Schwartz Family Company in the Media
SFC IN THE NEWS
Hilton undergoes $9 million upgrade
NEW ROOMS, EXECUTIVE LOUNGE AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY FACILITIES FEATURE IN UNVEILING OF HILTON SURFERS PARADISE $9 MILLION UPGRADE
SURFERS PARADISE, Australia – February 24, 2020: Hilton Surfers Paradise Hotel &
Residences has revealed the first stage of a planned $9 million refurbishment which has
seen the addition of new rooms, the unveiling of a new full-service Executive Lounge,
enhancements to the pool area and expansion of its conference facilities.
The refurbishment is the biggest makeover the hotel has seen in its eight-year history and
will continue to unfold across multiple stages with the reinvention of its lobby and the
inclusion of a casual bar/ all day dining area and an art gallery.
A highlight of the refurbishment has been the creation of nine new guestrooms and suites on
the 15th floor.
Featuring a bright, contemporary design and the latest in-room technology, the rooms enjoy
spectacular views of the ocean and across to the Gold Coast Hinterland.
Supporting the launch of the new rooms, a new full-service Executive Lounge has been
unveiled, embodying the coastal feel of the Gold Coast, with a blend of indoor and outdoor
spaces ideal for guests to work, relax and catch up with colleagues and friends.
Families have also been included in the plan, with the incorporation of a colourful children’s
wet play area into the existing pool deck, while the next stage of the refurbishments will see
the expansion of the pool deck to include a children’s water play area. This is due for
completion in mid-2020.
The business events sector will also benefit from the upgrading program, with meeting space
doubled to four venues including the brand new Promenade Room, with plans to grow
capacity even further in the near future.
Hilton Surfers Paradise general manager Fiona Pryde said the first stage of the multi-million dollar project would support the hotel’s capacity to attract the leisure, business and
conference markets to the hotel.
“The Hilton Surfers Paradise is fortunate to enjoy a premier location on the Gold Coast, with
the hotel positioned in the heart of the shopping, entertainment and dining precinct, so the
$9 million refurbishment will make the hotel even more attractive for discerning couples,
families and business-related travellers,” said Ms Pryde.
“As the only hotel on the Gold Coast that offers a full-service Executive Lounge, our
executive guests will have the opportunity to enjoy a very attractive private haven with high
quality food and drinks service.
“The new rooms and suites that have been added are amongst the best available on the
Gold Coast and really capture the freshness and vitality of the destination.
“Families will love the new-look pool area which will be enhanced further with the addition of
a dedicated water park with extensive facilities to keep children entertained as parents relax
around pool, within eye-view of the water park.
“Plans for our new-look lobby are also in the final design stage and will include a new bar
and all-day dining area, as well as a new art gallery that will showcase local art.”
Hilton Surfers Paradise is at 6 Orchid Avenue, Surfers Paradise.
For more, visit www.hiltonsurfersparadise.com.au
$9 million refurbishment will make the hotel even more attractive for discerning couples,
families and business-related travellers
Construction of Sydney CBD helipad to provide a massive boost to Sydney’s economic revival
26 May 2020: Australia’s largest private hotel investor, Dr Jerry Schwartz, is launching a proposal to establish a permanent helipad on the roof of his Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour to help revive Sydney’s economy and elevate the city’s business and tourism profile.
The community and stakeholders are being consulted and are invited to provide feedback at upcoming information sessions.
The Darling Harbour Helipad would involve building a new structure on the roof of the 38-storey Sofitel hotel, with the addition of a lift and stairs to service the helipad.
The Sofitel is adjacent to the International Convention Centre (ICC) and is in the heart of the Darling Harbour business, tourism and convention precinct.
A heliport operated at Darling Harbour in the 1980s, but was removed to make way for the
redevelopment of the former rail yards. Since then, peak tourism and business bodies have called for the restoration of a CBD helipad to service the city’s high-yielding convention and business sectors.
The helipad would also be available for use by emergency services.
Currently, the only major public helipad services are located at Bankstown and Mascot, but heavily congested roads make them impracticable solutions for fast transfers to the Sydney CBD.
