Developers of a $20 million eco-tourism development on the Tasman Peninsula say the time is right to proceed, more than a decade after the idea was first floated.
The Remarkable Lodge at Crescent Bay received approval in 2008, but developer entrepreneur Dick Smith later shelved the project because of community opposition and a lack of State Government support.
He sold it to his daughter and son-in-law Hayley and James Baillie last year.
Mr Baillie said the 20-suite boutique accommodation would create more than 30 jobs.
“Tasmania has changed in terms of a destination considerably and so has the whole luxury lodge market,” he said.
“It has been a long journey for us.
“If we go back in time luxury lodges really didn’t exist in Australia and yet now they’re probably the hottest part of the tourism sector.”
State Government funding welcome
The State Government has committed $1 million toward the project.
Premier Will Hodgman said the money was for infrastructure upgrades to get the project up and running.
“It will be contribution to the roadway, to water, sewerage infrastructure, for power,” he said.
“We’re prepared to back this exciting vision.
“It will add another jewel in the crown that is Tasmania’s tourism industry.”
Tasman Council on board
Tasman Council Mayor Roseanne Heyward said it was exciting to see the project, which has council approval, move forward.
“It will be something that people can come to the region and find work or school leavers and young people to actually stay home if they want to and get work,” she said.
Cr Heyward said State Government support had helped to revive the development.
“I think it has tipped James and Hayley Baillie over the line and it has just been the impetus they require to keep going,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Baillie already run three luxury lodges across the country.
“It’s full steam ahead from here,” Mr Ballie said.
“The project is fully approved and we’re now moving forward with fine tuning of the interior elements.
“We have had quite a lot of opposition in other places that we’ve developed.
“But I think we very much look forward to proving those people wrong and really showcasing what will be a sensitive development.”