Bidding war on famous Far North Queensland hotel


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Hotel Grand Chancellor last changed hands in 2013 for more than $10 million. IMAGE: Supplied

THE Far North leisure market has become hot property with American investors locked in a bidding war for one of Palm Cove’s biggest hotels.

And the property in question is the Hotel Grand Chancellor, which last changed hands in 2013 for more than $10 million.

It has been quietly marketed with little success among about 150 different investment groups over the past two years.

But, according to the Gold Coast Bulletin, in recent months investment management firm JLL has fielded offers from all directions.

“We’ve already got the bids there with genuine interest from several groups,” JLL ¬investment sales vice president Tom Gibson said.

“And the groups that miss out on this acquisition opportunity will definitely be buying something else in the region.”

Billion-dollar Singapore company Hotel Grand Central is the current owner.

Mr Gibson said hotel occupancy rates across the Far North increased by 12.2 per cent over the year to November, ahead of second-best performer Canberra’s 6.1 per cent growth.

Mr Gibson said Cairns and the Far North was seen as one of the world’s most attractive hotel investment hot spots.

“Investors are struggling to get into the region. This has been a long time coming, and current owners are reaping the rewards,” he said.

“We’ve got groups circling.”

Wyndham Hotel Group’s Queensland properties at Port Douglas and the rest of Queensland have also seen a rise by 18 per cent.

Tourism Port Douglas and Daintree executive officer Tara Bennett said the growing US tourist market had driven much of the growth.

“We haven’t seen a lot of movement in hotel ownership in the past few years, but the real estate market has picked up speed and naturally business investments would be expected to follow,” she said.