Hamil­ton’s ‘arms still open’

Re­sort ex­pects to wel­come back vis­i­tors this week­end as staff work hard to re­build

Whitsunday Times - - NEWS - Cas Gar­vey cas.gar­vey@dai­ly­mer­cury.com.au

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.”

PHOTO: TOURISM AND EVENTS QUEENS­LAND

IN BUSI­NESS: Hamil­ton Is­land will wel­come guests again on Satur­day.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

The owner of this home was told of the dam­age while on an over­seas trip.

PHOTO: NEWS CORP

Boats at Hamil­ton Is­land were dam­aged dur­ing Cy­clone Deb­bie.

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