Outrigger's Australia expansion gains momentum with the announcement of its 9th Australia property

HONOLULU, OAHU, HAWAII – Outrigger Hotels & Resorts' push into Australia's lucrative tourist centers in the state of Queensland continues at an energetic pace following the group's appointment to manage a five-star boutique hotel under construction at Palm Cove, 18 miles north of Cairns.

Palm Cove is recognized as the premier destination for European travelers to the Cairns region. Only 20 minutes north of Cairns International Airport, with a three-story height restriction on development, Palm Cove's village atmosphere is highly valued among vacationers seeking a more relaxed environment.

The US$25.4 million Outrigger Beach Club, situated on 4 acres directly overlooking Palm Cove Beach, will be developed over three stages. Stage One comprises 48 luxury suites, boutique outlets, restaurants, recreational areas and a day spa.

Due for completion in mid June 2002, stage one will also contain conference facilities for up to 140 delegates, pool, spa and waterfalls, gymnasium, formal lobby and bar and beachfront restaurants.

Developer of the exclusive Outrigger Beach Club is The Beach Club Pty Ltd of Melbourne, Victoria, which plans to commence construction on stage two in 2002. This will see a further 132 suites added, bringing the total number to 180.

Designed by Melbourne-based architect Leigh Ratcliffe, whose previous projects include the Angsana Great Barrier Reef, Reef House and Villa Paradiso resorts also at Palm Cove, the three-level Outrigger Beach Club is designed to take advantage of its tropical location, and stylishly designed to suggest contemporary Queensland Colonial meets Raffles. Super large suites, featuring luxuries such as roof top, glass fronted private swimming pools set a new benchmark for up market developments in the region, which according to Ratcliffe, hasn't been seen since the Mirage Port Douglas opened in the mid 1980s.

Outrigger's latest property appointment comes just two months after announcing its appointment to manage the Outrigger Port Douglas Resort, 12 miles north of Palm Cove, and also due to open in June this year.

We continue to look at Australia as a region with tremendous growth opportunity for Outrigger, said Bill Henderson, vice president of business development. Our reputation within the industry there has grown to the point where new developments are now seeking us out.

Outrigger's Australian arm now has nine properties in its management portfolio, located throughout Queensland and New Caledonia. The first Australian management contract was signed in August 1998 for the Outrigger Sun City Resort.

According to Henderson, Outrigger's relationship with the Australian market began many decades ago when they were introduced to Outrigger while vacationing in Hawaii.

I guess you could say our reputation preceded us, he said referring to Australia's familiarity of Outrigger.

According to Dave Lawrence, Outrigger's vice president for Australia, the group's move into Palm Cove is integral to its strategy of holding a definitive presence in far north Queensland. The group's north Queensland property portfolio now comprises developments in Port Douglas, Palm Cove and Cairns.

Palm Cove has always been in our sights as a region that complements Outrigger's global image for quality beachside resorts.

The Outrigger Beach Club Resort will attract both inbound travelers and domestic visitors, the latter particularly from Australia's southern states, Lawrence added.

With an established sales and marketing network around the world, Outrigger will market its north Queensland properties to the region's core inbound markets of New Zealand, the United States, United Kingdom, Japan and Europe.

We see far north Queensland as holding significant growth potential for Outrigger given its location to the world renowned attractions of the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest and award-winning man made attractions such as Kuranda Rail and world class golf courses.

Lawrence said the company was well on-track to meet its strategy of having 20 properties in Australia and the nearby south pacific region by 2005.

Outrigger Hotels & Resorts is division of Outrigger Enterprises, Inc., the largest locally owned lodging company in Hawaii and one of the fastest growing lodging companies in the Pacific. Under its two hotel brands – Outrigger Hotels & Resorts and OHANA Hotels & Resorts – the company currently operates or has under development 45 hotels and resorts throughout the Pacific region, representing more than 12,000 hotel rooms and condominium units in Hawaii, Micronesia, Australia and the South Pacific. Outrigger's affiliate, Outrigger Lodging Services, operates nearly two-dozen hotels and resorts throughout the U.S. Mainland.

For reservations or information, call your preferred travel professional or Outrigger Hotels and Resorts toll-free at 800-OUTRIGGER (1-800-688-7444) within the U.S., Guam and Canada. Outrigger's toll-free number is available internationally via AT&T's Direct 800 Service. Elsewhere call 303-369-7777. Internet users can access information of Outrigger via the World Wide Web and www.outrigger.com and Outrigger's e-mail address is reservations@outrigger.com