Hamilton’s ‘arms still open’
Resort expects to welcome back visitors this weekend as staff work hard to rebuild
AFTER Cyclone Debbie tore through Hamilton Island bringing 260kmh winds and a trail of destruction, the sun is shining, the rebuild is progressing and the island is re-opening in coming days.
Hamilton Island Enterprises CEO Glenn Bourke said after a “concerted clean-up effort”, the island was looking forward to welcoming back their first guests on Saturday (April 8).
“Over the past decade, Hamilton Island has become the jewel in the crown of the Whitsundays region and one of Queensland’s most successful and well-known holiday destinations,” Mr Bourke said on their Facebook page.
“During the tenure of their ownership, the Oatley family has invested over $600 million into building new infrastructure, improved resorts and world-class facilities for Hamilton Island.
“It is my intention to continue on with the Oatley family’s vision for Hamilton Island and return to business as usual as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
Mr Bourke said the impact of the cyclone had resulted in damage to vegetation and the facade of the island, but “no significant structural damage had occurred” to any of the hotels and resorts due to their highest cyclone safety rating construction.
“The properties on the island will be operating at reduced capacity with the Reef View Hotel, Palm Bungalows and some holiday homes partially re-opening this weekend followed by the Beach Club which will welcome guests from April 13,” Mr Bourke said.
“Renovations for qualia which were scheduled to commence in July have been brought forward to commence immediately and qualia will re-open June 1. We will continue to increase capacity in the coming months with a view to being fully operational again by August,” Mr Bourke said.
“I would like to make special mention of our airline partners, Virgin Australia, Qantas and Jetstar Australia, who worked tirelessly last week to provide additional services to ensure guests were returned home safely and as quickly as possible.”
IN BUSINESS: Hamilton Island will welcome guests again on Saturday.
The owner of this home was told of the damage while on an overseas trip.
Boats at Hamilton Island were damaged during Cyclone Debbie.