Con­fu­sion over fu­ture of Bale

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

CON­FU­SION con­tin­ues to sur­round the par­tial clo­sure of the high-end Bale re­sort in Port Dou­glas.

While the body cor­po­rate says the prop­erty re­mains open for busi­ness, the bur­nished bronze sign at the en­trance to the re­sort has been re­moved, al­legedly by one dis­grun­tled party to failed man­age­ment ne­go­ti­a­tions.

Ne­go­ti­a­tions have bro­ken down be­tween the body cor­po­rate man­agers of the re­sort SSKB and Mantra, which was man­ag­ing and mar­ket­ing the prop­erty on be­half of Port Dou­glas Re­sorts Pty Ltd, which held the man­age­ment rights.

How­ever, around half of the units at Bale, which were not man­aged by PDR, re­main avail­able for hol­i­day rental through agents such as Ex­ec­u­tive Re­treats.

“It hasn’t af­fected our guests,” di­rec­tor of Ex­ec­u­tive Re­treats Wendy van der Wolf said.

“Guests can still use the swim­ming pool, which the body cor­po­rate is still main­tain­ing.

“I was at Bale to­day, and it looks great.”

For the re­main­ing units in the let­ting pool, the fu­ture is murkier, al­though the body cor­po­rate in­sists the re­sort will re-open soon.

“The body cor­po­rate has now ter­mi­nated its care­tak­ing and let­ting agree­ments with Port Dou­glas Re­sorts Pty Ltd and a new on-site man­ager will shortly be in­stalled at the re­sort,” body cor­po­rate so­lic­i­tor Shane Devenish said.

“The body cor­po­rate is sol­vent and will of course main­tain the ex­cel­lent stan­dard at the re­sort in the in­terim pe­riod.”

The gen­eral man­ager of the re­sort, Michael Brooks, said he was “deeply sorry” for the dis­tress caused to his staff and the guests.

“I would love to keep the team to­gether, but that wouldn’t be pos­si­ble,” he said.

“Thank­fully some have found al­ter­na­tive jobs but there aren’t many go­ing around.

“For the sake of the in­dus­try, and for Port Dou­glas, I hope Bale can be re­born. Our rep­u­ta­tion was ex­cel­lent, we were get­ting out­stand­ing feed­back and we had dou­bled our through­put over the year be­fore.”

It is be­lieved PDR owes a range of cred­i­tors, in­clud­ing the Aus­tralian Tax Of­fice, at least sev­eral hun­dred thou­sand dol­lars.

PDR di­re­cotr Alan Por­te­ous ad­mit­ted the com­pany’s cash flow had “fallen short”.

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