Ramada International Ballina Hotel construction well under way

The old slipway site in Ballina, once a major employer in the town, looks set to be a hub of local employment once again with the construction of the Ramada Hotel Ballina.

Member for Ballina Don Page turned the first sod on the site late last year to signal the start of construction of the hotel, which will feature 110 rooms (made up of 61 investment apartments) on six levels, plus function areas to cater for weddings and conferences.

As well, the complex will include an ‘Eat Street’ featuring restuarants, lobby shops and a riverfront entertainment area that will include a free outdoor cinema.

The hotel is expected to be completed by the middle of 2007.

The complex is being developed by Slipway Properties Pty Ltd, which includes local family investors.

Ballina Slipway Properties says the hotel forms part of the Port of Ballina concept, a $75 million project aimed at boosting tourism to the town.

The company says the Port of Ballina concept will see up to 100 new businesses created, offering up to 420 new jobs.

It says the concept could attract an extra 85,000 visitors a year to the region, bringing additional tourism spending of $20 million.

In the construction phase of the project, it is estimated that 120 onsite jobs will be generated, along with 200 off-site jobs, peaking at a cash flow of on-site expenditure of $1.6 million a month.

Ballina Slipways Properties has also moved to allay fears of lack of access to the warterfront, saying: “Public access to the waterfront will be encouraged by a boardwalk and generous space for guests and the public to utilise the riverfront area.”

Ballina Slipway Properties Pty Ltd can be contacted at office@ramadaballina.com.au or by phoning 0266 811301.

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