TABCORP has pledged a further $350 million to ‘reignite’ its star Broadbeach property in addition to a $70 million renovation and major rebranding campaign in the last 12 months.
The new funding was generated by Tabcorp’s demerger of its casino business from its wagering gaming business in 2010.
The streamlined capital structures of both separate, publicly listed entities has already seen $800 million spent on Sydney’s Star City Casino and Jupiters is next on the revamp list. Construction works on the $300 million Jupiters refurbishment are expected to begin mid-next year.
“Tabcorp does see Jupiters as a key asset and its continued commitment to the property is encouraging signs for both the Gold Coast and Queensland economies,” says Jupiters CEO Stuart Wing (pictured), who will step down this month to take up a job in New Zealand with Sky City Casino.
“The funding creates many opportunities for Jupiters; particularly to evolve into a unique and integrated resort and possibly even in five years the construction of another hotel on the property.
“It will open up additional markets for us and hopefully, if it encourages other organisations to invest in their Gold Coast properties, could start a repositioning of the Gold Coast on the international tourism scene.”
The primary target in those ‘additional markets’ are affluent Asian business executives who have recently been flocking to Melbourne’s Crown Casino for their Australian business travel. Tabcorp directors are hoping the investment splash into the Gold Coast, Brisbane’s Treasury Casino and Sydney will recapture some of that lost market share.
Tabcorp is the $5 billion ASX-listed company that last month signed off on a lease for a Global Express XRS jet to transport VIP guests from as far as northern Asia to its Australian casinos. Wing says there has been extensive interest from clients to use the jet service and the lease on another jet is in the process of being finalised.
With 2200 staff racking up a $100 million annual wages bill, Jupiters is the Gold Coast’s biggest private employer.
“People often look at Jupiters and think ‘it’s a big hotel; it’s a big casino’ or ‘it’s a big entertainment property’, but often they don’t think about our input into the local economy,” says Wing.
“We spend around $50 million in goods and services alone on the Gold Coast and this further investment will give the construction sector a big boost.”
Wing says he is ‘a little disappointed’ that he won’t oversee the massive overhaul of Jupiters, but says the timing was right to move on.
He says Jupiters has had ‘a pretty successful year’, with hotel occupancy rates down but hospitality and restaurant revenues experiencing strong growth.
Top Companies 2011 Profile: Jupiters Hotel & Casino
CEO: Stuart Wing (outgoing)
Revenue ’10: $300 million (Approx)
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