Sher­a­ton owner to splurge on re­vamp

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - SAM SMALLBONE

MEL­BOURNE prop­erty de­vel­oper David Mar­riner is trav­el­ling to Port Dou­glas this week to cel­e­brate his pur­chase of the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage Re­sort and un­veil his plans for the re­vamp.

Mr Mar­riner and an un­named Chinese in­vestor set­tled the pur­chase last Wed­nes­day night for the bar­gain price of $35mil­lion when it was ex­pected to fetch up to $50 mil­lion.

He is now lob­by­ing with the State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments for sup­port be­fore the two-year re­vamp which is ex­pected to run into the tens and mil­lions of dol­lars.

It is be­lieved that the mas­ter plan for the 294-room re­sort in­cludes a theatre which will have a sim­i­lar scale of his land­mark venues, the Princess and Re­gent the­atres, in Mel­bourne.

This de­sign is ex­pected to at­tract tour­ing mu­si­cals and pro­duc­tions from south­ern cities and sig­nif­i­cantly boost tourism in the Far North.

“The loss of the for­mer own­ers of the Mi­rage is very sad but I hope to re­fresh the brand and give it new life,” Mr Mar­riner said.

“The prop­erty has been a flag­ship for Aus­tralian tourism for 25 years.

“For the first time in its his­tory, the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage Port Dou­glas has a sen­si­ble cost base which po­si­tions it well for rede- vel­op­ment to re­claim its for­mer glory.”

It is be­lieved the ren­o­va­tions will be a two-year con­struc­tion pro­ject and will com­mence as soon as the State and Fed­eral gov­ern­ments com­mit to a “mod­est fi­nan­cial con­tri­bu­tion”.

“Our in­ten­tion is to main­tain the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage as a ho­tel man­age­ment com­pany how­ever we have some ex­cit­ing new ini­tia­tives to bring for­ward but it will de­pend en­tirely on the re­sponse from the gov­ern­ments,” he said.

Mr Mar­riner will dis­cuss the pro­posed mas­ter plan of the site with the Gazette this week.

Fed­eral Mem­ber for Le­ich­hardt War­ren Entsch has been work­ing closely with Mr Mar- riner and his Chinese in­vestors and has re­ceived a first-hand in­sight into the pro­posed plans.

“What they have planned for the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage will blow your mind, it is quite frankly amaz­ing and very ex­cit­ing,” he said.

“It will en­sure this iconic Aus­tralian as­set is re­born and it will rein­vig­o­rate the lo­cal tourism in­dus­try which is so des­per­ately needed.

“Their vi­sion and mas­ter plan­ning is ex­cit­ing and is ex­actly what our tourism in­dus­try needs and I com­mend David and his com­pany on be­ing brave enough to in­vest in our re­gion and see its po­ten­tial de­spite the tough eco­nomic times be­ing ex­pe­ri­enced.”

Photo by RICK KILPATRICK

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