Freo's View

ENJOY THE SUN WHILE IT LASTS!

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on October 16, 2018

 

colourful west end

 

 

We have two hot days ahead of us before it gets colder and the rain will be back on Thursday, so make the best of the good weather while you can.

This colourful photo I took on Monday is all about Freo; heritage, colour, art, sun, people, alfresco.

Roel Loopers

MAKE HOTELS MORE FAMILY FRIENDLY

Posted in accommodation, children, city of fremantle, family, hospitality, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 15, 2018

 

Bradley Woods, the CEO of the Australian Hotel Association has a whinge about Bed&Breakfasts and the unfairness of it all in the West Australian today.

There is no doubt that some regulation needs to be in place for B&Bs, which are already required to have a registration here in Fremantle, but B&Bs are here to stay no matter how much the AHA is against them.

The reality the AHA will have to deal with is that hotels are expensive for families and large groups, in comparison to B&Bs, so what is the AHA going to do about that?

Hotels are also not very family and children friendly, so when are we going to see secure playgrounds and play spaces in hotels? Maybe new hotels could even include community kitchens so that families don’t have to go and eat out three times a day, which is very costly and prohibitive for many. It is one of the reasons people book a B&B, where they can do most of the cooking in house, and the kids might even have a garden they can play in.

While serviced apartments, such as Quest in Pakenham Street at least have a kitchen where one can prepare a meal or two, they still lack facilities for children and families.

I hope some of the new planned hotels in Fremantle will make an effort to cater better for families, to combat the trend toward B&Bs and away from hotel accommodation.

 

Roel Loopers

GREAT FREO BOUTIQUE HOTEL

Posted in accommodation, architecture, art, bar, city of fremantle, food, history, hospitality, hotel, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 13, 2018

 

 

National Hotel owner Karl Bullers gave me a quick preview of the new rooftop bar and twelve boutique hotel rooms and I left very impressed.

The rooftop bar will no doubt become one of Fremantle’s favourites, with sweeping views over the port, the historic West End and all over the city. The weather was very dull yesterday, so my photos unfortunately don’t do justice to the magnificence of it.

The hotel rooms are all individually styled with handmade furniture by Clint of Port Jarrah, which is just down the road from the hotel in High Street.

The rooms are really cosy and homely, some have views to the port, others over the city. The TVs are internet connected, there are bath tubs in some and twin showers in others, so recommend them to visitors who want something special smack bang in the middle of our beautiful city.

Noise insulation and double glazed windows are all there to ensure absolute comfort for hotel guests.

There are very good paintings along the corridors by local artists, which are for sale, and the National Hotel does not charge commission so is supporting our local creatives

The rooftop bar will officially open on Melbourne Cup Day but Karl Bullers told me that if the weather is fine next weekend he will give it a soft opening to see how it all goes.

It is a great new addition to Fremantle by an owner who has clearly got faith in Freo’s future.

Roel Loopers

This post is a community service and not an advertorial. I do not accept advertising, payment or gifts for my blog posts.

 

FIRST CRUISE SHIP ARRIVES IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, cruiseliners, cruiseship, fremantle ports, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 11, 2018

 

cruising

 

The first cruise liner of the summer season arrived in Fremantle Port this morning. The Sea Princess started her circumnavigation of Australia in Sydney and will continue this evening north along the WA coast.

It is a shame that the new shade structure, promised by Premier Mark McGowan several months ago, has still not been installed, but the two huge shade umbrellas that used to be there were removed months ago, so no shade for the passengers.

Nice to see that Councillor Rachel Pemberton  has joined the Fremantle Visitors Guides. I saw her up at the Roundhouse, which I opened an hour earlier at 9.30am to accommodate all the international visitors. It was a lovely day in the sun.

Roel Loopers

LOOKING FOR ARTHUR’S HEAD CLIFF FACE SOLUTION

 

 

Something is finally happening at Fremantle’s historic Arthur’s Head, with two engineers in a cherrypicker scanning the limestone rock face below the Roundhouse today.

Scaffolding and fencing was put around a large part of Arthur’s Head in May, out of concern for rock fall, but it isn’t a very good look for the popular tourist destination.

The question now is how much longer it is going to take before the City of Fremantle and Heritage Council agree on a permanent solution and commission the required repairs.

