Topics:  closure, jan jarratt, laguna whitsundays, lodge, mackay tourism, resort, whitsundays

Resort in ruin

The Lodge, which was opened as the jewel in the Laguna Quays Resort crown in 1992, is in disrepair.
The Lodge, which was opened as the jewel in the Laguna Quays Resort crown in 1992, is in disrepair. Tony Martin

ALTHOUGH the Laguna Whitsundays resort's website shows spectacular pictures of sweeping fairways most golfers would dream of, in reality the course is nothing more than an overgrown haven for snakes.

Staff at the resort, near Midge Point, received letters yesterday morning stating that their positions had been terminated and the resort's doors were closed.

Some of the buildings, including The Lodge, look like a scene from the film Jumanji, with thick green vines enveloping the outside of the building.

If the derelict tennis courts were not enough, there was a sign hanging on the once magnificent swimming pool's gate stating the pool was shut.

Minister for Whitsunday Jan Jarratt reported resort staff members had contacted her office after they received letters stating their positions had been terminated.

Although the resort's operational manager was on site yesterday, he chose not to comment and locked the door of the administration building behind him.

Resort owner David Marriner could not be contacted yesterday.

Mackay Regional Council has had a rocky relationship with the resort's management for several years.

"We're taking legal action to collect outstanding rates and water (bills)," Mayor Col Meng said yesterday.

The condominiums at the resort are privately owned and are controlled by a separate body corporate.

Residents said they had watched the resort crumble and staff number dwindle in the past couple of months.

Steve Ryan, who lives in one of the condominiums, said the course was a disgrace.

"When my daughters were young the greens were like carpets," Mr Ryan said.

"They are only keeping four skeleton staff on... Four staff cannot maintain 18-hole golf course, especially this time of year."

Other residents said the staff had all received letters yesterday morning stating their positions had been terminated.

Another resident, who chose to remain anonymous, said she had been living at the resort for six months.

"There were still a few of them living over at the quarters... well what was left of them," she said.

"And they had two chefs up there up until Friday... I'm not sure what they had been doing though."



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