This is head 30pt bk an­tique reg pic story

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

Mr Por­te­ous told staff Port Dou­glas Re­sorts - which does not own any other prop­er­ties - had to close the re­sort im­me­di­ately and could not af­ford to pay them.

Mr Por­te­ous said the com­pany was suf­fer­ing from “cash flow” prob­lems.

“There have been some ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the body cor­po­rate, Mantra and the own­ing com­pany (PD Re­sorts) to con­tinue, change it, or re­struc­ture,” he said.

“That hasn’t worked yet, so we had to close the doors.”

He said the cur­rent eco­nomic down­turn hadn’t been the sole fac­tor in the clo­sure of the 50-pav­il­lion Asian-themed luxury re­sort.

“That was a con­tribut­ing fac­tor, but there have been hic­cups and con­cerns down the line,” he said.

“The down­turn over the past year or two hasn’t helped but it’s not fair to sim­ply blame that.”

Mantra Group, which man­ages pro­motes and mar­kets Bale on be­half of Port Dou­glas Re­sorts, also re­ceived vir­tu­ally no warn­ing of the clo­sure from Port Dou­glas Re­sorts and was yester- day fran­ti­cally try­ing to min­imise the dam­age.

Guests in six rooms have been re­lo­cated to other Mantra prop­er­ties, while the com­pany tries to con­tact nearly 200 guests with for­ward book­ings.

“We didn’t see it com­ing at all,” a Mantra spokesper­son said yes­ter­day.

“We’ve just un­der­taken a mas­sive mar­ket­ing cam­paign fea­tur­ing Bale.”

Se­cu­rity guards have been ap­pointed to the prop­erty and ne­go­ti­a­tions are con­tin­u­ing be­tween the prop­erty’s body cor­po­rate, Port Dou­glas Re­sorts and the Mantra Group to de­ter­mine a res­o­lu­tion.

While Bale may be in a po­si­tion to re-open in a mat­ter of weeks un­der new own­er­ship, this is lit­tle con­so­la­tion to the staff mem­bers who were due to get paid yes­ter­day for the pre­vi­ous fort­night.

Chef Brad Reynolds said it was a bit­ter pill to swal­low after the staff had worked so hard to clean up the prop­erty after Cy­clone Yasi.

“They (Port Dou­glas Re­sorts) must’ve known be­fore Tues­day they couldn’t af­ford to pay us for the pre­vi­ous two weeks work,” he said.

“That’s an ap­palling way to treat peo­ple.”

Sup­pli­ers to the re­sort don’t ex­pect to be paid for de­liv­er­ies over the past two months, ei­ther.

“We haven’t been paid for de­liv­er­ies in Jan­uary or Fe­bru­ary,” one sup­plier said.

Pres­i­dent of the Port Dou­glas Cham­ber of Com­merce Ken Dobbs said the re­sort should make a quick re­cov­ery.

“I ex­pect it will be res­ur­rected, and fairly quickly,” he said. “How­ever, it’s a blow for the town and cer­tainly a bad ex­pe­ri­ence for the peo­ple in­volved.”

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