September 6, 2022 | By Graeme Kemlo
As a business events destination, Murray Bridge has a lot going for it – one hour from Adelaide’s CBD, the mighty Murray River runs through it, it has a 143-year history – and now a $45 million investment in the hospitality sector has revitalised the town.
In the midst of the pandemic, the owners of the town’s existing Bridgeport Hotel undertook a massive redevelopment to open a six-storey, 100-room, residential conferencing venue employing 120 locals.
Given the widely reported shortage of skilled hospitality staff, Bridgeport’s management chose to train up to 65 local residents, putting them through a leadership program and even creating a traineeship program with TAFE SA to hire local youth who could gain certificates in hospitality and operations, commercial cookery and commercial cleaning.
Now the ultra-modern hotel, which features four dedicated business event spaces and two outdoor terraces for up to 300 delegates, has become a destination in itself. It’s only 30 minutes from the Langhorne Creek wine region, the African safari zoo at Monarto Safari Park and its location is ideal for Dark Sky astronomical sunset dinners overlooking the Murray River.
Bridgeport’s major event space, the 342m2 Murray Room caters for 180 pax in banquet, 300 cocktail, 250 theatre or 100 cabaret.
A self-contained space, it boasts its own spacious bar, private restrooms, built-in stage, permanent dancefloor, large screen and sound system. It also has a 330m2 private balcony overlooking the river – perfect for an alfresco event. A separate Charles Sturt room can host conferences for 250 theatre-style. For smaller events there are two boardrooms for 16 and 25 people.
Guest facilities are no less than expected of a CBD property, with king rooms, a 24-hour front desk and room service, a restaurant, an outdoor heated infinity swimming pool, a gymnasium, free covered parking, free WiFi and river views.
In recognition of its success in the marketplace the Bridgeport recently was awarded Regional Hotel of the Year at the 2022 AHA National Awards for Excellence.