”Given the devastation to Sydney’s tourism and business economy as a result of Coronavirus, there is no better time to introduce the concept of a CBD helipad to help revive the city’s economic fortunes,” said Dr Schwartz.
“The world’s great cities – such as London, Paris and New York – have CBD helipads, and even
Melbourne offers city helicopter transfers to the River Yarra helipad.
“Darling Harbour is designated as a dedicated tourism, convention and business precinct, which makes it’s the ideal location for a permanent helipad.
“We would envisage that world leaders could arrive at Sydney Airport and be flown direct to the Darling Harbour Helipad to make a keynote address at the International Convention Centre.
“There’s no doubt that this infrastructure would significantly benefit Sydney’s business and convention profile and provide delegates attending the ICC and Sydney CBD the highest security, while also ensuring disruptions to city traffic are minimised.
“With Coronavirus impacting all areas of life, economic stimulus needs to be a key component of the recovery process for Sydney. This forward-thinking proposal will help stimulate the local industry, establish Sydney as one of the world’s great convention cities, and boost business opportunities for all sectors.”
Dr Schwartz said that as the proposed rooftop helipad would be classified as an ‘aircraft facility’ under the Environmental Planning and Assessment Regulation (2000), an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) would be prepared and lodged with the consent authority, the City of Sydney Council, for consideration.
The EIS process will include extensive consultation with local residents, businesses and other
stakeholders. In anticipation, the project team had already begun talking to relevant industry
stakeholders about potential impacts, considerations and options for operating the helipad.
The proposed flight path will be finalised after consultation with appropriate regulatory and air traffic control authorities. It is envisaged that the flight path will be developed based on the flight lanes of existing helicopter trips around the Sydney CBD and between Sydney Airport.
Dr Schwartz said investigations were underway to assess noise impact from the operations of the helipad including approach and landing, idling and take off.
“Helicopter flights around the Sydney CBD are frequent and many already use the flight path proposed for this helipad,” said Dr Schwartz.
“The city has had a helipad in the past, so we are not proposing anything that is dramatically different, but its construction can play a significant role in reviving the city’s economy in the wake of the devastating impact of Coronavirus.
“We will be inviting public comment both in the lead-up to the preparation of the EIS, and the public will also be able to lodge comments once the EIS is placed on public exhibition by City of Sydney Council.”
Due to COVID-19 physical distancing requirements, the community can register to attend an information session at an allocated time slot by emailing email@example.com.
The community is welcome to learn more at www.darlingharbourhelipad.com.au and provide feedback via email.
Darling Harbour is designated as a dedicated tourism, convention and business precinct, which makes it’s the ideal location for a permanent helipad.
Jerry Schwartz completes purchase of Hilton Surfers Paradise with gala charity event - May 2019
Gold Coast charities benefit from Jerry Schwartz’s first foray into Queensland hotels – Charity Event marks take-over of Surfers Paradise Hilton
24 May 2019: The takeover of the Surfers Paradise Hilton earlier this month by Australia’s largest private hotel investor, Dr Jerry Schwartz, will be marked today by a major charity event, with a range of charities provided rooms to use for fund raising to support local causes.
Charities involved in today’s gala event include Rosies, the Smith Family, Oz Harvest, Paradise Kids/Hopewell Hospice, Humour Foundation/Clown Doctors, Orange Sky Homelessness, Gold Coast Hospital Foundation & Romac.
Dr Schwartz completed his first foray into Queensland hotel property with settlement of the $70 million purchase of the five-star Hilton Surfers Paradise from the Chinese group, Ja Feng at the start of May.
The Hilton Surfers Paradise is the Schwartz Family Company’s 14th hotel in Australia. It will join 11 hotels in NSW – including Sydney’s first international five-star hotel since 2000, the Sofitel SydneyDarling Harbour – and one each in the ACT and Victoria.
