‘No com­mer­cial hur­dles’ in sale of Mi­rage to Mar­riner

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

THE Sher­a­ton will re­main as the ho­tel man­age­ment com­pany of the iconic Mi­rage re­sort un­der the own­er­ship of vet­eran Mel­bourne en­tre­pre­neur David Mar­riner.

Mr Mar­riner is in the fi­nal stages of buy­ing the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage and ex­pects the agree­ment to be fi­nalised in com­ing weeks.

The wealthy busi­ness­man said he has de­vel­oped a range of ex­cit­ing new ini­tia­tives for the re­sort which he is cur­rently ne­go­ti­at­ing with the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments for ap­proval.

“We are now in the fi­nal stages of ac­qui­si­tion and there are no out­stand­ing com­mer­cial is­sues,” he said.

“What we are do­ing is ad­vanc­ing the po­si­tion in our struc­tur­ing of man­age­ment, talk­ing to the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage and their staff and look­ing at the con­tract.”

Sher­a­ton Mi­rage staff were asked to sign a letter to agree to work un­der new own­er­ship this week.

Mr Mar­riner said. “We have a pro­posal that we have put be­fore the state and fed­eral gov­ern­ments and have been ex­plor­ing our op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We have some ex­cit­ing new ini­tia­tives to bring for­ward but it will de­pend en­tirely on the re­sponse from the gov­ern­ments.”

Mr Mar­riner de­scribed me­dia sug­ges­tions he in­tended to transform the re­sort into a casino as “non­sense”.

“We have no in­ter­est and no de­sire what­so­ever to de­bate or sug­gest any in­tro­duc­tion to any gam­bling into the re­sort,” he said.

“What the mar­ket needs to fo­cus on is the need and im­por­tance of how Port Dou­glas is go­ing to rein­vent it­self.

“Just be­cause the own­er­ship changes in a busi­ness doesn’t mean it is go­ing to bring more peo­ple to the re­gion un­less it takes on new ini­tia­tives.”

Mr Mar­riner hopes to an­nounce his plans for the re­sort in the com­ing weeks once the sale is com­plete.

Still strug­gling: cane farm­ers like Drew Wat­son and Bill Phillips-Turner will have to pay Queens­land Sugar Ltd

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