At the start of the year, the Windsor Hotel in South Perth made national headlines for banning patrons under 21 in the venue on Friday and Saturday nights, after a particular group of young patrons would engage in anti-social behaviour every weekend at the venue, and damaging property. Five months on, GM Max Fox-Andrews said the decision has been a very positive step for the hotel.
The ban was a temporary one, and only for a particular group of 18-21 year olds, who had been identified as repeatedly pre-loading, then arriving at Windsor Hotel’s newly renovated Garden Bar, where they would proceed to cause trouble and damage the space.
Now five months since that policy was enacted, Fox-Andrews has said that it has done wonders for the business.
“To cut the point short, these guys never came back again, and our customer base for that area has completely changed for the better. I guess it’s a success story. We’ve seen a change in demographic, a change in numbers and a change in behaviour – which was the whole point of the exercise.”
The Garden Bar is still patronised by a younger crowd on the weekends, but not by the 18-21 year old market.
“It’s the 21s and over. They’re smart. I’d describe them as young, yuppyish, up-and-coming professionals. People are there to enjoy themselves without destroying the venue, which is what they were doing in the past.”
Fox-Andrews said that immediately after implementing the policy they saw a dip in patronage, which was concerning, but it only lasted a couple of months before correcting itself. Another upshot has been the savings in security expenses, with extra security guards no longer required.
“We’ve been able to decrease the amount of security guards that we have on site now because there are less problems. So as a business we’re saving close to $1000 a week on extra security, which is quite something.”
The GM said the industry, and in particular Liquor Licensing, has been very supportive of the hotel’s policy.