Home' micenet eMag : micnet June 2017 Contents Matt Rippin is loving the Inter-
Continental Sanctuary Cove!
WITH A GM
Q. You’ve recently returned to the
Gold Coast. Where were you prior?
A. It’s good to be back! I’ve spent the
last eight years away from the Gold Coast.
Throughout this time I managed a rebrand in
New Zealand and brought the Holiday Inn
brand to Auckland, before moving back to
the sunnier side of Queensland where I
managed two IHG properties in Cairns.
The development on the Gold Coast within
eight years has been extraordinary – I feel like
it’s grown from a small city into a thriving
Q. What do you like about the GC
from a business events perspective?
A. As someone who has just arrived
back onto the Gold Coast, I have to say,
there is nothing like the world-class beauty
we have to offer. I think the strength of our
coastal and geographical position is above
anything else. With the Commonwealth
Games arriving on the Gold Coast in 2018, the
opportunities are growing even greater.
Q. And specifically the
InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort?
A. There’s one word I keep coming back
to for InterContinental Sanctuary Cove Resort,
and that’s “variety.” I have never seen a venue
so diverse in its product, location and the
overall experience. We’re as much a
destination as a venue. Sanctuary Cove is a
community – a purpose built destination –
which gives delegates a fully self-contained
destination with cafes, retail shops, boutiques
and golf experiences. One of the truly great
things about the resort is the volume of
unique elements (I’m still finding them!) We
have a wonderful collection of partners that
we work with to drive these experiences for
guests, and ensure they’re as varied as our
guests. The Pines is a terrific example. The
golf course is one of the most coveted in the
country – it is the only Arnold Palmer only
golf course in Australia and a members-only
course. There’s a great local jetpacking
company we work with to deliver delegate
experiences on the lagoon beach. Actually,
the lagoon beach itself is perhaps one of the
most unique elements of the resort – from
car displays, fireworks, lagoon dinners and
even GoPro slippery slides, we’ve seen it all!
Q. How is current business? And
how is it shaping up for the remainder of
A. I think this is certainly Queensland’s
time in the sun! The Gold Coast and
Sunshine Coast are seeing considerable
growth year-on-year and going from strength
to strength with arrivals and domestic travel
visitation. There is significant investment
happening in the region, from the light rail to
revamped Pacific Fair, which is certainly
shining the spotlight on our facilities as a
destination and allowing us to play a vital part
in the hosting of business and events.
Q. What’s the secret to running a
successful business event resort?
A. In my experience success doesn’t
hinge on one thing. There’s a few key
elements at play here and I believe that being
clear, concise and communicative about your
objectives is where it all starts. Once you know
exactly what you need to achieve, and you’re
clear about how this will be measured, only
then will you know if it was a success.
Being a resort destination, I believe you
need to absorb all you can from the location
and work it to your advantage: is it the
opportunity to get outside on the lagoon or golf
course to develop teamwork? Why not take
advantage of the ambience and slow right
down, step away from your desk and get back
to one-on-one relationships and personal
interaction. When you relax, zoom out and
stop the multi-tasking. I’m always amazed at
the impact it has on clarifying business
objectives and seeing things differently.
Q. What can a career in hotels and
resorts give you that others cannot?
A. I cannot think of another career in
which the scope of work is so diverse and
challenging, yet unbelievably rewarding. The
Australian tourism industry accounted for
over $116 billion in 2015/16 in visitor spend –
this is an incredibly significant and fast-paced
industry which continues to rise. m
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