The Hilton Surfers Paradise is one of the Gold Coast’s newest luxury hotels, with Dr Schwartz’s purchase including the 169-room hotel and management rights for 220 apartment-style residences. The accommodation is complemented by an impressive range of facilities including four restaurants and bars, a spa, extensive conference and function facilities, four pools, a large outdoor deck area and car parking.
“It has become a tradition to mark our entry into new markets by holding a charity event, as it is important to give back to charities that do so much to support the local community,” said Dr Schwartz.
“The fact that we can align this to Hilton’s 100th anniversary adds to the occasion, but principally this is all about highlighting our support for the Gold Coast community.
“Previous fundraisers in Sydney have seen the charities raise in excess of $250,000 and we already know that incentives like our celebration event can raise tens of thousands of dollars for charities, so it is a very positive initiative.
“This was a big decision for our company to invest in the Gold Coast, but I have had plenty of opportunity to ‘test’ the market, having purchased an apartment on the Gold Coast two years ago and been a regular visitor with my family,” said Dr Schwartz.
“I’ve been impressed by the development of tourism infrastructure in recent years, and the seamless staging of the events such as the Commonwealth Games.
“The Gold Coast rightfully owns the title of Australia’s premier family, couples and groups market because its beaches, natural attractions, theme parks, events, restaurants and nightlife provide a complete tourism package that is attractive to both the domestic and international travellers.
“It’s a tremendously vibrant destination that combines world-class beaches with a touch of Las Vegas pizzazz. It all adds up to making the Gold Coast Australia’s ‘entertainment and events capital’.
It has become a tradition to mark our entry into new markets by holding a charity event, as it is important to give back to charities that do so much to support the local community
Schwartz launches Hunter Valley Solar Farm
Jerry Schwartz’s tourism and hospitality assets to ‘shine brightly’ as he prepares to launch massive solar farm in Hunter Valley
23 October 2019: Australia’s largest private hotel owner, Dr Jerry Schwartz, is bringing a massive renewable energy source to the heart of coal country in NSW’s Hunter Valley.
The 5.000 MW capacity solar farm comprises 13,350 panels on property that he owns adjacent to the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley in Lovedale, near Cessnock in the Hunter Valley.
When the $8.5 million solar farm becomes operational at the end of November, the renewable energy source will deliver a C02 reduction of approximately 7,811,000 kg per annum – equivalent to removing over 4300 vehicles annually from the road.
The solar farm was first conceived in 2016, and approved after a full statement of environmental effects and a vegetation management plan. The Development Application was approved by Cessnock City Council and the Joint Regional Planning Panel in December 2018.
Work commenced in February 2019, installing ground mounts for the 13,350 solar panels. High voltage cabling and new power poles and switching gear is now being installed for connection to Ausgrid’s infrastructure.
Two inverters have been delivered to site and an electrical switch room is being constructed, the solar farm will start to generate power at the end of November 2019.
The energy generated will contribute to the requirements of the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre and Sydney Brewery, all located on the Lovedale site. It will effectively start to make the Schwartz properties 100% renewable, with excess power initially sold back to the grid before eventually contributing to the power needs of Dr Schwartz’s other hotels across the State.
This is the latest in a series of environmental initiatives delivered by Dr Schwartz’s company.
Three years ago, a large bank of solar panels was installed on the roof of the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, spelling out ‘Lovedale’. The 99.58kWp solar plant produced a CO2/greenhouse gas reduction of 164,384 kg per annum.
The installation of the solar panels was part of an integrated environmental project that also included the development of a ‘co‐generation’ plant.
The co‐generation plant involved the simultaneous production of two forms of energy – electricity and heat, from a single fuel source (gas), which is used by the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley in its daily operations. The waste heat produced in the co‐generation process is then used for production of hot water and heating in the hotel, as well as heating the large swimming pool, production of potable water and use in the Lovedale Brewery production process.
Dr Schwartz is the largest hotel and tourism investor in the Hunter Valley region, with three hotels in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley, as well as a winery, Sydney Brewery, Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre, and the heritage‐listed Newcastle Post Office, which is to be restored into a function centre with an Indigenous Interpretive Centre.
