THE PALACE Hotel, Proserpine, has been sold to a local businessman, through Taylor’s Property Specialists.
Rick Shelley purchased the property on December 6, 2022.
The Palace Hotel began as a two-storey timber building constructed by August Schumake more than 100 years ago.
Licenses to the hotel changed hands several times during the first few years, before a gentleman named Henry (Harry) Deicke took out a lease, in 1903, and then bought the property in 1907.
Still owned by Mr Deicke, the Palace Hotel was extended and altered in 1939 to include additional accommodation facilities to cater for an escalating demand for accommodation, due to the success of the sugar cane industry.
A lady named Mrs OM Jones took over the hotel in the 1950s and ran it until 1963; it then went on to have two more owners before it was bought by Jim Bowman, in 1977.
The Faust family purchased the building, in 1995, and transformed the dining area and then later added the TAB section to the hotel.
They sold it to Paul McEnroe, in 2004, who remodelled the building significantly.
Most recently, it was taken over, in 2006, by Thomas and Audrey Dunne, who remodelled the hotel and renamed it O’Duinn’s Irish Pub.
Fast forward 11 years, and the pub was destroyed by Tropical Cyclone Debbie, in 2017, and has been closed to the public ever since.
The hotel was removed from the local heritage register by Whitsunday Regional Council, in 2021, along with several other buildings that were damaged in Cyclone Debbie.
The fate of the pub is now looking up, with Mr Shelley’s purchase.