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New resort destination to boost the Whitsundays

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New resort destination to boost the Whitsundays
In what is promised to deliver a shot in the arm for the Whitsundays area in Queensland, a $380 million development that includes an international hotel is expected to start construction at Shute Harbour later this year.

The Shute Harbour Marine Resort has full planning approval and stage one is being marketed now from Airlie Beach.

Shute Harbour currently has about 70 residences after being initially established in the 1960s as a port to ship sugar from the region. While Hamilton Island and Hayman Island have both developed products suitable for the business events market, Airlie Beach is seen more as a leisure destination.

Rob Taylor, who is selling stage one of the new development, told micenet there were plans to include an international hotel of 109 rooms, five storeys high, with a conference centre, but a marina for 395 boats up to 45 metres in length each and residential lots were the first priority. Stage two will include commercial and residential development, while the hotel was pegged for stage three of the build.

“Construction starts later this year. But it is too early to talk about hotel brands or five stars, because that stage is realistically about five years away,” Taylor said. 

However, he believes the Shute Harbour resort development will add to the international appeal of other local attractions, such as Whitehaven Beach.

He said once the marina and boating facilities were built and the commercial elements of the resort were in place, a hotel could be built in stage two, but conservative assessments suggested the marina itself would take more than two years to complete. At present there is a council-owned marine terminal nearby, otherwise the area is a virgin coastline. The resort is a 15-minute drive from Airlie Beach, about 45 minutes from Proserpine Airport and about 45 minutes by boat from Hamilton Island Airport. 

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