Dr Schwartz said environmental and sustainability best‐practice needed to be at the heart of all hotels’ operations.
“It is particularly important to showcase renewable energy in the heart of a region still known for its coal mining,” said Dr Schwartz.
“Tourism is the sustainable industry of the future for the Hunter Valley, and to make the hotel, convention centre and brewery 100% renewable is an important initiative.
“The opening of the Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre in 2015 means that at times we have over 1000 people across the venue, so the installation of the solar panels across the property and the building of the new solar farm was an ideal solution to meeting our energy needs while minimising our environmental impact.”
The Schwartz Family Company was also a founding member of the World Green Council, an organisation that delivers online courses for hospitality workers that advocates for sustainability in tourism.
Dr Schwartz said environmental and sustainability best‐practice needed to be at the heart of all hotels’ operations.
Legendary Paradise Resort Gold Coast launched with new vision and refurbishment plan – March 2020
LEGENDARY PARADISE RESORT RE-LAUNCHES WITH MAJOR CHARITY EVENT AND $12 MILLION NEW VISION
2 March 2020: Australia’s leading family resort, Paradise Resort Gold Coast, re-launched
over the weekend, with new owner, Dr Jerry Schwartz, pledging $12 million towards a
major upgrade and revitalization of the Surfers Paradise resort.
To celebrate the landmark, a charity event was held at the resort, with over 20 charities
invited to use the rooms to raise funds for their individual organisations.
Charities included Baby Give Back, Paradise Kids, Brave Hearts, ACT for Kids, Mark Hughes
Foundation, Destiny Rescue, Camp Quality, Clown Doctors, Heart Kids, Variety’s The
Children’s Charity, YHES House, Guide Dogs, WIRES, The Gold Coast Hospital Foundation,
Starlight Children’s Foundation and The Ronald McDonald House.
It is estimated that the charities raised almost $180,000 as a result of the rooms donated
and event at Paradise Resort on Saturday night.
Queensland Tourism Minister, Kate Jones, along with Schwartz Family Company Director, Dr
Jerry Schwartz, both expressed their confidence in the future of Gold Coast tourism, especially
with commitments of investment in tourism promotion and prime accommodation assets such
as Paradise Resort.
Immediate renovation plans for Paradise Resort include a complete fit-out of guest
rooms, modernised entrance and lobby, enhanced children’s facilities – including a movie
cinema and a full size games room – and the introduction of a brand-new Adults Only Zone
which will include an additional swimming pool, bar and dining outlet just for mums and
dads to enjoy.
Dr Schwartz acquired the 360-room hotel last year, with settlement completed on Saturday 29
The addition of the Paradise Resort will increase the Schwartz Family Company network to
15 hotels and over 4000 rooms in four states and territories. It is the company’s second hotel
on the Gold Coast, following the acquisition of Hilton Surfers Paradise in 2019.
Dr Schwartz said that it was important that Paradise Resort should have a renewed vision,
as premium family resorts in such prime locations were very rare.
“Paradise Resort has accommodated families from all over Australia and overseas for four
decades, providing one of the most enjoyable holiday experiences imaginable” said Dr
Schwartz, who has three young children himself.
“It was wonderful that Tourism Minister Kate Jones was able to officiate at the event because
she was able to see first-hand how much family resorts such as Paradise Resort contribute
to Queensland’s tourism profile. With all the emphasis on encouraging Australians to holiday
in Australia, Paradise Resort is set to play an even more important role in future months.
“It would have been a terrible loss for Gold Coast and Queensland tourism if the original
plans to bulldoze the resort had gone ahead.
“Certainly, the resort is in need of an injection of funds to upgrade rooms, restaurants and
public areas, so I was pleased to announce that we will invest over $12 million in the first
two years alone to ensure Paradise Resort remains Australia’s favourite family resort.
“I am very optimistic about the Gold Coast market, despite the current issues affecting the
tourism industry. Both Paradise Resort and my previous purchase – the Hilton Surfers
Paradise – have established very strong reputations, and with further investment in both
hotels, aligned with the established reputation of the Gold Coast in the domestic and
international markets, I am very confident about the future.”
