Sheraton owner to splurge on revamp
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.”
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