Confusion over future of Bale
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”.