28 July 2011
DUNK & BEDARRA ISLAND RESORTS UPDATE
Hideaway Resorts, operator of Dunk and Bedarra Island resorts today announced the resorts would not be reopened on 1 April 2012 as originally planned.
Mark Campbell, CEO of Hideaway Resorts said the extent of the damage from Cyclone Yasi in February and subsequent inclement weather has made it unfeasible for the current owners on their own to attempt a complete refurbishment of the resorts.
“Dunk and Bedarra Island resorts have been part of the fabric of Australian and Queensland tourism for many years and this decision has not been taken lightly,” Mr Campbell said.
“We understand it will have significant impacts for our staff and patrons, and more broadly for the tourism industry of Mission Beach and tropical North Queensland.
“Since Cyclone Yasi struck on 3 February, Hideaway Resorts has worked with the resort owners to fully assess the extent of damage and examine all options for rebuilding the resorts.
“We engaged specialist contractors, including arborists and landscapers, to carry out removal of debris and put in place extensive vegetation protection measures on both islands. That work is largely completed with positive signs that much of the threatened vegetation will survive.
“We also worked with leading Queensland architect Gary Hunt to develop new design concepts to re-invigorate the resort offerings on Dunk and Bedarra Islands.
“We have now exhausted all potential avenues of government support for the rebuilding at federal, State and local level, including meeting with relevant Ministers and officials.
“Unfortunately, after reviewing all relevant factors the current owners of the resorts have determined they are not in a position on their own to commence a full-scale redevelopment at Dunk or Bedarra Islands.”
Mr Campbell said a consultation process about the implications of today’s announcement for staff of both resorts had commenced.
“Thankfully we understand a majority of staff have found new employment since the resorts were rendered inoperable earlier this year.”
Hideaway Resorts is in the process of appointing a suitable hospitality real estate advisor to assist them to secure expressions of interest in participating in the redevelopment or the sale of the resorts. Further details of this process will be announced shortly.
Dunk Island was named Australasia's Leading Family Resort in the 2010 World Travel Awards. Bedarra featured on Luxury Travel Magazine’s Gold List of Best Australian Resorts in 2010. Both resorts were nominated for 2011 World Travel Awards.
As two rare examples of prime freehold tropical rainforest island land set in the Great Barrier Reef, Dunk and Bedarra are iconic destinations that are uniquely placed in the Queensland resort and Great Barrier Reef tourism market.
Both islands have extensive planning approvals in place for significant further development.
The owners and Hideaway Resorts’ management have vowed to continue to work co-operatively with government at all levels.
“We understand the floods and Cyclone Yasi caused devastation for residents, farms and businesses right throughout Queensland, not just those involved in the tourism industry,” Mr Campbell said.
“We stand ready to provide the benefit of our experience to assist wherever we can to see the resorts re-opened as soon as possible.”
- Dunk and Bedarra Island Resorts will not reopen on 1 April 2012 as previously announced.
- Substantial work to remove debris and landscaping to protect vegetation at both islands has been completed.
- A consultation process has commenced with affected staff of both resorts.
- A process to determine external interest in participating in the redevelopment or purchase of the resorts is being established.
Media inquiries: Todd Hayward, Cato Counsel, 0412 205 151