IndustryManagementNews In Brief

Star Gold Coast recruits outstanding industry expert

Mark Hodge to oversee The Star Gold Coast’s existing hotels and establish the operations model for the property’s new short stay apartment pool

As Gold Coast’s iconic Broadbeach property undergoes a jaw-dropping transformation it has appointed one of Queensland’s most experienced tourism and hospitality experts, Mark Hodge to lead the way.

With one $400 million hotel and apartment tower less than a year from completion, and another to open in 2024, the iconic integrated resort welcomed Mark Hodge as its new general manager for Hotels and Residences.  

Mark is currently a board member and Director of Destination Gold Coast and the Chairman of the Accommodation Association of Australia’s Queensland State Advisory Board, Mark comes with three decades of industry experience, including the last 15 years with Mantra Group and Accor Hospitality.

In his most recent role as Senior Vice President of Operations, Mark managed around 5000 team members across 140 properties throughout Australia and the broader Pacific – including New Zealand and Hawaii – within Accor Hospitality’s Apartments and Leases portfolio.

The Star Gold Coast COO Jessica Mellor said Mark will oversee The Star Gold Coast’s existing hotels – The Star Grand and The Darling – as well as establishing the operations model for the property’s new short stay apartment pool.

“I’m really pleased to welcome Mark to The Star team as part of the next step in our exciting growth strategy,” Ms Mellor said.

Having lived on the Gold Coast for the past 15 years, where he oversaw 26 resorts and hotels, Mark is a proud local and comes with an intimate knowledge of our stunning city, while providing extensive managerial experience in hotel operations including both strata and typical hotel ownership models.

“In addition to managing The Star Grand and The Darling, Mark will lead us through the introduction and management of apartment accommodation on the island for the first time through our two new hotel and apartment towers currently underway.

“These towers are being developed in partnership with our consortium partners, Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium, as part of our $2 billion expanded masterplan for Broadbeach Island, which includes potential for a further three towers and resort amenities. Together, our two current towers will offer nearly 900 one, two, and three bedroom apartments that will fall under ‘The Star Residences Gold Coast’ brand – 422 of these will be offered in our inaugural tower to open early next year, and 457 in the second tower to open in 2024.

“While this means we’ll be welcoming our first ever residents to the island, many of the apartments will also become available for short stay holiday letting through The Star, with Mark critically helping us develop and grow this new arm of our business.

Mark will also manage the integration of our new third-party hotel brands including the first Dorsett hotel in Australia, which is an international brand originating from Hong Kong.

“The expansion of our leadership team shows that the growth of our business is no longer in the future, it is happening right now, and it will create more exciting opportunities for our business and our 1900+ team members going forward.”

Mark said he is excited to be part of a progressive and innovative organisation and looked forward to playing a strategic lead role in developing the property’s new residential division.

“The Star Gold Coast has undergone a stunning makeover and still has an incredible pipeline of tourism and hospitality infrastructure coming, and at a size and quality that we have seen globally in places like Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands, but never before on the Gold Coast,” he said.

“The transformation so far is already adding significant value to our city, with the current and future works showing that The Star and its partners are committed to reinventing the coast; not just relying on its natural assets to attract locals and visitors.

“The new short stay holiday letting program will enable our guests to immerse in all the comforts of luxurious apartment-living for the first time when they book their trip or holiday, as well as enjoy the property’s diverse range of amenities, restaurants, bars, and entertainment.

“Importantly, its central location to the heart of Broadbeach also means positive flow-on benefits to surrounding businesses, bringing new guests and residents to explore and spend in the wider community.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is proof that times can be tough so one of my first priorities will look at building on the existing hotels’ passionate, united, and driven teams – where the glue is strong and where relationships with all stakeholders, including residential owners and visitors, are going to be key.”

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