Melbourne developer eyes Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas


 "We think it is a good asset and we’re in the final steps to try to satisfy ourselves or not (to buy it)," he told The Cairns Post.

"I’m in the final stages. A number of conditions exist and we’re working through these."

Mr Marriner said he hoped to reach a decision early in the new year.

He said, while there was Chinese equity in his Whitsunday resorts, there was none involved with the Sheraton Mirage proposal.

The jewel in the Port Douglas tourism crown is expected to sell for $50 million, or half of what it cost to build in the 1980s.

The 294-room property is one of the last assets of the collapsed MFS property empire which bought the property and the Sheraton Mirage on the Gold Coast with the Ray Group in 2005.

It is expected that whoever buys the resort will have to spend $20 million on the hotel to return it to its former star-rated status.

The resort was built by the late disgraced tycoon Christopher Skase at a reported cost of $100 million-plus in 1987.

It put the sleepy seaside town on the world map with famous guests including former US President Bill Clinton and his current US Secretary of State wife Hilary Clinton, Hollywood A-listers Kate Hudson, Matthew McConaughey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and John Travolta, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, opera singer Luciano Pavarotti, model Claudia Schiffer, Mick Jagger and wife Jerry Hall.

It fronts 2.25km of Four Mile Beach, covers 109ha, includes 1.75ha of swimming lagoons and an 18 hole golf course, 294 hotel rooms, 90 villas, six bars and restaurants and 16ha of residential development.

Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels are handling the sale and have fielded 120 prospective buyers from throughout Australia, the Middle East and Asia.

In its heyday the average hotel room rate was $300 and it made a net profit of $9.8 million a year.

The latest figures show the average room rate is $206 and a loss of $492,000 for the year ended June 30, 2010. Nearly $1 million was spent on repairs and maintenance in the last financial year. For the full details from click here.