The crown jewel of Christopher Skase’s colourful legacy, once known as a hangout for royalty and movie stars, is up for sale.
The iconic Sheraton Grand Mirage Hotel on the Gold Coast, which was built amid unprecedented fanfare back in 1987, has hit the market with a whopping $200million price tag.
Owners Star Entertainment Group purchased the property back in 2017 and have listed the property for what is believed to be the third time, with two previous attempts to sell failing in recent years.
An early shot of the iconic hotel – which was built with huge fanfare in the 80s, and is now up for sale for $200million
Christopher Skase with wife Pixie at the height of his dizzying success in the 1980s
The sprawling, 3.45ha site – which is perched on a prime beachfront site at the Southport Spit and has 295 rooms – is being sold by real estate giant Colliers.
‘The likelihood of anyone ever assembling a 3.45ha beachfront site on the Gold Coast is considered extremely remote in terms of financial cost and the practicalities of dealing with the number of property owners such an amalgamation would require,’ the market listing reads.
‘Every astute investor with an interest in prime Australian real estate should consider this investment opportunity.’
Built by Skase in 1987, the hotel was one of two ‘Mirage’ hotels, with another built at the then-little known north Queensland hamlet of Port Douglas.
Created to Skase’s very specific vision, the hotel would become something of a historic landmark with its futuristic designs, lavish landscaping and decadent bars and restaurants.
The main ballroom of the Sheraton Mirage, built to the specific vision of Christopher Skase
Inside the lavish foyer of the Sheraton Grand Mirage – which boasts 295 rooms and a prime waterfront location
The hotel’s fabled nightclub Rolls, which closed in the late 1980s, was even home to a full-sized vintage Rolls Royce which acted as part of the furniture.
Prince Charles, George Clooney and Sting are amongst the famous guests to have checked in, however the development of the neighbouring Palazzo Versace in in 2000 saw the Mirage eclipsed as the ultimate celebrity haunt.
Skase, who built the Mirage on Four Mile Beach for $100million, ultimately handed it over to receivers and it was eventually bought by Indian-based Pearl Australasia for for $62.5million in 2009.
Skase died in 2001 in Spain at aged 53 of stomach cancer.
He had fled Australia after the collapse of his $1.5billion Quintex group, with many accusing him of smuggling out a large fortune – making him one of the country’s most wanted fugitives.
The businessman left behind a string of devastated shareholders, having cost them hundreds of millions of dollars.
The hotel, meanwhile, then underwent an extensive refurb prior to being taken over by Star Entertainment Group – but the building was found to be unsuitable to hold casino licences in Queensland.
Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall stayed at the hotel in 2005 during a tour of Queensland
Multiple pools and fountains fill the grounds of the Sheraton Grand which also has a number of bars and restaurants
One of the stunning condominiums, overlooking Main Beach on the Gold Coast
In December the gambling giant was hit with a $100million fine from the state government and given a year to ‘get their house in order’ or face a 90-day licence suspension.
Local development insiders say Group’s $200million Mirage price tag has raised eyebrows in real estate circles given the building’s age.
The hotel also comes with a five-year tenancy contract with Marriott Hotels.
‘It was a marvel in its day but she’s old and looking like she needs quite a bit of work,’ said one developer who has inspected the property.
The famed Marina Mirage shopping and boating precinct which is set to undergo a major redevelopment
However he noted that the prospect of major works surrounding the hotel could add to its appeal.
The Southport Spit is to be the site of extensive development over the next few years with more than than $1.5billion in projects currently in the pipeline including the $300million Mantaray Marina.
Billionaire Con Makris has also flagged a multi-million dollar plan to overhaul the Marina Mirage shopping precinct.
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