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Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Clive Palmer opens his dinosaur resort

When Clive Palmer bought the Hyatt Coolum Resort on the Sunshine Coast, he promised to turn it into one of the best resorts in the world. But 18 months later, guests and villa owners are unhappy, and staff say it reminds them of a five-star version of Fawlty Towers.

Rooms range from $300 to $2000 per night but some guest's comments haven't been very complimentary.  On the 8th of December, one guest commented "The room I stayed in was very dated, I was charged 80 cents for just turning on the television and the internet wouldn't work."

Clive Palmer with the Irwin family

So what was Clive thinking when he decided to create the world's largest dinosaur park in the grounds of a successful golfing resort? Not only are they ugly, they move and growl, all 160 of them.

He's called it Palmersaurus and it's now open for business. Admission costs $100 for a family of four and an extra $75 to visit Motorama, Clive's personal collection of vintage cars.

Robert Irwin

Australian PGA boss Brian Thorburn said the Palmer Coolum resort would not be on the future tour calendar list after 11 years.  A number of disputes with Mr Palmer were cited as the reason.  It has since been downgraded to a second-rate golf course.

Clive Palmer is an unknown quantity.  We know he's a successful miner but can he run a luxury resort?  He owns Mineralogy and has iron ore, nickel and coal holdings and as of January 2013, Forbes magazine estimated his worth at $895 million.

But one thing is for sure, he shouldn't be underestimated.  When he decided to go into politics, he launched his own political party and won. He's currently the new member for Fairfax (Qld) and two other Palmer United Party (PUP) members will take their seats in the Senate on 1 July 2014.

Some are calling him a buffoon but he hasn't really been tested yet, it's still early days.