The Ville in the Game
The Ville Resort-Casino in Townsville North Queensland is in a sprint to complete it’s $35 million redevelopment before the start of the 21st Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.
World-class resorts and casinos are the epitome of grandeur, and wealthy high fliers from all corners of the earth undertake regular pilgrimages to these adorned real estate assets to taste the finest cuisine, relax and frolic in the pristine facilities, play a lucky hand at the pokies, poker or blackjack, whilst indulging in the romance of endless entertainment, social interaction and business networking.
Although far away from the billionaire gaming havens of Las Vegas, Macau, Dubai, Monaco and Melbourne, The Ville-Resort-Casino is forging its own niche in showcasing home-grown heritage and culture.
Throwing the dice to a major redevelopment that could rival the more popular destinations in the gaming and entertainment industry, the sentimentally named “The Ville” aims to lure more tourism patrons to the Townsville North Queensland region.
Colonial Leisure Group
The owners of The Ville Resort-Casino is the Colonial Leisure Group (CLG) and its head ringer, Executive Chairman Mr. Chris Morris, explained the background and vision of the new brand.
Just as apt as meeting a good old Aussie mate down the local pub, Mr. Morris explained: “The Ville was strategically selected because it is a name local’s can identify with, a name travellers can connect to the city and it fits with the relaxed and cool resort-style vision.”
Splashing out a cool $70 million to buy the property in 2014, Mr. Morris has plans to invest $200 million in the property over the long haul.
His company CLG is a premium operator in the hospitality industry with 18 venues across three Australian states, from pubs and restaurants to hotels and resorts, including the Northern Escapes group of businesses comprising Orpheus Island Resort, just a short helicopter flight in the Coral Sea from Townsville, Mount Mulligan Station, the Daintree Eco Lodge, Nautilus Aviation with a fleet of 23 helicopters and the Flying Fish.
The Computershare founder with an estimated personal wealth of $700 million, Mr. Morris said he has plans to reveal the luxury reef, rainforest and ranch refurbishment pitching to the middle class and overseas tourism market. “The Great Barrier Reef is our greatest asset,” he said.
With a newly appointed Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Michael Jones, and a pot of $35 million in construction chips laid out on the tables, The Ville Resort-Casino has every chance of winning the jackpot attracting not only local patrons but the more sophisticated gamblers and resort guests in the Asia Pacific region.
Expected to be completed by March 2018 ready for the Commonwealth Games, the new entertainment precinct will showcase a new foyer, spruced up sports bar, infinitely edge-pool with private cabanas gazing out to Magnetic Island, swim-up bar, elevated deck connection to the lobby, new porte cochere, hotel gym, 1000 seat capacity poolside function space and three new restaurants including Miss Songs Asian Kitchen, under the supervision of head chef Arie Prabowo from Indonesia.
Hutchinson Builders’ Townsville office will manage the project. The Ville resort-casino currently employs 400 staff. The redevelopment is expected to increase the resort-casino staff by 25 percent upon completion.
The casino was originally built by Sheraton Hotels. The Sheraton Townsville Hotel and Casino was launched as the first North Queensland casino on the 14th May 1986 nearly 10 years before the Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns, Townsville’s tropical northern neighbour.
Until October 2014 the property has been known as Jupiter’s Townsville.
Townsville will play host to preliminary basketball events for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games which is run over 11 days starting from the 4th April 2018. 6600 athletes and team official from 70 nations and territories comprising a total population of 2.1 billion people will be represented.
The Ville Resort-Casino will be ready to accommodate visitors to Townsville for the basketball, showcasing a fresh image that represents the endless cultural and recreational attractions of the area in the reef, rainforest and ranch experiences.
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