Occupancy rates at Clive Palmer’s Coolum Resort now in low single digits

The fortunes of Clive Palmer’s five-star Coolum Resort have sunk dramatically, a local tourism operative has claimed.

It follows Palmer renaming of the former Hyatt Regency Resort the 'Palmer Coolum Resort', the reported sacking of hundreds of workers and the loss of its premier event, the Australian PGA, which this year will be played at Royal Pines.

Noel Mooney, president of Coolum Business and Tourism, told The Australian that the original investment by Palmer was treated as a very good for the local economy but that things have since soured.

"Nothing (at the resort) seems to make sense now.

"Nothing flows or matches up. Occupancy there has been down to 2% and 3%

“Before (under Hyatt's management and higher occupancy) the tourists would venture out and spend money in the retail areas,” says Mooney.

Court documents obtained by The Australian from Palmer's battles with Hyatt in the Supreme Court last year reveal it had a much higher occupancy but was losing money when he bought it in mid-2011.

The mining billionaire and now political candidate in the seat of Fairfax acquired the five star former Hyatt Regency resort and adjoining golf course from Lend Lease at Coolum on the Sunshine Coast in July 2011 and has since renamed it Palmer Coolum Resort.

Last year, Palmer severed ties with the Hyatt group, which had the management rights for the resort for 12 years.

The newly branded resort includes a portrait of the mining magnate in the lobby, a restaurant called the Palmer Grill and most recently, a new car museum with 30 vintage cars from Palmer's private collection including a 1954 Aston Martin.

He has reportedly scaled back plans for a dinosaur theme park.

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger

Larry Schlesinger was a property writer at Property Observer


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