In­vest­ments fire up Flames

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - TOURISM TALK -

FLAMES of the For­est – Aus­tralia’s only per­ma­nent off-site rain­for­est venue pro­duc­ing stun­ning din­ing ex­pe­ri­ences and busi­ness events in the mag­nif­i­cent Mowbray Val­ley south of Port Dou­glas – has un­der­gone a ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment.

The iconic tourist at­trac­tion, which com­bines sump­tu­ous lo­cal pro­duce with a spec­tac­u­lar can­dle-lit set­ting, en­ter­tain­ment and im­pres­sive spe­cial ef­fects for up to 800 guests re­ceived a full venue makeover to mod­ernise the mag­nif­i­cent rain­for­est set­ting.

Gen­eral man­ager Natalie John­son said the Flames of the For­est team spent 10 days im­mersed in the rain­for­est to trans­form the venue with new fix­tures and smart tech­nol­ogy.

“It’s al­ways a daunt­ing task re­fur­bish­ing in the rain­for­est, par­tic­u­larly given we had to com­pletely gut the venue of the ex­ist­ing chan­de­liers, light­ing rigs, crys­tal cur­tains and silk lin­ing be­fore we could even pro­ceed with build­ing all the new fix­tures,” Ms John­son said.

“The en­tire process was an ex­cep­tional team ef­fort, with the con­struc­tion of six new, cus­tom-de­signed chan­de­liers whose crys­tals ap­pear to float in mid-air, the de­sign and cre­ation of new crys­tal cur­tain­ing with bud light fea­ture globes and a full in­stal­la­tion of new, state-of- the-art light­ing.

“Each chan­de­lier has its own, colour-chang­ing LED fix­ture and the space now fea­tures sev­eral in­tel­li­gent fix­tures cre­at­ing a fan­tas­tic dance­floor which also has the ca­pa­bil­ity to project lo­gos for that ex­tra bit of brand­ing.”

The in­stal­la­tion of new, flow­ing black silk into the ceil­ing com­pleted the re­fur­bish­ment process, with the chal­lenge of un­der­tak­ing such a mas­sive makeover in an out­door rain­for­est set­ting pre­sent­ing plenty of chal­lenges.

“Un­like re­fur­bish­ing a nor­mal venue, we had to deal with the trop­i­cal heat, rain, mozzies, bugs, spi­ders and even a cu­ri­ous mon­i­tor lizard keen to see what all the fuss was about, in a re­mote lo­ca­tion with no mo­bile phone re­cep­tion to get the job done,” Ms John­son said.

“But the re­sults were well worth it, with the new look pro­vid­ing a mes­meris­ing ele­ment to the stun­ning rain­for­est back­drop.”

Ms John­son said the evo­lu­tion of Flames of the For­est in the World Her­itage-listed Dain­tree Rain­for­est over the past 13 years has been ex­cit­ing.

“We feel as if we have raised a child to adult­hood – it was a proud and ex­hil­a­rat­ing mo­ment to flick the switch and see the mar­quee come to life and look so breath­tak­ing,” Ms John­son said.

“It made all that time sweat­ing it out up a scis­sor lift worth it!”

Ms John­son said Flames of the For­est was in­spired to in­vest in its first ma­jor re­fur­bish­ment in five years by the sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in the desti­na­tion largely gen­er­ated by re­cent sub­stan­tial in­vest­ments by ma­jor op­er­a­tors in Port Dou­glas.

“Ma­jor tourism op­er­a­tors in­clud­ing Sher­a­ton Mi­rage Port Dou­glas, Crys­tal­brook Su­pery­acht Ma­rina, Quick­sil­ver and Hart­ley’s Creek Cro­codile Ad­ven­tures have in­vested hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars in re­fur­bish­ing their prod­ucts re­cently which has cre­ated sig­nif­i­cant in­ter­est in the busi­ness events sec­tor both do­mes­ti­cally and in­ter­na­tion­ally,” Ms John­son said.

Flames of the For­est has had a won­der­ful re­vamp

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