$80m Whitsundays resort to sell for $15m

Peppers Airlie Beach Resort is for sale through receivers.

Another prominent Queensland resort is expected to generate high levels of interest amongst Asian investors, whose love affair with the tourism market is showing no signs of abating.

The Peppers Airlie Beach resort on the Whitsunday Coast, which is currently managed under an agreement with Mantra Group, operating as their luxury brand Peppers, has been listed for sale by receivers.

The 4.5-star resort is situated on a 1.8ha, north-facing site, which offers views across the Port of Airlie Marina and the Coral Sea Coast. It is speculated the property will sell for about $15 million.

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Most notably, Hollywood A-listers Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are understood to have stayed at the resort for three nights in 2014.

Included in the sale are 59 of the 106 strata apartments in the complex, the management rights, the resort’s central facilities including reception, Tides Restaurant and Bar, meeting and conferencing venue, and a day spa leased to and operated by Endota.

Peppers Airlie Beach resort is on the market through receivers McGrathNicol.

Peppers Airlie Beach resort is on the market through receivers McGrathNicol.

The 59 apartments included in the sale are 56 one, two and three-bedroom apartments and a trio of four and five-bedroom villas. The remainder of the apartments are privately owned.

The $80 million resort was developed in 2009 by the Latitude Development Group, which was placed in the hands of receivers McGrathNicol in March.

CBRE Hotels’ agents Wayne Bunz, Paul Fraser and Hayley Manvell, in conjunction with PRD Nationwide Airlie Beach, have been appointed to manage the sale on behalf of McGrathNicol.

Bunz says the property is expected to generate strong interest from Chinese investors, following the recent sales of both South Molle Island and Daydream Island Resort and Spa to China Capital Investment Group, and Singaporean group Well Smart Investment Holdings’ acquisition of Club Crocodile Resort Airlie Beach.

59 of the resort's 106 strata apartments are included in the sale.

59 of the resort’s 106 strata apartments are included in the sale.

“We have been inundated with enquiries for leisure assets of late, particularly from mainland China,” Bunz says.

“Investors are looking to enter key leisure markets and capitalise on their potential for further growth, particularly in light of the softening Australian dollar, which is creating favourable market conditions for the local tourism market.”

Fraser adds: “Values in regional areas are significantly below replacement cost and this imbalance, combined with the strong performance of Australia’s major leisure markets in a lower Australian dollar environment, is spurring buyer interest in available investment opportunities.”

The international expressions of interest campaign for Peppers Airlie Beach closes on October 20.