Popular Mackay region resort redevelopment not dead yet
IT WAS the jewel in the crown of the region's tourist destinations, demanding $275 a night in the early 1990s.
It employed 230 people including 20 green-keepers just for the golf course.
Three years ago, Laguna Quays Resort, an hour north of Mackay at Midge Point, was abandoned and since then, it's sat empty and is falling into disrepair.
But the Hong Kong-based investment company Fullshare, which bought the resort in 2013 with a plan to redevelop it, remains committed to delivering on that.
And it has appointed an executive president to lead the project.
Fullshare told The Daily Mercury this week that the company was putting a lot of money and resources into the resort it bought for more than $15million four years ago.
"The redevelopment of the Laguna Quays Resort and the Marina is a multi-stage project and contains many development components which require detailed consideration," the statement read.
"Fullshare is spending a significant amount of time and resources formulating the appropriate development plan and have appointed Mr Richard Luk as the Executive President of Comprehensive Real Estate Development to lead the project."
It was a big purchase in 2013; it paid $2.96million for the Turtle Point Hotel, $1.6million for the marina, $1.1million for Turtle Point Golf Course and $3.3million for the large vacant block behind the resort.
On top of that, the transaction included spending more than $4.3million for a nearby quarry, dam and bores, country club, and ranges.
After buying the resort Fullshare managing director Yi Yu said the company was planning to redevelop the existing resort, particularly the Turtle Point golf course, hotel and marina.
"At the same time, master planning of a much bigger resort, encompassing the existing one, and building on its attractions is also under way," he said.
In May 2013 Fullshare missed out on securing a casino licence but Mr Yu was confident there was still opportunity there.
At that time too there was no timeline for construction but by 2015 the company had plans to start construction the following year. Project manager at the time was Shane Barrett who said developers had started to plan the first stage.
"We are planning to start the first stage development of Laguna next year that include refurbishing the existing Hotel (the Lodge), Golf Club, upgrading of the existing Golf Course and Beach Club, as well as dredging the Marina," he said in 2015.
But now the work Fullshare has completed is limited to "several early work components of the proposed redevelopment of the Laguna Quays Marina".
They include a full survey of the site, compliance inspection by the State Department of Environment and Heritage Protection and "analysis of available infrastructure". The company would not offer a revised timeline for the redevelopment or the requested interviews with Mr Barrett or Mr Luk. According to Mackay Regional Council's development application tracker Fullshare has not submitted an application to expand the resort.
- 1992: The $250 million Laguna Quays Resort opens
- 1992: The resort has 230 employees, which includes 20 green-keepers, and is charging $275 a night for a standard room
- 1993: The 70-berth marina opens
- 1995: The resort goes into receivership, with debts up to $200 million
- 2009: Mackay Regional Council auctions parts of the precinct to recoup about $2.1 million in unpaid rates
- 2010: A $290,000 rates bill believed unreasonable by resort
- 2012: Termination letters are delivered to employees
- 2012: Mackay Regional Council is still out-of-pocket about $1 million in unpaid rate fees
- 2013: The resort sells to company, Fullshare Holdings Group
- 2015: The company announces the first stage of development would start 2016
- 2017: Fullshare develops a plan to redevelop the resort, with a new project head
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