RENOVATIONS at the historic Palace Hotel, in Proserpine, are well under-way, with its newest owner hoping it will be back up and running in eight months’ time.
The Palace Hotel was sold to local businessman Rick Shelley, through Taylor’s Property Specialists, in December 2022.
The building has seen its fair share of troubles, having been built more than 100 years ago; it has changed hands numerous times.
Prior to Mr Shelley’s purchase, The Palace Hotel was taken over by Thomas and Audrey Dunne, in 2006, who remodelled the hotel and renamed it O’Duinn’s Irish Pub.
Unfortunately, the building didn’t survive the onslaught of Tropical Cyclone Debbie, in 2017, and has been closed ever since.
However, its future is now looking bright, as Mr Shelley’s industry experience as a developer allows him to bring it back to its former glory.
“It’s just been gutted from Debbie,” Mr Shelley said.
“What we’re planning on doing is a whole rebuild, the new timbre work in the roof system has been repaired and brought up to current cyclone standards and engineering.
“The upstairs will be 24 self-contained ensuite rooms, two disabled rooms and an elevator.”
Mr Shelley is feeling positive about the process so far, having had no setbacks when it comes to Whitsunday Regional Council approvals.
“The council has been supportive, we had to do a footpath closure and we’ve had no hiccups with that and none since,” he said.
“They’ve given us a permit to work on Sundays.”
While still early on in the renovation process, Mr Shelley has big hopes for the hotel.
“Subject to approvals, it’ll be all opened again as a bar, restaurant, TAB gambling and pokies,” he said.
“You never know, I might have it open for Christmas, but I can’t get all the approvals until its renovated and there’s a million of them.”
While developers across Australia are finding their projects stalled, due to lack of materials, Mr Shelley said Porters Mitre 10 Whitsunday, in Cannonvale, had been incredibly reliable with supplies.
“Porters have been supplying about 90 per cent of our gear, they’ve been great. We get daily deliveries from Porters,” he said.
“I was one of their largest clients for many, many years, so they support me well.”