Tech mogul buys Orpheus Resort
EXCLUSIVE HIDEAWAY: Orpheus Island Resort has a new owner who is understood to be keen to continue its operation THE founder of Australian technology star Computershare, Chris Morris, is the proud new owner of idyllic Great Barrier Reef destination Orpheus Island Resort.
Real estate agency CB Richard Ellis reported on the deal yesterday, admitting to some surprise at the level of interest the resort attracted after a sales campaign launched in the middle of last year. The agency did not reveal the sale price but given the times the resort is likely to have been sold at a substantial discount to values which could have been achieved before the global financial crisis.
A figure around $ 10 million had been quoted last year.
Mr Morris, who founded Computershare in 1978, is understood to be looking to continue to operate the resort and make substantial improvements, including working with indigenous groups to promote Aboriginal culture.
The resort property, about 80km northeast of Townsville, comprises 10ha of a 1368 ha National Park island.
The resort includes 21 waterfront guest rooms, fully licensed bar and restaurant, gymnasium, tennis court, two swimming pools and guest facilities.
Strictly limited to 42 pampered guests, Orpheus is a sophisticated retreat offering premium service, fine cuisine and total seclusion with rates starting around $ 800 per person per night.
Part of the Palm Island Group, the resort is on the sheltered side of the island and boasts fantastic snorkeling and dive l ocations nearby.
C B Richard Ellis’s Paul Nyholt said the inquiry level for the resort was very strong with about 150 calls.
‘‘ Given the market conditions, we were surprised by the level of interest,’’ he said.
‘‘ It’s certainly been difficult times in the last 12 months or so, especially for these types of properties.’’
Mr Nyholt said boutiquestyle resorts like Orpheus had been able to weather the times better than larger properties because t hey were more efficient and could control costs better.
He said Mr Morris planned to continue the resort.
‘‘ The new owners intention for this resort is to keep it operating as a resort property and make improvements,’’ he said.
Mr Morris could not be contacted for comment yesterday but it seems he now has more time on his hands.
Founder and former chairman of Computershare, he s t epped down f r om his executive role late last year.
Mr Morris acquired Perth’s Royal on the Waterfront pub and the Colonial Brewing Company in 2008.