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Home >  DESTINATIONSGolden chorus as Australia set to welcome Games
Golden chorus as Australia set to welcome Games
Gold Coast success in securing Commonwealth Games and business events instils upbeat attitude with venues to match, writes Martin Donovan

1 Aug 2017

There’s a distinct feeling in Gold Coast that the city is set to “take on the world”. This in no small part emanates from preparations to host the 2018 Commonwealth Games, alongside successful bids for corporate and association conferences that keep coming.

The 11-day Commonwealth Games next April is expected to attract around 6,600 athletes and officials as well as 100,000 visitors. This steely confidence comes amid a transformation in Gold Coast’s visitor economy from one based predominately on leisure tourism, to being a major contender for business events.

The number of meetings and conferences in Gold Coast last year increased 21 per cent in the 12 months up to June 30, 2016, and injected an estimated AU$565 million into the local economy – an amount based on the duration of the conferences and not including post- and pre-event spending.

While the city prepares for “the largest event Australia will see this decade”, Anna Case, Gold Coast Business Events director, reinforced those words with a speech to welcome buyers and media for the Gold Coast Business Exchange showcase.

Case told the gathering at The Star Gold Coast that securing the bid to host the Commonwealth Games showed how the city was able to compete not only with the big three Australian convention cities – Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney – but also globally or, as she said, “take on the world”. Here is a selection of the ideas, venues and development that have taken Gold Coast to a new level.

Gold Coast Convention & Exhibition Centre – A luncheon at the centre’s ballroom saw one of Australia’s sporting, Olympic and Commonwealth gymnast Brennon Dowrick give a motivational talk to an audience of business event buyers.

The highlight was Dowrick’s display with the horse apparatus – a routine he’s still fit and agile enough to perform since retiring from competitive gymnastics in 2000. Dowrick was Australia’s first Commonwealth gymnastics gold medallist in 1990 and secured another gold at the 1994 games.

The centre will have a vital role as the media centre during the Games and venue for the netball qualifiers.

Seaworld Resort and Conference Centre – There are not many venues that can match Seaworld when it comes to post-meeting wind downs. The resort can provide an exclusive dolphin show, a choir from a Gold Coast school and even have a special guest be greeted by a sealion.

After viewing Seaworld’s latest meeting spaces, Business Exchange delegates were treated to the resort’s Festival of Fun gala, based on a funfair theme. One of the highlights of the song-filled show was a DJ performing high up in a monorail carriage.

The theme park’s rides and characters also provide a special treat for post-conference and incentive groups.

The Star – Jupiter became more aligned when it rebranded to The Star Gold Coast in March. The Star’s poolside event space saw the Gold Coast Business Events welcome reception, complete with Commonwealth Games theme and the mascot, Barobi.

Once a new hotel and residential tower is completed by 2020, a combined investment of up to AU$850 million will have been ploughed into The Star. The resort has been a Gold Coast institution since it opened in 1985.

Additions include a “six-star luxury hotel” that is due to open before the Games with access to Broadbeach Island beachfront. An additional hotel and apartment tower backed by Chinese investors is set to bring the resort’s total number of guest rooms to almost 1,400.

Polo by the Sea – Gold Coast’s sporting diversity and occasional glamour were on display when Australia’s take on the sport of kings came to town. Doug Jennings Park, with its ocean views, was the setting for galloping horses during an afternoon that blended marquees, champagne and fashion. 

Miami Marketta – Gold Coast now has an alternative quarter for markets, food and music in a venue that combines retro-styling with up-to-date creativity. Miami Marketta (above) also offers three unique spaces that can be hired with creative setting, crafted F&B and entertainment all on site.

Carrara Sports Precinct – In the shadow of the stadium that is home to the Gold Coast Suns’ Australian-rules football club, another Games legacy project is taking shape. In between the closing and opening ceremonies, the stadium will stage athletics, while a new indoor facility alongside will host badminton, weightlifting and wrestling.

The Queensland government has plans for Carrara to be a “vibrant and engaging venue space” for elite and community sporting events.

Aquatics Centre – There is no denying that Australian swimmers are in with a chance of a medal at a six-pool venue that will also see diving and synchronised swimming. The centre, in Broadwater, also has an open-air terrace for cocktails, but not during the Games.

Tweed Events-Twin Towns – Coolangatta is one of the two beaches that will host beach volleyball, which is making its debut as a Commonwealth Games event. The Mantra Twin Towns is a prime accommodation and meetings facilities provider in this area, which is 10 minutes from Gold Coast airport and on the Queensland-New South Wales border.

A recent upgrade has seen new events space with ocean and harbour views, floor-to-ceiling glass new AV and the latest soundproofing technology. The Showroom at Twin Towns is also one of Australia’s most renowned music venues.


Tags :
Australia   Gold Coast   Sports  

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