COURAN COVE FILLS QUINN VACUUM

Written on the 11 March 2014

COURAN COVE FILLS QUINN VACUUM

RAMADA Couran Cove Island Resort has appointed John Muntz as CEO following the controversial departure of John Quinn.

Muntz, who started work at the resort as director of operations in November, assumes responsibility for steering all aspects of the island resort.

Quinn left Couran Cove after agitation to the new owner, Craig Dowling, by bodies corporate over Quinn’s management of the resort asset.

Dowling, who acquired Couran Cove from voluntary liquidators more than a year ago, had appointed Quinn to the role early last year.

In a brief statement, Dowling says Quinn’s role as asset managers at the resort “has concluded”.

“They have no further involvement with Ramada Couran Cove Island Resort or Couran Cove Holdings,” Dowling says.
“We are confident the ground work that has been done places us in a very solid position to move forward.”

Unit owners at Couran Cove have long complained about the bodies corporate, including high body corporate fees.

The fees are a relic of the previous ownership with the resort heavily subsidised by former owner, the billionair philanthropist Chuck Feeney.

But according to Dowling, he is working towards creating a more equitable structure for all apartment owners at the resort.

Dowling says he has been heartened by feedback from a number of owners after writing to them on the weekend addressing the bodies corporate issues and announcing Muntz’s appointment as CEO.

“I said in my letter to owners that I will ensure that proper processes are in place so all owners are treated fairly and their views are respected and that is exactly what we are doing,” he says.

“The issues of the Central Body Corporate and the individual Precinct Bodies Corporate are complex and involved and we have a head team of experienced people going through those so we can simplify the structure and move forward in a more economical way.

“We have been in discussions with the various representatives of body corporate committees on the issue of budgets since last November.

“We will not be proceeding with any type of loan which is one of the things that had many of the individual owners concerned.

“Our team at the resort, headed by John Muntz, and our professional advisers are working towards a set of motions and a new system to be put to all stakeholders for their vote.
“Hopefully that way we can deliver far greater efficiencies, reduce costs to individual owners and see the resort reach its true potential.

“As the largest stakeholder at Couran Cove, that is obviously in our best interests as well.”

Dowling has undertaken a major refurbishment since buying Couran Cove in late 2012. He says the resort has lifted occupancy and weekend day-tripper numbers following a refurbishment of facilities since the beginning of last year.

The resort has a 102 berth marina and 352 eco-lodges, studio apartments, one bedroom suites, two bedroom lagoon lodges and four bedroom villas.

Dowling says he will be announcing details of the next stage of development at Couran Cove soon.

”We want to see Couran Cove reach its full potential and that will be to the benefit of everyone who has an interest there,” he says.

“John Muntz and the team we have gathered together under his direction are more than equipped to take the resort to the next level and we plan on taking all the existing owners on that journey with us.”

Dowling says he is confident that by adopting a staged approach, over a number of years, to future infrastructure works at the resort the overall budget can be reduced.
He says no funds will be expended without a competitive expressions-of-interest process.


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