Manager Kevin Smith has been at La Mer for almost seven years now after he first entered the industry over 20 years ago when he was just 15-years-old working at his parent’s caravan park in Mackay.
Over the years, Kevin has celebrated a very successful career in the tourism industry firstly for his involvement in the Tourism Advisory Group for Fraser Coast South Burnett regional tourism board and on a regional level as president of ARAMA Wide Bay and, more recently, for raising donations for the Victoria bushfire appeal.
“I am involved in the Victoria Bushfire Appeal locally through Holiday Hervey Bay. Our cooperative association managed to arrange members to donate 100 five-night stay vouchers to victims and emergency personnel in the Victorian bushfires.”
As for the changes to La Mer Luxury Apartments, Kevin said they have been numerous from aesthetics to safety to major works.
“Since the last profile we have upgraded our reservations software, our distribution channel management program and online booking systems including our website. We have fully renovated the property with new carpet throughout all apartments; 700m² plus of exterior tiling was replaced on all common areas and apartment balconies.
“To improve the ambience and enjoyment of apartment balconies and to improve workplace health and safety aspects associated with air conditioning motors; all air-conditioning motor units have been removed from balconies and piped to air-conditioning allocated placement bays. This will also improve ongoing air- conditioning maintenance, upgrades and unit replacements in the future.
“However, the future holds many other refurbishment possibilities including a building repaint and other consumer and/or industry driven works. We have also taken marketing to a new improved level under the cooperative banner of Holiday Hervey Bay. Cooperative marketing greatly improves destination awareness while providing all participants cost savings and improved exposure achieved v
ia economies of scale.”
Quality, Consistency and Colour
Located on Hervey Bay’s most sought after address, the beachfront Esplanade, La Mer Luxury Apartments offers 20, one- and two-bedroom holiday apartments complete with solar heated pool and spa recreation area, secure underground car park, wireless broadband Internet hotspot, fully equipped barbeque area, lift service to all levels and a full service tour booking desk.
Each apartment is fully self-contained and features a complete kitchen (full size fridge/freezer, microwave and dishwasher), open plan dining/lounge area, equipped laundry (washing machine and dryer) and reverse cycle air-conditioning.
Since it was built in November 2000, new manchester, kitchen utensils and equipment were purchased in 2002. In 2003, curtains and shades throughout the property were replaced with colour-coded items. In 2004, the large barbeque area was built and further upgraded not long after with a shade sail, lighting, gas heater and five burner stainless steel BBQ unit and all the ceiling fans were replaced with stainless steel ones for functionality, maintenance and presentation.
Also in 2004, the property was re-landscaped with sub-tropical gardens and manicured lawns resulting in La Mer winning third place at the 2005 Hervey Bay Garden Club/Bunnings Annual Garden Competition. In 2005, the pool and spa area was repaved, complete with new furniture and each apartment received new bedspreads, mirrors and phones. And in 2006, all dining room and lounge room furniture were replaced and/or refurbished, new widescreen television sets were purchased and span line awnings were erected over apartment balconies where dated shade sails once were.
“In 2006, La Mer won first place at the 2006 Hervey Bay Garden Club/Bunnings Annual Garden Competition and 2007 saw new café style outdoor furniture introduced to replace the dated plastic settings. The building was also equipped with a wireless broadband Internet hotspot providing total site coverage and high-speed access. A major overhaul of the digital security camera and recording system was also completed providing greater property coverage with improved clarity and recording duration. LCD television sets were also installed into the main bedrooms of all of the two bathroom apartments following customer feedback for such. In 2008, new quality carpet and underlay were installed throughout every apartment in the complex, as well as the retile project and air conditioning works mentioned earlier.
“Buildings require constant work, and a refurbishment plan to facilitate such. While all buildings have a sinking fund and sinking fund forecast for the body corporate exteriors, the same concept can be utilised as a refurbishment fund for holiday rental unit interiors. This provides lot owners a regular tax deduction and limits units being taken off line for major time periods to undertake complete refurbishment. Regular customers also acknowledge steady improvement to the property in stark contrast to steady decline before action is taken to rectify the situation by which time your hard earnt customer may have exercised their freedom of choice by staying with your competition. Pro-activity does deliver long term results,” Kevin said.
Today, La Mer is simply one of Hervey Bay’s premier beachfront luxury apartments with quality, consistency and colour distinguishing it from the competition.
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