Three international firms have been shortlisted to develop the $1 billion “global tourism hub” planned for prime-real estate in Cairns city centre.
Proposals will come from The Star Entertainment Group, Reef Casino Joint Venture, and Hard Rock International, with the aim for the hub to attract tourism, link the Cruise Ship Terminal the Convention Centre and Cairns' CBD.
Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said the three “highly-respected players” announced is a vote of confidence in the region.
“The three firms named today are companies with strong international and domestic reputations for delivering high-quality mixed-use, hotel and entertainment and gaming projects,” Jones said.
“A GTH will support upgrades proposed for the convention centre and the dredging proposed for Trinity Inlet,” Jones said.
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The next step involves an interactive tender process with the three shortlisted companies.
The Queensland government identified its preferred site for the development, which spans 4.4 hectares, by partnering with Ports North.
In October 2017, state government announced the proposed the Tourism Hub announcing a gaming license would also be offered to encourage the development of tourism infrastructure following the withdrawal of the Aquis Yorkey’s Knob proposal.
The hub will include a stand-alone casino, luxury hotels, high-end retail, a restaurant, and entertainment.
The project involves state government, Cairns Regional Council and stakeholders including Ports North and Tourism Tropical North Queensland for the project.
The shortlisted companies will lodge fully-developed proposals with state-government by July 2019, with the announcement for the winning developer by late-2019 to early-2020.