Tamworth Wests' Mercure hotel worth the wait

SPACIOUS: Jone Skey, Carolyn Stier, Adam Harvey and Chris Watson enjoy a tour of the hotel. Photo: Gareth Gardner 100217GGA01
SPACIOUS: Jone Skey, Carolyn Stier, Adam Harvey and Chris Watson enjoy a tour of the hotel. Photo: Gareth Gardner 100217GGA01

IT’S been a vision of Wests Entertainment Group Tamworth for more than two decades, but the new Mercure hotel was worth the wait.

The $12m hotel was officially opened on Friday, with Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce unveiling the ceremonial plaque.

Wests president John McClelland said the development had “been a long time coming”.

“About 20 years in fact, and over that time our accommodation project had many design plans, changes and locations,” Mr McClelland said.

“But one thing that never changed was our vision to build a small hotel somewhere near our club.

“This project will ensure we are part of the community for the next 50 years.”

With a history stretching back 20 years, Wests decided to honour country music star Adam Harvey by naming a room after him.

“My kids thought it was a joke, I had to take a photo of the door just to prove to them it was fair dinkum,” Harvey laughed.

“Wests have been pretty good to me over the years, they gave me my first ever real gig when I was just busking on the street. I’ve been back every year since.”

The hotel, which has been operating since late December, has 52 rooms, a heated swimming pool, a gym and direct access to the club.

A function centre is currently under construction and will hold up to 360 people once complete.

Wests Entertainment Group chief executive officer Rod Laing said the new hotel was a huge boon for the region.

“In addition to enhancing our existing facilities to the benefit of our current members, the Mercure Tamworth’s opening will attract new business opportunities and leisure guests to the New England region,” Mr Laing said.

“We believe the hotel will guarantee a new accommodation experience for those visiting Tamworth and the region any time of the year.”

Mr Joyce said the major investment, which created 35 jobs, was recognition Tamworth offered prime business opportunities as a major tourism growth centre.

“We must decentralise and spread job opportunities across Australia,” the Deputy Prime Minister said.