Developments

Palmer resort shuts on Sunshine Coast

Clive Palmer shut the doors to his struggling Coolum complex on Monday [16 March] but it seems he is not putting the resort out of its misery promising instead to restore it to its “former glory”.

The Palmer Coolum Resort’s website closed down on Friday and 40 staff were dismissed by Palmer’s Townsville-based HR personnel.

Would-be Titanic 2 builder, Mr Palmer purchased five-star Hyatt Regency Coolum in 2011 and dispensed with the Hyatt management, promising to inject $2 billion into the seaside property. Since then there appears to have been a deliberate policy to let the resort deteriorate resulting in incredibly low occupancy levels.

The resort is owned by Coeur de Lion Investments that is 100 per cent owned by Clive Palmer.

Resort general manager Simon Stodart, who has been retained, announced that the accommodation and conference components of the resort had been temporarily closed to prepare for a multi-million dollar refurbishment. Designers and architects are expected to start assessing the site and present their concepts to Mr Palmer for approval this month with work renovation expected to begin in April.

The Robert Trent Jones Jr-designed championship golf course and associated golf facilities will continue to function as normal. The Palmersaurus Dinosaur Park minus its star attraction that was destroyed by fire last month, the Motorama auto museum and Palmer Grill restaurant will remain open during redevelopment.

“The time has come for an extensive overhaul of our iconic Sunshine Coast property to establish it as the premier property not just in its region but all of Queensland,” Mr Stodart said.

Former Olympic great Benny Pike, among those to have lost their jobs at the resort, said, “No one believes he [Palmer] is closing it for refurbishment.”

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