‘Normality’ is returning to the Sandstone Point Hotel as COVID-19 restrictions have eased on Queensland’s hospitality and entertainment venues.
The waterfront hotel won successive Visitor Experience awards at the Moreton Bay Region Business and Innovation Awards in 2018 and 2019.
Then COVID hit hard and the Comiskey Group - which owns Sandstone Point, Eatons Hill, Samford and Beachmere Hotels - saw revenue fall 85 per cent. 400 staff were stood down.
The Sandstone Point Hotel adapted offering takeaway food rather than dine-in and then organising COVID-safe events with Queensland artists.
Comiskey Group Director Rob Comiskey said after being “severely impacted” in the first half of this year, the outlook is now much brighter.
“Things are looking up and we are definitely seeing the positive effect the easing of restrictions is having,” says Mr Comiskey.
“Sandstone Point Hotel can now host major events with a Queensland Health-approved COVID-Safe Event Plan and allow outdoor dancing.
“We actually hosted (on November 21) the first dancing-allowed festival in this state with Bernard Fanning on headline duties!
“It has been fantastic to get back to some sort of normality!”
Mr Comiskey says the biggest constraints had been getting interstate and international performers, but with restrictions relaxed interstate performers are now possible.
Wedding bookings are increasing at Sandstone Point with guest numbers and dancing restrictions eased. There are hopes indoor dancing will also be permitted soon.
Mr Comiskey says interstate bookings are also returning for the BIG4 Sandstone Point Holiday Resort which opened in November 2018 and is now a destination in its own right.
The hotel can have dancing in the beer garden and bookings for functions are returning but the accommodation, which largely comes from visitors to Brendale industrial estate, has not seen such a spike, possibly due to a lack of business travel.
Tickets for So Freshtival Brisbane are available at eatonshillhotel.com.au/event/so-freshtival-brisbane-2020/