$100m resort and theme park planned for the Coast
By GORDON CLARK PLANS have been unveiled for a $100 million Wet ¡¦n¡¦ Wild-style water theme park and resort on 66ha on Caloundra Road, opposite Corbould Park Racecourse.
As well as world-class indoor and outdoor rides and pools, the complex will have provision for 650 caravan sites, 300 Balinese-style ¡§beach shacks¡¨, apartments, a conference centre, restaurants, day spa, beach-culture museum, tennis ranch and clubhouse, golf driving range, mini golf and a pet motel. None of the accommodation would be for permanent occupancy.
Shuttle buses would be provided to destinations such as Australia Zoo, Caloundra and Mooloolaba.
The proposed complex, to be called Adventura, is the brainchild of a consortium led by Caloundra hospitality industry identity James Stewart and businessman Troy Morrow.
Warner Village Theme Parks ¡V owner and operator of parks on the Gold Coast, including Wet ¡¦n¡¦ Wild ¡V could also become ƒsinvolved.
The business partners, who already control more than $50 million of assets in the tourism and hospitality industry, said the project could provide an economic benefit to the Coast of $131 million and create 574 jobs during construction.
Once operational, the annual economic benefit is expected to be $73.4 million, with 126 full-time equivalent jobs.
The backers said Warner Village had originally been keen on the project as an operator, but was yet to fully commit.
A Warner spokesperson said the company could not comment, but Mr Stewart said: ¡§If we continue discussions with them, it would be on the basis of a joint venture.¡¨
He also said Adventura would proceed irrespective of any Warner involvement, adding he believed the biggest hurdle would be having the land rezoned by the State Government.
The site is zoned Regional Landscape and Rural Production in the South-East Queensland Regional Plan, ruling the development out at present.
However, Mr Morrow said: ¡§We¡¦re happy to be outside the urban footprint, because if we were inside it, the land would be too valuable for a theme-park resort and we¡¦d be creating a residential subdivision instead.¡¨
Mr Morrow said it was hoped a material change-of-use application would be lodged with Caloundra Council next month.
¡§We¡¦ve done an economic report and an ecological report and a traffic study, and hydraulic modelling is being done now.
¡§We¡¦ll lodge the application, lobby council to refer it positively to the Office of Urban Management, and then lobby the OUM.¡¨
Mr Stewart, whose grandfather built Caloundra¡¦s first hotel, the Francis in Shelley Beach, as well as the Caloundra Hotel and Perle Hotel, said resorts with water parks were the fastest-growing tourism segment in the United States.
He said the caravanning and recreation vehicle sector in Australia was also growing rapidly, adding he had no doubt a facility like Adventura was warranted in this region.
¡§The question is: Will the relevant authorities help us or hinder us?¡¨ he said.