for the business through automation. We have already achieved advancements in our InterContinental Melbourne hotel where we have successfully deployed the AirService in– room tablet innovation. We believe there is much more to be achieved here, given the hotel industry is behind other sectors in their advancements.

We share the view of industry analysts in that we are expecting the markets in 2020 to remain strong, with continued growth in demand for hotel room nights. However, we also anticipate new supply will outpace demand in some markets in 2020 and result in short–term occupancy declines. Again, along with industry analysts’ views, we expect these to recover over time and throughout the period fundamentals will remain positive for investment and investment returns.


As seen on-line

HM Magazine – February, 2020

MediSecure, a key player in electronic prescription exchange

MediSecure, a Salter Brothers Investee Company, was featured in The Australian today as a key player in the Australian Government’s new electronic prescription exchange, to be rolled out in late 2020. 

As a leader in the area of digital health, MediSecure’s technology platform sends electronic prescription information between doctors and pharmacists, making dispensed prescriptions secure and safe.

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Salter Brothers Asset Management Pty Limited: ABN 33 119 833 760, AFSL 308971 is the trustee of all Salter Brothers Funds.