MAREEBA could be set for a substantial boost in tourism as construction is officially underway on the Cape Gateway Motel at 3-5 Williams Close off the Peninsula Development Road.
The project will be built over two stages, with stage one scheduled to be complete within 12 months.
The Cape Gateway Motel will consist of 57 rooms along with a licenced café, a shop, pool and toilet and shower facilities.
Owner and developer Greg Williams said the concept of having an accommodation and tourist park in Mareeba has been on his mind ever since he bought the land.
“I sub-divided the block 20 years ago purposefully to build this facility,” he said.
“With Mareeba now expanding at such a rate, I felt now was the right time for more accommodation and tourist facilities in the town.
“We’ve spent 18 months in the design and development stage which required us to get the necessary approvals from council.
“We had a few objections which we changed and modified to ensure we suited what people wanted, and while that held us up a bit, we have put that behind us and we now have approval to proceed and construct.”
In addition to the forever-growing Mareeba Township, Mr Williams alluded to the project’s location as another key reason that he’s confident the Cape Gateway Motel will establish itself as a sought-after accommodation provider in the region.
“You have the industrial estate across the road and the cattle sale yards nearby, so from a location perspective I think I’ve got the right position for this type of venture,” he said.
Mr Williams, who has an extensive background in civil contracting, noted his excitement about the project and the enormous motivation it has instilled in him personally.
“I’m 72 years of age and it has me feeling like I’m 25 again,” he laughed.
“My business partner and I built hundreds of lots and sub-divisions at my previous company, so while I have done something similar to this many times before, this is the first time I’ve done it in accommodation and hospitality specifically so that is extremely exciting.”
To add to Mr Williams’ excitement were the favourable findings in the complete economic study.
“We’ve done a complete business case and gotten an idea on all the figures such as how many cars pass the site, the expected growth in this region and the average tourist’s spend in North Queensland,” he said.
“So with the complete economic study having now been done, I’m convinced with its results that this is a viable project.”
While the Cape Gateway Motel shows enormous promise from a tourism perspective, it will also play an integral role in creating jobs.
“I really want to emphasise that there are currently nine men who are working on the site,” Mr Williams said.
“In addition, there will be 9-30 people working on the site for the next 12 months, and 8-12 permanent jobs available once the motel is open.
“All the people working on this project are from Cairns, Mareeba or the Tablelands, so I’m making sure we use local people and encourage local investment.”
Mr Williams took time to thank those who have contributed in getting this project off the ground.
“I want to recognise all the town planners along with the electrical, sewerage and plumbing contractors – they are all on-board and doing a phenomenal job,” he said.
“I also would like to especially thank the project’s design engineer Jim Papas and Gordon Paterson and his crew from Highland Earthmoving, they too are doing tremendously well.”
Mr Williams saved his greatest expression of gratitude to his family however, noting their unwavering assistance in what is such a large project.
“My family’s support throughout has been unbelievable and I couldn’t be doing this without them,” he said.
“That includes my children and grandchildren, my daughter of which is looking after the financial and overall management of the project.”
Key points about the Cape Gateway Motel:
- Stage one to be completed by March or April, 2020.
- 31 rooms to be built in stage one, of which will include one two-bedroom family unit and sixteen self-contained rooms with ensuites.
- Stage two will take roughly 12 months once construction is commenced.