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Star hits the ground running as it kick-starts construction of new hotel


When The Star Entertainment Group said it was fast-tracking a new $400 million, 63-storey tower at the Gold Coast, continuing the massive overhaul of the Broadbeach Island on which the casino sits, they weren’t kidding.

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Star and its joint venture partners today broke ground on the new five-star hotel and apartment tower more than a year ahead of schedule and just three weeks after announcing construction would be accelerated to be ready for when international tourism demand returned.

The start of work on the new tower lifts Star’s current investments in south east Queensland to almost $4.5 billion.

The new tower, expected to be operated by the Marriott Group’s premium W Hotel brand, joins the under-construction Dorsett Hotel and the luxury all-suite The Darling hotel to eventually create four hotel options for visitors to the Gold Coast casino resort.

The Star Entertainment Group CEO Matt Bekier said the Gold Coast development would be expanded to the size of Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf

“That says one thing. It says that we have unbelievable confidence that tourism is going to come back and that Queensland, and particularly south east Queensland will continue to be the engine room of tourism in Australia,” Bekier said.

“That’s why we are betting a lot of money and a lot of our future on these developments.”

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Star’s investment was a vote of confidence in Queensland.

“It’s a vote of confidence in the tourism industry, it’s a vote of confidence in the construction industry, but it’s also a vote of confidence in the people of this state,” she said.

Sydney and Melbourne buyers have dominated pre-sales in the new Gold Coast towers, continuing a trend of interstate migration that is contributing to a construction boom.

Palasszczuk said Queensland had experienced a positive net migration of around 7,000 people between October and December 2020, and expected the domestic trend of people moving north from southern states to continue.

Star Chairman John O’Neill said the past 12 months had been challenging, but Queensland’s smashed tourism industry would recover. “The Gold Coast will remain Australia’s tourism diamond,” O’Neill said.

The Star is also progressing the $3.6 billion Queen’s Wharf development in Brisbane, together with partners Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium.

Both major developments are expected to appeal to the Group’s target market, in which they have strategically moved away from the high-roller market to what it refers to as “premium mass” business.

No integrated resort in Australia currently boasts four hotels.

The Star Gold Coast and Queen’s Wharf Brisbane will reach that landmark once the current under-construction hotels are completed in 2024.

However, the Gold Coast has the capacity for another three hotels, taking it to a total of seven, under its masterplan approved by the State Government in 2018.

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