13/11/2007 - 22:00

Business class: New players to share in Cable Beach’s unique charms

13/11/2007 - 22:00


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For almost 20 years Cable Beach Club Resort has been the only luxury resort to offer its guests the famous Cable Beach strip at their doorstep, but that is set to change.

For almost 20 years Cable Beach Club Resort has been the only luxury resort to offer its guests the famous Cable Beach strip at their doorstep, but that is set to change.

Three new resorts plan to open up along the exclusive and world-renowned 22-kilometre stretch of beach.

Hawaiian, the owner of Cable Beach Club since 1999, says it will welcome its new neighbours despite the increased competition they will bring.

Hawaiian general manager operations, Peter Gibbons, believes the developments will help turn the area into a true resort destination, which could attract international attention and prompt airlines to increase the number of flights to Broome.

The first of the new Cable Beach resorts under construction is the five-star Pinctada Resort on Murray Road, owned by the prominent Paspaley pearling family and due to open in late 2008. 

At the same time, work is expected to begin on transforming the adjacent Palm Grove caravan park, one of only six blocks with absolute frontage to Cable Beach, into a Japanese-inspired resort.

They will be joined by the Bon Ton Resort, which is being developed on a site between the Crocodile Park and Divers Tavern on Cable Beach Road.

Hawaiian will continue a rolling refurbishment program while working on plans for a major expansion of the resort over an eight-hectare rear lot.

More than $15 million has been invested in refurbishments and upgrades over the past eight years, which in recent months has included the construction of a new stone entry statement and the expansion of the club’s two pools.

The ‘family pool’ is now partly shaded by an enormous sail.

Other work has involved new landscaping, the extension and upgrade of the Thai Pearl restaurant, and the installation of overhead lighting and an improved sound system around the family pool.

Mr Gibbons believes Cable Beach Club will always stand apart from other resorts in Broome because of its quality accommodation and service.

“The club was built to such a high level of detail,” Mr Gibbons said. “You could never build a resort like it again with building costs the way they are. It’s a real one-off.

“Lord McAlpine wanted only the best and he had very deep pockets.”

According to local legend, Lord Alistair McAlpine signed an agreement to purchase the Cable Beach site in the late 1980s on the back of a beer coaster in the Roebuck Bay Hotel.

Mr Gibbons said that, aside from spending money expanding and refurbishing the resort, Hawaiian has also invested in maintaining the club’s high service standards through its commitment to training Tafe hospitality students and providing accommodation for staff.

Hawaiian has acquired the nearby Palms Resort and the Kimberley Klub backpackers in the past four years to help house its 90-strong club workforce.

 “It’s all about attracting and retaining staff in an environment where accommodation is hard to find,” Mr Gibbons said. “We have the same problems as everyone else, but by buying the Palms Resort we are able to offer our staff heavily discounted rents by Broome standards,” he said.

Having a settled workforce may prove wise, if a proposal to make Broome an international flight destination comes to pass.

Mr Gibbons said the move would be great for tourism, with the potential arrival of more guests during the quieter shoulder seasons.


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