Entertainment

Major change coming to Dreamworld

Land adjacent to the theme park would be developed into an accommodation hub, with 250 room four-star resort-style hotel rooms, 40 bungalows and an up-market tourist park with 100 powered sites, Dreamworld chief executive Greg Yong announced on Wednesday.The development comes as the theme park, owned by Ardent Leisure, recovers from one of its darkest eras.Last September, the company was fined $3.6m over the 2016 Thunder River Rapid ride tragedy that killed four people.The company pleaded guilty to failing to comply with health and safety standards that led to the deaths.The resort will be built on “surplus” land owned by Ardent Leisure, and an announcement on the opening date will depend on the company and the developer Evolution Group obtaining the required planning approvals, Mr Yong said in a statement.“The hotel and tourist park will complement Dreamworld as a premium entertainment destination and add a new level of convenience for guests who will have our theme park and water park on their accommodation’s doorstep,” Mr Yong said.“This announcement is another positive step in the recovery of our parks post-COVID and will have a significant economic impact not only for Dreamworld but also for the northern Gold Coast, one of Australia’s fastest-growing regional corridors. “The project will create employment within the local community and contribute to the regeneration of tourism on the Gold Coast.”The resort will also contain restaurants, conferencing facilities and leisure facilities such as swimming pools and a gymnasium. The union between Ardent Leisure and Evolution Group “is currently non-binding” and subject to the satisfaction of several preconditions; however, both parties are optimistic that final terms for the project will be agreed in the near future, the companies said in a statement.

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