The sec­ond age of Port

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - THE GROOVE -

It didn’t take a weird ex­cur­sion by an al­leged bunch of would-be ji­hadists to put us on the map.

Port Dou­glas is right back on the map any­way, as in­creas­ing ev­i­dence about the place reaf­firms.

The ma­jor ren­o­va­tions/devel­op­ment at the Sher­a­ton Mi­rage, Mi­rage Coun­try Club and hope­fully the Reef Ma­rina will soon be com­plete and the whole town’s tourism of­fer­ing will be recharged as a re­sult.

Tourism as­sets like th­ese need reg­u­lar ren­o­va­tion and up­dates, around the 20-year mark or even a bit less, and in line with what’s al­ready hap­pened at the QT Re­sort (for­merly Ry­dges) and the Ra­mada, along with re­cent work on many other third tier prop­er­ties, the town has passed that ma­jor need-toup­date pe­riod.

I’m start­ing to think of the cur­rent time as the Sec­ond Age of Port Dou­glas. I wasn’t here for the first one, the Skase era, but have been for­tu­nate enough to ex­actly co­in­cide with the re­cov­ery so far of Port Dou­glas from the global fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

This sec­ond age, if I’m not too op­ti­mistic, will be more ma­ture than the first and will link Port Dou­glas and Moss­man in the tourism in­dus­try much more than be­fore. The Moss­man Gorge Cen­tre and the Botanic Gar­den will be a po­tent tourism draw­card for Port Dou­glas’s vis­i­tors.

There’s an aware­ness and will­ing­ness among some busi­ness and com­mu­nity lead­ers in Port Dou­glas and Moss­man to carry this vi­sion through.

Mean­while, as new in­vest­ment in Port Dou­glas shows up in ex­cit­ing ad­di­tions such as the bou­tique brew­ery Hem­ing­way’s, new restau­rants and bars, and the in­creased ca­pac­ity for large su­pery­achts at the ma­rina, we can be­gin to be am­bi­tious about the the revival of the area as a high end tourist des­ti­na­tion.

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