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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.”