GOLD COAST BULLETIN
THE Star group’s boss is backing a push to attract bigger events to the Gold Coast with international pulling power, saying the city is now competing with global destinations.
Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier, visiting for yesterday’s Magic Millions Polo and launch of the yearling sale festival, said he was a fan of the city’s push to boost its pulling power for mega-events.
Pictured at the Spit Main Beach During the Magic Millions Polo, Nacho Figueras. Pic Mike Batterham
The Gold Coast City Council has controversially voted to disband its individual precinct marketing alliances to create a single, bigger entity.
It means Surfers Paradise Alliance, Broadbeach Alliance and Connecting Southern Gold Coast are in a transitional phase.
“We are not competing Broadbeach versus Surfers Paradise. We are competing Gold Coast versus Melbourne and, frankly, Gold Coast versus global destinations.”
Mr Bekier said he wouldn’t comment directly on the council decision around the alliances but added: “The strategy to have bigger events on the Gold Coast is from my point of view absolutely right.
“We are not competing Broadbeach versus Surfers Paradise. We are competing Gold Coast versus Melbourne and, frankly, Gold Coast versus global destinations.
“There are global events I’m aware of that are being kicked around and it is Australia going against global places.
“If you can do the Games, you can just about do anything,” Mr Bekier said. Picture: Adam Head
“For our business, events are fantastic. We can focus our energy around those and tap into traffic coming anyway.
“We would love to see more events, big events, like that.”
The Star Gold Coast is in the first year of three-year deal as the naming rights partner of the Magic Millions carnival and race day which sees more than $100m in bloodstock traded and attracts wealthy Asian buyers, royalty and American racing players.
The Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier. Picture: Jerad Williams
Star Gold Coast was also a key host for the Commonwealth Games and Logies TV awards last year.
“If you can do the Games, you can just about do anything,” he said.
Mr Bekier said under Star Gold Coast’s masterplan for the Broadbeach site its room key numbers would jump from 700 to 3000.
“At 3000, then we are as big as the Marina Bay Sands and then you can play with the big boys and host the big events,” Mr Bekier said.
Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page has ambitions to double the 3000-strong polo launch crowd next year.
Ex-Australian polo captain Rob Archibald: “That is realistic. We just have to come up with creative ways of keeping people excited and coming back.
“Honestly I think that is very doable,” he said.