Today the announcement from investor David Marriner that he has settled on the purchase of The Sheraton Mirage Resort in Port Douglas for $35 million is being labelled a great day for Far Northern tourism and being hailed as a shot in the arm for all of North Queensland by Federal Member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch.
Warren Entsch has been working closely with David and Elaine Marriner and their Chinese investors and has received a first hand insight into the proposed masterplan of the site which is expected to run into the tens of millions of dollars. The masterplan design and concepts will be released to the public in the coming weeks.
“What they have planned for the Sheraton Mirage Resort will blow your mind, it is quite frankly amazing and very exciting. It will ensure this iconic Australian asset is reborn and it will reinvigorate the local tourism industry which is so desperately needed.
“The David Marriner Group plans to re-develop the resort into a sustainable brand. Their vision and master planning is exciting and is exactly what our tourism industry needs and I commend David and his company on being brave enough to invest in our region and see its potential despite the tough economic times being experienced,” said Mr Entsch.
David Marriner said the loss of the former owners of the Mirage was very sad, but he hopes to refresh the brand and give it new life.
“The property has been a flagship for Australian tourism for 25 years. For the first time in its history, the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas has a sensible cost base which positions it well for redevelopment to reclaim its former glory,” said new owner, David Marriner.
Mr Entsch said it was time both the State and Federal Government’s stepped up and supported private enterprise.
“Stabilising the economy and diversifying it is essential at this point in time and no-one can deny that. I have already submitted a proposal and met with Minister for Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government Simon Crean and Minister for Tourism Martin Ferguson in relation to this masterplan as I believe what they have in store for the region will not only add to our tourism industry, but provide vital community and cultural infrastructure which will dovetail into plans already afoot with the sporting and cultural precincts in Cairns.
I will continue to talk with both Ministers on how we can best support the community infrastructure goals this entrepreneurial team have planned for the site,” Mr Entsch said.