GRAND PLAN: Hotel asks residents to help make history
GLADSTONE residents have a chance to become a part of the Grand Hotel's history to help celebrate its 121st birthday.
The hotel will rename its three function rooms using suggestions from the public. The names will be be unveiled at a black tie event on September 7.
The hotel, built in 1898 by Bundaberg architect Frederic Faircloth, was once an elite "it place” for guests, reflected in the current room names, MacArthur, Rockefeller and Vanderbilt.
"It was the premier spot of about five different establishments,” venue manager Cassandra White said.
"A lot of people involved in the war would drink or meet up or have meetings in a lot of places but this was where all the premier people came.”
The hotel had 17 bedrooms in the area now used as function space and was bought for £2500 - about $5000.
It has been on fire twice, in the early 1900s and in 1993, with the grand staircase the one piece of the hotel still standing from both fires.
The venue went into receivership in 2012 before Oaks, part of the Minor Hotel group, took over and built apartments adjoining the hotel on Roseberry st.
General manager Michael Cahill said: "We recognise the history of the hotel and its place in Gladstone.
"We just haven't built a pretty apartment block, we've done a fair bit of work to this building and included some of the heritage.”
Functions and events manager Abigail Jerwood said the 121st celebration was a chance to reminisce.
"Everybody has a story about the Grand,” Ms Jerwood said.
"A woman came in here the other day and told me she used to manage the Grand in the '80s.
"It has a very local community feel to it - that's what we want to celebrate, that everybody knows this place.”
Ms White said the new function room names would have to be appropriate to the region and she hoped they would tie into one theme.
"We would still like the names to reflect the heritage,” she said.
Ms Jerwood said: "We'd like suggestions from people who know the hotel and are actually passionate about its history.”
To suggest a function room name email firstname.lastname@example.org
When: Saturday, September 7, 6pm to late
Where: Grand Hotel, 79 Goondoon St
Tickets: $95pp - discount for tables of 10.
Bookings: email@example.com or call 48390002