Owners of the Beach Hotel, Moelis, say they undertook extensive repairs and updates to the tune of around $6m after COVID-19 forced closure and limited trading last year.
Moelis Australia Hotel Management CEO, Dan Brady, told The Echo, the result of the renovations and improvements was a result of listening to what staff, locals and customers wanted.
‘We knew the first job at hand was on crucial maintenance, to get the building back to its former glory’, Mr Brady said.
‘We wanted to create a space that the community could be proud of again.
‘There was a lot to do, but our staff and customers really helped us to prioritise the areas that we needed to focus on first, like the bathrooms, which 95 per cent of our staff said should be tackled immediately. We’ll continue to listen to them and invest in what needs to be done.
‘From the outset, we have been focused on listening.
‘Listening to what the community wants, understanding their needs and ensuring we bring openness and inclusivity to the community and also to Australia as an iconic venue.
‘This has included everything from extensive area research, focus groups with locals and visitors, meetings with other hospitality owners and local businesses, and of course, listening and acting on the feedback from our guests and staff.
‘Staff satisfaction is a major part of the company’s success’, he said.
‘We have created, and we nurture an environment of trust, so our team have clarity of purpose and feel enriched, empowered, energised and valued, which is a product of us living our values of ‘Care, Collaboration and Courage.
‘We are grateful to have built great relationships with local tradespeople and suppliers who have worked incredibly hard over the past year to get the venue looking amazing. The native fauna and foliage is really coming to life now, and beautifully connects the pub to its natural surroundings’.
Music also remains a focus for the hotel, and since reopening in June, Mr Brady says they have been ‘committed to investing in as many gigs as we possibly can to support the local music industry devastated by the pandemic’.
‘We have hosted 655 live music performances from 134 different acts, and currently there are 18 live music shows per week. This means we have put $310,000 back into the hands of local performers’.
Yet the lack of housing for staff in Byron remains a real challenge for all venues, Mr Brady says.
‘As the cost of living and accommodation has escalated, supply [of staff] in general is down’.
‘But it is part of our DNA to treat our employees well, and support them to learn, grow and develop a career.
‘We are always trying to think of new ways to attract the best talent, so we have purchased a shuttle bus that can bring our team members who have to live outside of Byron easily into work.
‘We really want the Beachy to be a great breeding ground for world class hospitality talent, so we take our role as leaders in the space very seriously’.
As for future plans, Mr Brady says, ‘We don’t want to rush our longer-term plans for The Beachy’.
‘The people, the environment, the community and the Bay’s history are too special to implement a quick fix. It’s about creating a destination that is truly representative of Byron and reflects the very fabric of the community. There are still conversations to be had, as we don’t want to rush the process, so we will consult with the community before we lodge the DA’.