Jerry Schwartz locks EVT to Hunter Valley resort

The main building’s rooftop has Lovedale spelled in solar panels.

Jerry Schwartz has chosen EVT to run a 130 hectare accommodation venue opposite Cessnock Airport, in Lovedale.

The appointment comes ahead of a 10 year agreement with IHG Hotels & Resorts ending in May.

Accor, Hilton and Marriott are believed to have thrown their hats in the ring during a tender.

Dr Schwartz, a former cosmetic surgeon, is Australia’s largest private hotel owner with over 4000 rooms in 14 assets.

Name change

EVT, which stands for Entertainment, Ventures and Travel, and controls brands including IMAX, Moonlight Cinemas and QT Hotels & Resorts, will change the Lovedale’s estate’s name from the Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley to Rydges.

The property contains 414 suites, some which are villas, and 15 conference rooms – one, the Hunter Valley Conference and Events Centre, which can accommodate c1100.

It also includes three equestrian arenas – due for completion soon – a water slide, roller coaster and an area for glamping.

With the change of operator, Dr Schwartz is expected to tip in $15 million to add more guest rooms, while another $30m could be spent on a tennis academy (story continues below).

“We are pleased to partner with EVT once again and are confident they will deliver outstanding results for Rydges Resort Hunter Valley,” the landlord said.

“Being the fifth property under their management, we believe EVT’s experience, local agility and track record of market leading results will bring significant value to the future success of our property,” he added.

Portfolio hits 45

With the Lovedale estate, Rydges now owns or manages 45 assets in Australia and New Zealand.

Upon announcing the Hunter Valley partnership, it added Mr Schwartz has extended its management rights for Rydges World Square Sydney and Rydges Sydney Central.

“As an Australasian owner-operator, we are recognised for the strength of our commercial results and ability to maximise assets,” EVT director of Hotels and Resorts, Norman Arundel, said.

“We have developed a highly effective relationship with Dr Schwartz and his company, a relationship built on mutual trust and strong performance,” he added.

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Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of