Port Douglas Sheraton resort sold to David Mariner

Written by Marc Pallisco   

THE Sheraton Mirage in Port Douglas has sold for $35 million to Melbourne investor David Marriner.

The sale price is far less than the $90 million reportedly initially sought for the hotel, which at its peak accommodated some of the world's highest profile business identities and celebrities.

Mr Marriner told the AFR, which reported the deal, that he plans to lodge a development proposal "that would be the catalyst for the recovery of the Port Douglas tourism sector."

He said the hotel has been a flagship for Australian tourism for 25 years.

"For the first time in its history, the Sheraton Mirage Port Douglas has a sensible cost base which positions it well for redevelopment to reclaim its former glory," he said.

The resort includes 294 rooms, six bars, an 18-hole golf course and beach frontage via a tropical forest. The property also includes 41 hectares of vacant land with residential redevelopment potential. The hotel reportedly needs more than $20 million invested to raise it to five-star standard.

Other investors including mining magnate Clive Palmer and property entrepreneur Lloyd Williams also reportedly considered buying the hotel.

The acquisition, which the AFR reports was made with Chinese backing, is the second Marriner has made in Queensland recently, following a reported purchase of the Whisper Bay Resort at Airlie Beach.