A second international luxury hotel is being sought for the North West despite recent downturns in the mining industry.
The state government will call for expressions of interest to build a new hotel in South Hedland within weeks, and Regional Minister Brendan Grylls yesterday made it clear he wanted a luxury brand similar to the Hilton being built in Karratha.
Hilton International's eight-story hotel is expected to open in the mining town in mid-2014 with 144 rooms, 20 apartments, a restaurant, bar facilities, a fitness centre, outdoor pool area and three function rooms.
It would be the highest quality hotel in the Pilbara and the first of the chain's DoubleTree brand in Australia.
Mirvac also is building a premier, 178-room resort in Port Hedland.
But a spokesman for Mr Grylls said the government would encourage international and national hotel chains of the calibre of the Hilton to also build at South Hedland.
That development, which would include retail at street level, is set to be built opposite the new town square and near the South Hedland Shopping Centre.
Port Hedland Mayor Kelly Howlett said the city council already had received "a lot" of interest due to the location.
"We're certainly hoping it's a four to five-star hotel," she said.
"It's very important that the right form and brand is in there because it's a prime location.
"The name chains are interested ... and we'd expect them to put in expressions of interest."
Councillor Howlett said there recently had been "significant" interest from international brands, including the Hilton, to build the new hotel at the Port Hedland.
"We would expect that even more interest would be garnered from this location," she said.
Hotel rooms are in short supply in the region, mostly due to the burgeoning mining industry.
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However, BHP and Fortescue Metals Group - the region's two largest miners - have significant pulled back their investments in the region, including postponing the Port Hedland port expansion and shredding hundreds of jobs.
But Australian Hotels Association WA chief executive officer Bradley Woods said demand for accommodation would remain for the foreseeable future, and majority of that was from the business sector.
"There has been very, very strong interest in accommodation in the area so there is a need for new hotels and accommodation," he said.
"Anyone investing in accommodation in Port Hedland would be looking at all of the economic factors. As mining investment peaks in the next couple of years there's going to be revitalisation of workers as well, but at the same time there's such huge over-demand for accommodation we'd suspect there should be a strong degree of interest in [building] accommodation in Port Hedland."
Mr Woods said the region could sustain a second hotel of the Hilton's quality, the nearest other being 250 kilometres away in Karratha.
"From an accommodation point of view that's a substantial difference [in location]," he said.
"There's enough going on in those two regions in terms of different mines and different activities ... to the point that additional accommodation is needed."