STAR ENTERTAINMENT RAMPS UP JUPITERS EXPANSION

Written on the 16 May 2016

STAR ENTERTAINMENT RAMPS UP JUPITERS EXPANSION

JUPITERS is set to reclaim the mantle of largest integrated resort in Australia, after The Star Entertainment Group (ASX:SGR) unveiled its $850 million masterplan for the casino.

A community information program will commence this month to discuss the proposed ongoing transformation of the Gold Coast site.

The proposal includes a 700-room residential and hotel tower, entertainment facilities, room for up to five buildings and improved connections to Pacific Fair that will outstrip plans for the company's $3 billion Queen's Wharf project in Brisbane.

The tower will double the hotel's existing capacity and builds on the current $345 million investment, which includes a 17-storey all-suite tower.

Construction could start as early as January next year, following development approvals and the consultation process.

The Star Entertainment Group managing director and CEO Matt Bekier says the project would restore Jupiters to its heyday when it was first established.

"Thirty years ago, this was the first large-scale casino in Australia and this will be the largest and most unique resort in Australia when developed," Bekier says.

"It will return this property to be the engine room of tourism and the revival of tourism in Queensland and all over Australia.

"This proposed masterplan concept is about building on the exciting tourism forecasts we are seeing for the Gold Coast, with much-needed new infrastructure to deliver an international world-class integrated resort on the coast without the need for any additional poker machines."

Bekier says the company decided to ramp up the refurbishment to a 'grander scale' during meetings with its development partners in Hong Kong.

"In March we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with our Queen's Wharf Brisbane partners Chow Tai Fook Enterprises and Far East Consortium to co-invest in the proposed new tower and to investigate further development options in our masterplan concept," he says.

"This type of joint venture with our highly-credentialed partners has the potential to create a tourism asset on a significant scale that helps position the industry as an economic driver in Queensland.

"Importantly, with our vision for the Gold Coast together with Queen's Wharf Brisbane, we will be able to leverage the unique tourism experiences both properties will offer. This will provide an even broader benefit to the south-east Queensland region as a whole by encouraging more visitors to stay longer.

"Chow Tai Fook Enterprises' and Far East Consortium's insights and networks in Asian markets will greatly assist in further profiling south-east Queensland on the global map."

The proposed 200m tower together with the all-suite hotel is expected to generate more than 1000 construction jobs, while Jupiters' workforce would increase to 2300 once operational.

Speaking at the launch today, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says the government is working to ensure the hotel is delivered ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.

"Today is the start of a multibillion-dollar injection into Queensland," Palaszczuk says.

"I have said that Queensland is at the forefront of massive tourism development over the next five to ten years. We've already seen some 400,000 Chinese tourists visited Queensland last year.

"What this means is potentially thousands of jobs here on the Gold Coast, and when you combine that with Queen's Wharf a huge vote of confidence in investing in Queensland."

The community information program will run from May 16 to June 9, and will consist of newsletters to nearby businesses and residents, an online survey and community drop-in sessions on May 28.


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