According to The Australian Financial Review, in June, a convoy of 80 semi-trailers snaked their way down the Hume Highway from Sydney to the Rules Club Wagga Wagga in the NSW Riverina.
Each truck carried a 26 square metre fully completed guest room and bathroom. Once delivered alongside the construction site, these modules were stacked like building blocks to a height of three stories alongside a small traditionally built lobby and office, then clad and finished to create a new 4-star Quality Hotel.
From start to finish the $10 million modular hotel will take just seven months to build, cutting construction time by almost half, slashing wastage six-fold and delivering hotel rooms at $110,000 a key – "significantly cheaper" than a traditional hotel build, according to Trent Fraser, Asia Pacific CEO of Choice Hotels.
The club will own and operate the new hotel under a franchise agreement with Choice Hotels, providing accommodation to corporate guests during the week and leisure and sporting visitors to Wagga on the weekend.
"It's the first modular-constructed hotel in Australia fully funded by an Australian bank [the Commonwealth Bank] and it's created a platform for other operators," Fraser says.
"There's lots of sporting clubs in metro and regional areas with vacant or available land so I see huge opportunities in this space."
Thousands of kilometres away, in Perth, ASX-listed Mantra Group will open two new prefabricated hotels before the end of the year: rising 17 storeys, the $25 million Peppers Kings Square in the CBD, will be the tallest prefabricated hotel in Australia.
Also under construction is the $30 million Tribe Hotel in West Perth. Developed by the Tribe Hotel Group and its BRW richlister joint venture partners, Salta Properties and Victor Smorgon Group, all 126 rooms are prefabricated, consisting of 63 fully fitted two-room modules, built in a factory in China, then shipped to Perth to be "stacked up like Lego".
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