BY RODERICK EIME
The recent announcement by Capricorn Tourism and Economic Development Limited’s CEO, Mary Carroll, looks like bringing to a close the ongoing saga of the failed resort development at Tanby Point near Rockhampton.
Carroll said the full council is about to consider the final points of the new application for a fully integrated 5-star resort complex to be developed on the site of the former Pearl Wellness Resort and Spa.
“New tourism product development is critical for not just our region, but for the State of Queensland,” she said. “The revisited design meets the needs of modern tourism in sustainability and will be the first five star resort ever to be built on the Capricorn Coast.”
Predictably, the revised development is not without opposition and local builder, Scott Kilpatrick, who lives near the site is concerned about height, zoning and density.
The current site, which still has a derelict Balinese-style hut from the earlier, failed development, was purchased by Harry Nicol of developer Moondaze, who plans to offer 201 units, with a total of 333 bedrooms, commercial space, a premium restaurant, conference centre, lounge bar, indoor sports facility and health spa.
Speaking exclusively to HM, Nicol wanted to remain in the background, instead spruiking the overwhelming lack of high quality resort-style accommodation in the area and the Capricorn region’s obvious suitability for this new expansion given the growing wealth from nearby mining and mineral resources sites.
Industry insiders might recall Nicol was one of the founders of the giant Liquorland group of bottle shops long since sold to Coles. Nicol then went on to hotel and conferencing in NSW and Queensland before shifting his sights to North Queensland where he believes there is still much untapped potential.
“It was clear that there was a gaping hole in the accommodation offerings in the region,” Nicol told HM. “The previous development, in current form, was never going to be viable and disregarded domestic market needs. I see this development as a launching pad for the region’s great tourism potential.”
Nicol and Moondaze are in discussion with major resorts brands on the complete utilisation of the property.
The Rockhampton Council’s planning committee has recommended the development proceed and it was expected to go before full council this week.