More About Paradise Resort Gold Coast
Set on five acres close to beaches and attractions, Paradise Resort is renowned as the number one destination for families travelling to the Gold Coast.
The Resort offers a range of accommodation options throughout its 360 guest rooms, with family comfort top of mind, including the popular themed Junior and King Bunkhouse rooms which feature brightly painted bunk beds and gaming consoles for the kids.
The entire central resort area features a giant lagoon pool, large heated spa and two enormous Zone for Kids (Z4K) waterpark attractions.
The Resort features the Zone for Kids Club – a fully supervised kids club offering separate play spaces ensuring age appropriate care and activities for kids aged 0-12. The Z4K Club provides an engaging environment where children really want to spend time, with nine themed play spaces providing an extensive range of activities including a subterranean play centre and maze, pedal cars, and movie room.
The resort is also home to PLANET CHILL and is the only resort in the Southern Hemisphere that has a permanent ice-skating rink onsite.
The overall aim of the Resort is to provide a stimulating environment for children, allowing their parents to be able to relax and recharge their batteries.
To find out more about this amazing family holiday resort, visit: www.paradiseresort.com.au
Paradise Resort has accommodated families from all over Australia and overseas for four decades, providing one of the most enjoyable holiday experiences imaginable
Jerry Schwartz calls for outright rejection of Harbourside redevelopment proposal
Hotelier Jerry Schwartz calls for outright rejection of Mirvac’s residential plan for Darling Harbour’s Harbourside site
3 April 2020: Mirvac’s newly announced proposal to scrap its previous Harbourside Darling Harbour re-development plans in favour of a massive residential tower should be rejected outright, says prominent Sydney hotel owner and developer, Dr Jerry Schwartz.
Dr Schwartz, who owns the adjacent Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, said that previous NSW
planning bodies had rejected proposals for the Harbourside re-development to include residential,
and that decision should stand.
In 2019, Mirvac lodged a new plan for the site, proposing a commercial office above a redeveloped
shopping and commercial centre. However, Mirvac produced yet another design for the site which
re-introduced a residential tower as the major element in the development plan.
“The residential focus of the development proposal goes totally against the tourism, entertainment
and retail concept of Darling Harbour,” said Dr Schwartz.
“The opening of the Sofitel and International Convention Centre three years ago re-emphasised Darling Harbour’s principal role as Sydney’s tourism hub, and there is no justification for deviating
from that model.
“The Ribbon development on the former Imax site was also proposed as part-residential but had to
change to full short-term accommodation, comprising a full-service hotel and serviced apartments.
“Darling Harbour has been designed as a commercial tourist and business precinct, not as another
residential area in a city that is already well serviced by large-scale high to medium density
“The proposal will also block out views from a number of existing hotels, even more so with the plan to move the tower from the originally planned northern end to the centre of the site. When I bought the Sofitel at a very substantial cost prior to its opening, there was a condition that no building would be built on the Harbourside site for 15 years. Clearly, the Mirvac proposal is in direct
contravention of that condition.
“The whole point of the original proposal was to ‘re-develop’ the Harbourside shopping centre, not
develop a massive residential tower under the guise of redeveloping the existing shopping component.
“The rest of Mirvac’s proposal – the commercial and retail – is just a smokescreen for what is the
ultimate end game: a massive residential development which goes completely against the ethos of
the original Darling Harbour design concept.
“Already the City of Sydney has called for the rejection of the proposal, as have local residents of
Pyrmont, and we call on the NSW Government to make it clear to Mirvac that this third version of
their re-development plan is totally unacceptable.”