Roel Loopers

 

FREMANTLE’S SECRET DESTINATION MARKETING

Posted in advertising, city of fremantle, hospitality, local government, retail, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on October 8, 2018

 

The purpose of this report is to present to Council the City of Fremantle Destination Marketing Strategic Plan 2019 – 2020 and seek the adoption of the plan and associated 2018/19 Annual Implementation Plan. The Strategy has been developed by the Destination Marketing Working Group (DMWG) in line with the DMWG Terms of Reference (TOR). This report recommends that Council adopt the strategic plan and the annual implementation plan.

When the FPOL Committee of Fremantle Council on Wednesday deals with the agenda item above the public will be none the wiser about what the new Fremantle Destination Marketing strategy will be, since council has made the report confidential. Why?!

The City of Fremantle established a committee of marketing experts to advise council on what the destination marketing priorities and ideas should be, but the community and ratepayers are not to know the outcome of those deliberations? Why not? What can possibly be secret about this process that should be open and transparent. After all, it is paid for by Fremantle traders, who pay an additional deferential rate, that was supposed to be for BID, but Council abandoned that.

So please, Fremantle Council, make the Destination Marketing attachments of the FPOL meeting available to the public.

Roel Loopers

THE FUTURE OF FREO’S J SHED

 

With the saga about a tavern at J Shed on Bathers Beach now finally closed it is now time for Fremantle Council to look at a long-term plan for historic Arthur’s Head because the Bathers Beach Art Precinct idea has clearly not improved activation of the area, and that is what Council supposedly was hoping for when approving the 21-year tavern lease with Sunset Events.

There are a few simple facts about the art precinct and that is that quite a few artists have tried but could not even earn enough to pay the rent, and only a few real professionals such as Greg James, Jenny Dawson and Glen Cowans have survived and contributed to the area, and to a lesser extend also the messy looking David Giles gallery where many Sunday painters gather.

We also know that hospitality operators looked at the No 1 glass wall studio at J Shed but did not believe it was financially viable to start a business because they would have had to invest in sewerage, toilets and building a commercial kitchen, and the costs were prohibitive. It was also questioned if a hospitality venue would be a good neighbour next to a semi-industrial art workshop where grinding, welding, wax and bronze melting takes place.

Activation is a buzz word in Fremantle, as was placemaking for a few years, but what does it really mean and how much of it is needed at Arthur’s Head? Already the Roundhouse attracts some 150,000 visitors a year and that is the number of people actually going through the door, while many who walk up to the limestone cliff face just wander around without entering. It is a coming and going that make the place look popular, and the Glen Cowans gallery next to it offers fantastic underwater photography that is admired by many visitors from all over the world.

If Fremantle Council is seriously interested in activating the area why does it not use the lawn next to the Roundhouse and the A Class reserve in front of J Shed more often for events, one has to wonder. Why for example is the far west end of High Street not used as a stage for the Street Arts Festival to attract people there and help the activation Freo councillors keep dreaming about? Why is there no weekend art and craft market in the area?

Where is the investment in the area when Bathers Beach still does not have public toilets and where the connectivity from The Fishing Boat Harbour to Victoria Quay is still not resolved properly? Why are the Pilot’s Cottages not lit up at night, that would also discourage homeless people from using them?

Why also do we live with scaffolding and fencing around the cliff face since May, and work has still not started on it when tourists numbers and cruise ship visits will increase during the warmer summer months? Why has it taken so long, nearly half a year!, to find a solution?

Fremantle Council needs to walk the walk and put ratepayers’ money to good use at Arthur’s Head, because the area looks run down and uncared for and that is unacceptable for this heritage and tourist precinct. Forget activation, prioritise tender loving care first!

Roel Loopers

MAKING FREMANTLE MORE WALKABLE

 

What makes a walkable city, and is Fremantle one of them, was asked at the Politics in the Pubs forum by the Fremantle Network at The Local in South Fremantle on Tuesday evening.

A panel with Olwyn Williams, the CEO of the Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Dr Annie Matan of CUSP(Curtin University of Sustainable Policy), and City of Fremantle urban and transport planner Martin Spencer addressed the topic before a general discussion

Martin Spencer said that on the walkability index Fremantle gets 72-79 out of 100 and is the 19th most walkable suburb in the Perth metro area.

