Hotel elite joins campaign for struggling farmers

Private hotel investor Jerry Schwartz will donate all profits from the opening night of his Four Points by Sheraton property to Australian farmers battling drought.

Dr Schwartz hopes to raise $15,000 towards the Aussie Helpers’ drought relief effort when he takes control of the 297-room hotel on the Old Kent Brewery site near Central Station in Sydney on October 8.

The Schwartz Family Company is Australia’s largest privately-owned hotel group, with 13 hotels (including the Four Points property) totalling 3000 guest rooms within its portfolio.

Among them is the flagship Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, with general manager Greg Brady describing Schwartz to Accomnews as “a very good owner”.

Other hotels within the group include Rydges World Square, Rydges Central Sydney, Hotel Ibis World Square, Hotel Ibis King Street Wharf, Mercure Hotel Canberra, Mercure Hotel Sydney, Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, Victoria Hotel Melbourne, Rydges Newcastle, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley and Novotel Newcastle.

The Four Points by Sheraton is the only international hotel to open in Sydney in 2018 and is touted as playing a role in alleviating Sydney’s hotel ‘drought’.

Dr Schwartz will follow his donation to Aussie Helpers by holding a charity event at the Four Points on 18 October, when 16 charities will take over the hotel and use the rooms to raise funds for their organisations.

The charities cover a range of areas including children’s medical research and care, mental health assistance and homelessness.

“I have been particularly moved by the plight of farmers in NSW and Queensland, because while they are always doing it tough, this current drought will really threaten the financial and mental wellbeing of so many families,” said Dr Schwartz.

“In contrast, hoteliers like me have benefited greatly from Sydney’s extended tourism boom.

“Opening the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour last year, and the Four Points this year, has enabled me to hold charity events to give back to the more needy in our community, and I am hoping that we can get a full house at the Four Points on October 8 so that we can donate as much as possible to Brian and Nerida Egan’s Aussie Helpers charity.

“They are doing an incredible job and I think if we city slickers can find ways of supporting our farmers, everyone benefits.

“Australia’s rural and regional areas are integral to every aspect of this country, and particularly its tourism and hospitality sector, so in many ways it is a logical connection to use a Sydney hotel opening to support our farmers.

“I have property in the Hunter Valley and the drought has significantly affected the whole of the region, but that’s nothing compared to what farmers are having to cope with in western NSW and Queensland.”

The Four Points by Sheraton is located on Broadway in the new Central Park urban regeneration area adjacent to Central Station and the University of Technology campus.

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