Home' Forge : Vol 1 No 3 Contents 146
The high- ying The Star casino and multi-billion-dollar Queen's Wharf development will transform the leading
integrated resort provider.
Echo Entertainment Group is superbly
positioned to lead a world-class casino
precinct in Sydney, and transform south-
east Queensland's integrated resort market.
Echo’s fagship Sydney casino, The Star,
is performing strongly. Boosted by an
$870 million refurbishment, The Star is
attracting increasing numbers of local
and international visitors to its casino,
hotel and restaurants; hosting more
events; and winning more awards.
‘Our master plan for The Star will
see continual improvements and
enhancements to the property over
the next fve years,’ says The Star
Managing Director Greg Hawkins.
'Our investments in infrastructure
will see our hotels refurbished and an
expansion of our already leading dining,
entertainment and leisure facilities.'
An iconic Brisbane casino and
entertainment precinct is another
opportunity. The Queensland
Government in July announced an Echo-
led joint venture (Destination Brisbane
Consortium) as the preferred bidder for
the multi-billion-dollar Queen's Wharf
Brisbane integrated resort development
in the city's CBD.
The project, expected to add $4 billion
to Queensland's economy, is among
the most signifcant entertainment
projects in the state's history. 'Queen's
Wharf is potentially transformational
for both Brisbane and the Echo Group,'
says Hawkins. 'It follows major
redevelopment programs at our Gold
Coast property, and the continued
planning for development at The Star.’
As part of the Queen's Wharf proposal,
Echo will build a tourism and hospitality
school on the Gold Coast. The state-of-
the-art school will boost Queensland's
capability in hospitality and help it
capitalise on an expected boom in Asian
tourism over the coming decade.
This initiative follows a $345 million
redevelopment of Echo's Jupiters
Hotel and Casino at Broadbeach on
the Gold Coast. The project, now
underway, involves the construction
of a six-star, 17-storey hotel and the
refurbishment of 592 rooms in time for
the Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Echo’s 2014–15 earnings result
reinforced its momentum. Its
normalised earnings before interest, tax,
depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA)
of $521 million was 24.1 per cent higher
than the previous corresponding period.
Each Echo business segment contributed
to growth, and The Star, with 25.5 per
cent EBITDA growth, headlined a result
that beat market expectations.
The Star delivering exceptional
The origin of The Star ’s recent success is
Tabcorp Holding Limited’s decision in
2011 to de-merge its casino business and
list Echo Entertainment Group on the
Australian Securities Exchange. Tabcorp
acquired Star City Holdings Limited, the
owner and operator of Star City, in 1999.
Echo’s frst major task as a stand-alone
company was to oversee The Star ’s $870
million refurbishment, which began in
2009, and concluded in 2013 with the
opening of The Star Event Centre.
The innovative development, ‘Project
Star ', included the reorientation of the
building to embrace Sydney Harbour and
the city skyline, a new harbour-facing
entrance, and new entertainment spaces.
Twenty restaurants and bars, including
four fne-dining signature restaurants; an
international nightclub; and the 170-room,
fve-star Darling Hotel, opened alongside
the multi-use The Star Event Centre.
The success of this development is
refected in The Star ’s 43 awards and
accolades over the past 18 months,
and its excellent results in customer
satisfaction surveys this year.
‘We are confdent that our ability to really
understand our customers and what
they want will give us a competitive
edge,' says Hawkins. 'We place high
importance on customer service and
guest service experience, and continue
to deliver innovative enhancements and
money-can't-buy experiences via our
customer service program.'
Having recently celebrated its 20th
anniversary, The Star continues to play
Echo Entertainment Group Limited
on the brink of a new era of growth
The Star Managing Director Greg Hawkins
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