We need to make the city open, invite people in, and make them walk. Drag people into the shops and off the footpaths, and connect destinations with better signage.

Dr Annie Matan said that being pro pedestrians and cyclists did not mean we are anti car, but we need great public transport and walking and cycle infrastructure to make the city work better. There needs to be a safe and interesting environment for pedestrians, which includes good public toilets, water fountains, benches, shade structures and trees, etc.

“Every road needs to tell a story to our visitors and ourselves”

Footpaths are where we meet friends, and importantly also strangers. It is where we connect with our communities.

We need to create authentic places as they are important, and destinations to walk to, and do connections better, such as walking from the CBD to South Beach or the Fremantle Arts Centre.

Many footpaths are cluttered and become a hazard and Fremantle City needs a strong policy for planning walkability, Dr Matan said.

Olwyn Williams said that Fremantle has got more than anyone else; the port, heritage, the university, beaches, cafes, art, shopping, festivals and concerts, but we are a small community with a small ratepayers’ base, so we need the outside world to come to Freo and make it economically viable to set up shop here.

We need more visitors, more people working here and more residents, and to become a better place we need to embrace medium density living.

Connections with the suburbs is vital and important as Fremantle is not just the CBD.

Road closures in the CBD often have a negative impact on nearby businesses and the City should consider that more carefully. The second hour free parking the City of Fremantle has just implemented, is a very good idea as it will make people linger longer, Williams said.

Wayfinding needs to improve as signs don’t tell you that you could walk just a block further to enjoy Wray Avenue, or that it is a nice half hour walk to South Beach, and we need much better lighting to make us feel safer at night.

Olwyn Williams also said that the High Street Mall is a disaster and the closure should never have happened.

Martin Spencer said it was about time the community took ownership as it can’t be just left to local governments to implement change.

Comment: I believe we need to make the walking journey more attractive and make it a discovery, an adventure, walks where we connect all our Freo hidden treasures, and where we decentralise more and better utilise the A Class reserve at Arthur’s Head, the lawn next to the Roundhouse, Pioneer, Princess May and Fremantle parks, etc.

Fremantle offers a unique experience and that is what our new destination marketing should be all about. People will be encouraged to walk if we offer them a better shopping and lifestyle experience.

Roel Loopers

 

 

LIGHT SHOW FOR FREMANTLE PRISON

Posted in city of fremantle, fremantle prison, heritage, roundhouse, tourism, Uncategorized by freoview on September 20, 2018

 

I am delighted to hear that Fremantle Prison is considering adding light and projection shows to their already very good and popular offerings.

Fremantle needs a few more tourist attractions to keep visitors in our city longer, and we have not much on during evenings but live music in pubs sometimes.

I am hoping that the Fremantle Volunteer Heritage Guides will also offer light and projections shows inside, and on the exterior of the Roundhouse, as stage two of the project to install new interpretive displays in WA’s oldest public building, so we can activate it at night.

In that context I also welcome the announcement by Premier Mark McGowan to protect Lotterywest and ban Lottoland from operating in our state. Lotterywest contributes so much to our community with grants for amazing projects, heritage conservation, etc. and we can’t really do without their funding.

Roel Loopers

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SILVERLEAF BUYS FREMANTLE NEWPORT HOTEL

Posted in architecture, city of fremantle, development, food, heritage, Uncategorized by freoview on September 17, 2018

 

The hospitality grapevine in Fremantle is abuzz today with the yet unconfirmed rumours that Silverleaf Investments has bought the Newport Hotel on the Cappuccino Strip.

The Newport back entrance comes out onto Paddy Troy Lane and is adjacent to the Manning Building, which Silverleaf will be developing into a tavern, micro brewery, retail, etc., so it makes sense for the company to try to control that rundown part of town and improve it.

Sad news to hear that the Miss Chats bar in historic High Street has closed. It appeared to be doing well, so it’s a shame a small bar in the West End has disappeared.

But work has already started on the Republic of Fremantle tavern and gin distillery just up the road at Pakenham Street, so that will help activate the area during the evenings. It is due to open late this year.

Roel Loopers

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