While plans were already underway to give the Star Entertainment Group's Gold Coast based Jupiter Casino and Hotel a $345 million facelift, the group announced yesterday that it would be boosting this investment to $850 million.
The news comes amid rumours that James Packer's Crown Resorts were in negotiations with a Chinese consortium to build a $2 billion waterfront casino resort and hotel on the Gold Coast.
The Star made an announcement with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk regarding its mega-sized investment into the Gold Coast property.
According to the Star, its new plan would create "a truly globally competitive" resort in the area, and would be beneficial for the state and the entire country.
"We are very confident in the long-term tourism prospects of Australia," said Star chief executive Matt Bekier. "If you look at the outbound tourism trends, that gives us a lot of confidence. We have the right partners, who don't just have capital but the right tourism credentials as well."
Star Skirts Crown Resorts Issue
Bekier would not comment on the rumours regarding rival Crown's potential plans to build a casino on the Gold Coast, beyond saying that he had not seen any specific proposal.
He told The Australian daily newspaper that the Star had to "control our own destiny."
"We are building up something that makes economic sense," he said. "Subsequent stages of the master plan, you would only develop those when you have greater clarity over what the competitive environment looks like."
Bekier also stressed that the resort would involve a concept beyond gambling, saying that "slot machines or tables alone isn't going to bring in the tourists, you need to have traction drivers around those gaming floors."
"Tourists aren't just coming for gaming," he added. "If it was only about the gaming it would be a risky proposition."
700 Room Hotel Tower
Plans for the new Gold Coast property include the construction of a new 700 room hotel and apartment tower on the ocean side of the existing property, essentially doubling the hotel rooms.
Construction could begin as early as next year, according to the group.
Jupiters' Broadbeach Island will become a virtual island of towers, connected by elevated walkways to the Pacific Far mall across the road.
A public consultation period has been launched by the state government.