Locals wish Clive Palmer never bought Coolum resort
A COOLUM business leader says many in the community now regret Clive Palmer ever bought the former Hyatt Coolum Resort.
Noel Mooney, also the president of Coolum Business and Tourism Committee, said the resort was once the centrepiece of the region.
He hoped it would one day return to those glory days.
"When Clive first bought it, everyone thought, 'There you go, it's going to pump', but it's probably the worst thing now that ever happened, now everyone's going, 'My God, I wish he never bought it'," Mr Mooney said.
"It's one of these things that was an icon in our area and it's just totally gone the opposite way now."
Mr Mooney said reported redundancies at the now Palmer Coolum Resort would impact the employees, who would struggle to find new jobs in hospitality during a traditionally quiet time of the year.
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- The Palmer Effect
It would also impact Coolum itself, with a reduction in local consumer spending.
"There is a flow-on effect," Mr Mooney said.
"I mean, a lot of those people rent properties, they shop in Coolum, so it does have a flow-on effect.
"Exactly to what extent, I'm not sure ... but they're not going to go out and spend money are they?"
He said he hoped the resort would not simply be locked up to become "an overgrown piece of land".
"It's a problem, but what do you do? The guy owns it, himself. It's up to him what he's going to do with it, it's just a shame."
Mr Palmer has rejected the reports of redundancies.
He added that the resort was not closing down and would stay open.
"Absolutely, we just invested in the dinosaur park and the motor museum," Mr Palmer said.
Mr Mooney believes the resort needs to secure a major naming partner that is well-known in tourism.
"No one likes to see something like that go from the area. It used to bring a lot of tourists to our area.
"That used to be a reason for coming to town, to Coolum - especially conventions - we used to get a lot of overflow from that.
"Obviously that hasn't been happening because no one's game to book a convention there because they don't know what's going to happen.
"The problem is, no one knows the Palmer Resort name.
"You generally need to be with a Hyatt, a Sheraton, a Marriotts, that sort of chain, for something like that to work."