Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Idle Resort 'A Huge Opportunity'

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

Idle Resort 'A Huge Opportunity'

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Carruthers

AN OWNER of a Laguna Quays condo is refusing to sell her property like her neighbours, holding on to hope the largest mainland resort in the Whitsundays will be returned to its former glory.

Jenny Weinstein bought into the resort two years before Mackay Regional Council auctioned parts of the precinct to recoup about $2.1million in unpaid rates.

In 2012, employees were sacked and it's estimated the resort owed the council $1million in unpaid rates.

When Fullshare Holdings Group bought the resort in 2013, Ms Weinstein hoped the refurbishment of the troubled resort would soon follow.

After the resort's acquisition, Fullshare managing director Yi Yu said the company was planning to redevelop the existing facility, particularly the Turtle Point golf course, hotel and marina.

But this plan is yet to materialise.

In 2015, the company announced the first stage of development would start in 2016, but nothing got off the ground, and Fullshare last year announced Richard Luk as the executive president of comprehensive real estate development to lead the project.

But for property owners including Ms Weinstein, unpaid council rates and employee superannuation, investigation by the ATO and the refurbishment progress still dragging on mean only one thing.

"We bought at the top end of the market. It's quite sickening to see the current price listed," she said.

Last year a one-bedroom, one-bathroom unit overlooking the ninth fairway of Turtle Point Golf Course sold for just $80,000.

"As soon as the main part of the resort closed down and the golf closed, it made it almost impossible to use the place. We paid quite a few hundred thousand dollars and now it's completely worthless," MsWeinstein said.

"It's very sad. We are holding on because I still have faith in the place and the people surrounding the place but obviously don't have much faith in the people who own it.

"But I think it will happen."

Ms Weinstein said there was no tenant in her Laguna Quays property, she visited once a year from Melbourne and a professor of marine biology and his PhD students were the only ones to get use out of what was envisaged as her own slice of paradise in the Whitsundays. …

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