Billionaire buys Abel Point Marina
ABEL Point Marina has been sold to former mining magnate Paul Darrouzet for an undisclosed price.
Contracts for the 507-berth facility were signed last Thursday.
A former Foxleigh Mining chairman and Business Review Weekly (BRW) rich-lister, Mr Darrouzet has been visiting the Whitsundays for many years. He owns a property in the region and berths his private boat Brahms Und Listz at Abel Point.
The 58-year-old is now promising to spend his money on beautifying the marina that is considered the gateway to Airlie Beach.
The construction of a new tavern, public access areas and associated tourism facilities are believed to be among his plans.
Mr Darrouzet said progressive capital works and significant upgrades would be undertaken in consultation with Whitsunday Regional Council and the local community. He said this would result in a world class destination and would generate employment opportunities and hopefully ignite business growth.
"The marina is the primary departure and arrival point for boating enthusiasts in Queensland and having frequented the Whitsundays for more than 25 years I am determined to facilitate a positive change with the expansion of services and activities for both residents and tourists," Mr Darrouzet said.
The planned beautification of the marina, which will include rectifying the retention basin and creating additional open public spaces, has been welcomed by Whitsunday Regional Council.
Mayor Jennifer Whitney described the sale of the marina as a positive step forward for the local tourism industry.
"Abel Point Marina has long been valued by the community as a tourism, transport and recreation hub so it is encouraging to see the marina earmarked for beautification and further upgrades," she said.
"Council is optimistic that the change of ownership and the proposed upgrades will lead to greater employment opportunities for skilled staff and give the local tourism industry a much needed boost."
Abel Point Marina last changed hands in 2006 when it was bought by Meridien for $75million. In September 2011 McGrathNicol were appointed receivers and managers after Meridien went into receivership. The marina was put up for sale in October 2012 but was later taken off the market.
Jones Lang LaSalle marketing agent Jacob Swan said interest in the marina had intensified over the past month with Mr Darrouzet securing the asset ahead of prospective buyers from China, Malaysia, New Zealand and Australia.