A $1 billion Vegas-style tourism hub will be developed on the Gold Coast, with the Queensland government this week launching a global search for partners to deliver the project.
The hub, described at its launch by premier Annastacia Palaszczuk as a “game changer” for the coast, will involve lavish Las Vegas-style entertainment and convention facilities, tourism experiences and attractions, luxury hotels and high-end dining.
Plans for a Gold Coast tourism hub have been touted since the state government confirming that a second casino licence for the region would be up for grabs in mid-2017, but tourism minister Kate Jones says the government will only approve a development which does not revolve around gaming.Southport is rumoured to be the preferred location for the project.
“As global tourism hubs are developing around the world, we are seeing a greater focus on entertainment, high-end retail and convention centre markets, not gaming revenue,” said Ms Jones.
“That’s why today I can announce we will cap the gaming footprint of any new development at five per cent of gross floor area.
“This is similar to the current development of Queen’s Wharf in Brisbane.”
While The Star Entertainment Group argues their approved plans for a $2 billion integrated casino development already constitute a global tourism hub, Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate says the new plan constitutes “a great day” for the Gold Coast.
“We know a global tourism hub will support thousands of new jobs for Gold Coast and has the potential to take tourism to a whole new level,” he said.
A tourism advisory panel overseeing the process of finding a project backer will be chaired by local businessman John Witheriff and include representatives from the City of Gold Coast, Destination Gold Coast, Gold Coast Airport, local businesses and community representatives.
Witheriff said he was committed to making the most of increased investor interest in the Gold Coast.
“I am looking forward to working with all parties including state government and council to ensure that if an integrated resort development was to go ahead that it delivers the best outcome for Gold Coast residents,” he told The Urban Developer.