Australia – The Star Gold Coast on course for 2022 opening but promises more for exclusivityBy Phil - 24 October 2019
Australian casino operator The Star Entertainment Group has cranked up the pressure on the Queensland government to maintain its exclusivity on the Gold Coast with A$2bn masterplan.
Speaking at the company’s AGM, Chairman John O’Neill outlined a three-fold commitment to expand the existing casino on the Gold Coast ‘in return for certainty around maintaining the Gold Coast as a one casino city.’
Mr. O’Neill said: “The Star’s position has always been that we support investment in tourism assets on the Gold Coast, but the Gold Coast market is too small for two casinos.”
He explained there were three ‘top line elements’ to The Star’s offer.
“The first is a contractual arrangement to deliver in stages the two billion-dollar-plus Masterplan for The Star Gold Coast,” he said. “This includes construction of five towers alongside our existing hotels The Star Grand and The Darling. The first tower – including a Dorsett hotel – is under construction. We are in apartment pre-sales for Tower 2, which will house a world-renowned five-star hotel brand. I can also reveal that Tower 5 would feature a five-star hotel and potentially a Sky Park tourism playground with adventure, entertainment and luxury dining attractions.”
The Masterplan in its entirety would deliver significant new food and beverage offerings to create an unparalleled dining precinct for the Gold Coast. There will be retail outlets, infinity pools, gyms, a world-class day spa, an outdoor function centre for up to 1000 people and apartments which can be added to the short-term accommodation supply on Broadbeach Island.
“The second element in our offer to Government is an investment of up to $100m for the expansion and upgrade of the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre,” Mr. O’Neill added. “This is an investment that could have the project commence immediately after an agreement is reached. It’s not work that might be somewhere down the track. It’s real and we’re ready to commit here and now. That’s a timeline a long-running process is incapable of promising or delivering. We would suggest a portion of gaming tax revenues from The Star Gold Coast operations each year could be reserved to secure, promote and market new events, conventions and shows.”
The third element covers new tourism experiences at the Sheraton Grand Mirage beachfront resort. This involves refreshing the existing property, potentially with new restaurant, bar and gym while also developing a beach club.
Mr. O’Neill explained: “This element is in its early stages of development, however we may also seek approvals for a quality low rise resort development on a site adjoining the Sheraton Grand Mirage, to include tourism and residential components. Obviously, this level of commitment to the Gold Coast from The Star would require exclusivity arrangements which we would similarly discuss with Government.”
Star Chief Executive Officer Matt Bekier added: Queen’s Wharf Brisbane is a once-in-a-lifetime development opportunity. Together with our partners Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, it’s a $3.6bn investment to create a world-class precinct for local, interstate and international visitors. The development has four hotels, over 50 restaurants, cafes and bars; 12 football fields of open space; a Sky Deck overlooking the river and the CBD; a moonlight cinema; a pedestrian bridge to South Bank; and hopefully a zipline across the water. This will be the finest integrated resort in Australia and a tourism and entertainment destination to match the best anywhere around the globe. We won the right to develop Queen’s Wharf in 2015. Four years on, we are on time and on budget to open the doors of the integrated resort in 2022. “