A COLAC district tourism leader says a high-end hotel in Colac could boost jobs and fill a gap in the accommodation sector.
Geelong Otway Tourism deputy executive director Terry Hickey said he would support an investigation into the feasibility of an upmarket Colac hotel.
“We’ve done other research that indicates we need more accommodation in the general Great Ocean Road region,” Mr Hickey said.
“It would certainly be a boost for Colac if there was an ability for Colac to support a venture such as this,” he said.
“It would create construction jobs during construction and ongoing jobs – it creates opportunities for locals to live and work locally.”
Colac Otway Shire Council has made a budget request to hire a consultant for an accommodation sector feasibility study.
The council’s latest performance report said the study would “identify the capacity, demand and rating of accommodation in Colac, including the attraction of a high-end quality star hotel”.
Colac Mid City Motor Inn’s Trevor Sluggett described the idea as “ridiculous”.
“We’re struggling to make ends meet now,” Mr Sluggett said.
“By my own experiences, we don’t have anyone coming in here who needs a high-end hotel. It’d be very rare anyway,” he said.
“But I think to go to the trouble to build one would be wasting your time.”
Baronga Motor Inn’s Diane Alstin said her “more upmarket” units in Colac’s Wallace Street were popular.
“But they’re probably not for the everyday people that come to Colac,” Mrs Alstin said.
“There’s always lots of work going on and lots of travellers coming through but with the current climate, money’s more of an issue than it was a few years ago,” she said.
“People are probably after something that’s self-contained and on the better end of the market, more than just individual upmarket rooms.”
Lake Colac Caravan Park manager Rod Newcombe said Colac needed quality accommodation.
“We provide a budget accommodation down here, it’s nothing real flash but it’s budget and a lot of people do come in looking for a couple of bedrooms and top-quality five-star,” he said.
“I really think there’s a need for it, particularly through the busy tourist season.
“With a kitchenette, a couple of bedrooms, a nice lounge, it would take off quite well.”