About Dr Jerry Schwartz
Dr Jerry Schwartz followed in his parents’ medical and property footsteps, graduating as a doctor, while also building a large hotel portfolio. Today, the Schwartz Family Company is the largest privately owned hotel group in Australia with 15 hotels and over 4000 rooms, comprising Rydges World Square, Rydges Central Sydney, Hotel Ibis World Square, Hotel Ibis King Street Wharf, Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, Mercure Hotel Sydney, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Four Points by Sheraton at Central Park, Rydges Newcastle, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Novotel Newcastle, Mercure Hotel Canberra, The Victoria Hotel Melbourne, Hilton Surfers Paradise and Paradise Resort Gold Coast. The Schwartz Family Company employs over 2200 people.
In addition, Dr Schwartz owns Sydney Brewery, the Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre (the largest purpose-built meetings and functions venue outside Sydney) and Blue Sky Airlines, which operates charter services between Sydney, Newcastle and Hunter Valley.
Dr Schwartz still regularly practices as a surgeon in his inner Sydney medical practice.
He is a renowned philanthropist, with a wide range of charitable causes supported through the Schwartz Foundation.
The opening of the Sofitel and International Convention Centre three years ago re-emphasised Darling Harbour’s principal role as Sydney’s tourism hub
Dr Jerry Schwartz Profile & Schwartz Foundation Background
“An Entrepreneur, a Humanitarian, a Philanthropist and a Gentleman”
Dr Jerry Schwartz took over the family business from his parents, Dr Bela and Eve Schwartz, who
created a substantial property business after emigrating from Hungary following the War. His father, Dr Bela Schwartz, was a trained dentist, and Jerry’s mother, Eve, was a dental assistant.
Jerry followed in his parents’ medical footsteps, graduating as a doctor, while also becoming fully involved in the property side of the family business.
Today, Schwartz Family Company is the largest privately owned hotel group in Australia with 15 hotels and over 4000 rooms, comprising Rydges World Square, Rydges Central Sydney, Hotel Ibis World Square, Hotel Ibis King Street Wharf, Fairmont Resort Blue Mountains, Mercure Hotel Sydney, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Four Points by Sheraton at Central Park, Rydges Newcastle, Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, Novotel Newcastle, Mercure Hotel Canberra, The Victoria Hotel Melbourne, Hilton Surfers Paradise and Paradise Resort Gold Coast .
In addition, Dr Schwartz owns Sydney Brewery, the Hunter Valley Conference & Events Centre (the largest purpose-built meetings and functions venue in NSW outside Sydney) and Blue Sky Airlines, which operates charter services between Sydney, Newcastle and Hunter Valley. The Schwartz Family Company employs over 2200 people.
Dr Schwartz continues to practice as a surgeon in his Medical Centre at Matraville, Sydney, and is active in a wide variety of charitable causes.
Schwartz Family Company – Philanthropy
The Schwartz Foundation was established in 2001 by Dr Jerry Schwartz and his mother Eve, after the death of her husband, as a perpetual ‘memorial’ to Bela’s community and professional work. The Foundation is a registered charity supporting charities and selected projects in Australia and overseas, as well as providing assistance to individuals and small groups in need.
The Schwartz Foundation was set up for more than just raising money for charity, its aim is to make a real contribution, to change lives, educate people and better the community.
To date, the Foundation has donated over two million dollars to many worthy projects, charities and individuals.
Reflecting his own background, many of the programs are directed towards medicine, science, education and training, For instance, the Schwartz Foundation paid for the printing of 60,000 textbooks for the GlobalKidz charity that were used in teaching children to become socially responsible global citizens.
The Schwartz Foundation has enabled the establishment of the Anatomy museum and Surgical Skills laboratory at the Medical School of the Notre Dame University, as well as establishing two grants in Research/Lecturing at the University of Sydney Dental Faculty.
A major project of the Schwartz Foundation and one of the charity’s most noteworthy achievements has been the “Room for Hope“ program, with SFC hotels adding a $1 donation to the hotel bill of each guest, with 100% of the donation going to supporting charities like Mission Australia and the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute.
Other charities supported include Matthew Talbot Homeless Services (a division of St Vincent de Paul), Mission Australia, Youth off the Streets, the Big Kitchen, the Royal Far West and the Australian Children’s Music Foundation (ACMF).
Today, Schwartz Family Company is the largest privately owned hotel group in Australia