‘We’re going to make it happen’: Outrigger CEO hints Australian property on the horizon

Outrigger CEO Jeff Wagoner has reaffirmed his commitment to opening a property in Australia at the company’s global showcase in Sydney on Thursday evening.

“There’s one other place I really, really want to be; and it’s here,” Wagoner told attendees.

“I talk about it all the time. I’m feeling some serious pressure to make something happen in to find a property here, so we’re going to do that.”

The global chief executive said that Outrigger is “working hard” to find the right property to mark the brand’s re-entry into the Australian market.

“We’re working hard on it,” he said.

“We think that it’s important to be here because of you, and because we were here in the past. We’ve got great relationships here and we want to be able to celebrate that with you with a property here in Australia.”

Outrigger CEO Jeff Wagoner

Given Outrigger strong affinity with surfing culture, Wagoner told HM that Australia represents an obvious market for the brand. He pointed to a number of destinations on Australia’s east coast that present exciting opportunities for the company, including Manly in Sydney and Port Douglas and Gold Coast in Queensland.

Global expansion

Outrigger is rapidly expanding its presence around the globe with five new properties added over the last year alone.

Three properties have opened in Thailand – in Phuket, Khao Lak and Koh Samui – all of which have been recently renovated and rebranded. While international travel is still slow in this market, the company is hopeful that Australians will embrace these offerings when they return to the country.

The company also opened a new property in the Maldives in August 2020.

“That property was literally taken down to the studs and rebuilt,” Wagoner said.

“It’s in spectacular condition.”

At its home base of Hawai‘i, the company is investing heavily in its properties. It recently opened the Outrigger Kona Beach Resort overlooking Keauhou Bay.

“We’re spending about US$50 million there,” Wagoner said.

 In April, Outrigger revealed the transformation of its flagship property Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort following a US$80 million renovation.

Outrigger’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Sean Dee, said the team has been investing in improving this property for nearly 10 years.

“It’s a fee simple asset, tons of potential,” he told attendees.

“We’ve totally activated the place including the Diamond Head towers – we’ve added 23 suites to that side of the building …  we’ve got the best club lounge, we think, in all of Waikiki and a 1200 square foot penthouse suite overlooking Diamond Head – two storeys, private elevator, three bedrooms, three baths – we’re upper-upscale and competing now with some of the biggest luxury brands in all of Hawai‘i.”

Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger in Honolulu has also been fully renovated.

“It’s an old Holiday Inn Resort on Kalakaua across the street from the original Outrigger,” Dee explained.  

“We [renovated] that and opened it in ‘19 – great timing! Then we closed it in ‘20, but we’re open again and it’s performing really, really well again.

“We call it Hawaii’s first craft hotel which is a little bit of a clever play on words because it’s anchored by Maui Brewing Company which is arguably Hawaii’s top craft beer.”

Outrigger also showcased its Embassy Suites product – a partnership with Hilton – which offers one- and two-bedroom apartments, complimentary breakfast, and evening cocktails onsite.

Article source: www.hotelmanagement.com.au

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