Toowoomba faces room shortage for Carnival of Flowers

UP TO one in 10 hotel rooms in Toowoomba could be unavailable for the busy Carnival of Flowers period.

The temporary closure of the Quest on Margaret St as a result of the fire that destroyed Amigo's Bar and Grill has put massive pressure on room availability in the city heading into tourist season.

Toowoomba Accommodation Providers spokesman Tony Heckendorf said the Quest and the Burke and Wills Hotel, which is closed for 12 months for renovations, made up about 10 per cent of all rooms in the city.

"Certainly with 74 rooms from the Quest out of action, and the Burke and Wills out of action, that's 10% of the hotel/motel stock," he said.

"That is basically 10% of the people who stayed there last year, who won't be able to, if the Quest is not available before."

NO ROOM: Toowoomba Accommodation Providers spokesman Tony Heckendorf said the city has lost 10% of its hotel/motel rooms after the Burke and Mills Hotel and Quest Apartments were closed temporarily.
NO ROOM: Toowoomba Accommodation Providers spokesman Tony Heckendorf said the city has lost 10% of its hotel/motel rooms after the Burke and Mills Hotel and Quest Apartments were closed temporarily. Tom Gillespie

The fire that destroyed Amigo's on June 13 also caused at least $4.5 million worth of damage to the award-winning apartments, with a quarter of building damaged by fire, heat and smoke.

While Quest owner FKG Group stated it would try to have the apartments ready for the carnival, which starts on September 15, operations manager Dallas Hunter said it could take months to fix it.

The massive shortfall of rooms in the city was a chance for providers in the surrounding towns to attract visitors, according to Toowoomba Chamber of Commerce CEO Jo Sheppard.

"We're not at a crisis point, but as is the case with other regions, it's an opportunity for the outlying towns like Oakey, Pittsworth and Allora to be able to pick up," she said.

"Quest are going to be operational again, but to be offline right now isn't ideal or part of their plan."

Quest and the Burke and Wills were also two of three accommodation providers in the CBD, with Toowoomba Central Apartments the only building offering four-star rooms in the centre of town.

Ms Sheppard said the situation was a reminder of Toowoomba's need for more high-quality accommodation in Toowoomba to take in both business and leisure tourism to the region.

"The growth in business travel is real, and improved connectivity from flights is increasing, and that market is looking for CBD accommodation," she said.

"Just from the feedback I've had from people at companies who were booked into the Quest, their preference would be for CBD rooms.

"That's why the Quest has done so well - prior to the fire, they were creating a strong business.

"Hopefully we'll see room for four and five star hotels in the future."

Mr Heckendorf's advice to visitors heading to the Carnival of Flowers was simple - get in early, and call the hotel directly.

"I'd certainly recommend them to ring their hotel providers directly, because they may have set aside some rooms that might not be available through the booking channels," he said.

"It's just an awareness thing, so if people are looking to come, make sure they get in early."

Topics:  carnival of flowers toowoomba

Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Forum 'a good start' for tourism industry

BIG IDEAS: John and Megan Sharpe and Taya and Stephen Mickalski after the tourism forum.

Some embraced this forum, while others left before it was over

Long legacy honoured as sale kicks off

Gleesons Mercery has changed a lot over the years but is still going strong.

Gleesons is a name that's been part of Stanthorpe since the 1800s

Brrrr! Bitterly cold weather on the way for SEQ

Frost is expected in some places on Friday morning and on the weekend.

Stanthorpe could drop to minus 3 this weekend

Local Partners

Littleproud to boost presence in Rose City

Maranoa MP to open third electoral office in Warwick this month

Working class? Man, Gympie's got the show for you

Jimmy Barnes

Aussie rock icons coming to Gympie for 150th celebrations.

Tables turn as rescue crew takes on gruelling mountain

EPIC CHALLENGE: Hundreds of runners will tackle the 4.2km run from the heart of Pomona to the top of Mt Cooroora and back on Sunday.

They are usually the people coming to the rescue of adventurers

VIDEO: Girls can feel safe at Splendour

Punters at Splendour in the Grass 2016 at Byron Bay.

High visibility police will be among the crowd at all times

Holy schnit: This steak's the size of a small child

It's not every day you get served a steak as big as a baby for lunch, unless you're eating at the Pinnacle Pub.

OJ loses cool as he begs to go free

Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectables sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier.

Tension at the parole hearing didn't stop OJ going free

Lead singer of Linkin Park, Chester Bennington, dies age 41

Coroner spokesman Brian Elias says they are investigating Bennington's death as an apparent suicide but no additional details are available.

Chester Bennington's body was found in LA at 9am local time.

Tamara's bittersweet MasterChef exit (take two)

Mackay's Tamara Graffen has already gained valuable work experience since her elimination from MasterChef.

MACKAY cook's heartwarming send-off from finals week.

Why Sleeping Duck turned down a $500,000 offer on Shark Tank

Sleeping Duck founders Selvam Sinnappan, left, and Winston Wijeyeratne.Source:Supplied

Melbourne university mates turn down hug Shark Tank ffer

Lisa Wilkinson portrait wins Packer Room Prize

A portrait of Lisa Wilkinson by artist Peter Smeeth has taken out this year's Packer Room Prize.

"The winning of this award is 99 per cent due to Lisa."

Ninja Warrior: What it takes to win it

Isaac Caldiero assesses Mount Midoriyama during Season 7 of American Ninja Warrior.Source:Supplied

Only six people have managed to successfully complete the course

Alex beach or bluff at your front door

ALEX LIVING: 9/252 Alexandra Pde, Alexandra Headland.

Beachfront unit among the picks of this week's auction line-up

Open for inspection homes 20 - 26 July

Check out this weekend's homes open for inspection.

Sunshine Coast shopping centre on the market

Coles-anchored centre in high-growth area listed for sale

Island resort living from just $250 a week

Couran Cove on Stradbroke Island is undergoing a makeover. Photo: Steve Holland

Resort offering permanent rentals at almost half normal rental price

Start-up business blooms in riverside outlet

Sunflower Florist opens new premises at Mooloolaba for local wares

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!