AUSTRALIAN television legend Ray Martin has described the Palmer Coolum Resort as a "sad, empty ghost town" compared to the once "exquisite" complex managed by Hyatt.
Mr Martin has long had an association with the resort, where he played rounds on its "world championship course".
Speaking to APN as part of a video series on Australian icons, Mr Martin was asked if he had noticed any changes since the arrival of Clive Palmer on the Sunshine Coast.
Mr Martin said under Mr Palmer's ownership, the former Hyatt Coolum "has been run down or left to run down".
"It was the best resort I'd ever seen anywhere in the world, and we've been to a couple in Hawaii run by Hilton," Mr Martin said.
"Nothing compared with Coolum. The whole running of the place was exquisite. It was absolutely first class."
Mr Martin suspects owner and politician Clive Palmer may have an "ulterior motive" for the complex.
"You couldn't turn it into what it has become - a sad, empty ghost town - you couldn't do that unless you really tried."
Attempts were made to reach Palmer Coolum Resort managers and Mr Palmer himself, but no response was received before deadline.
Mr Martin was asked about the controversy surrounding plans by Japanese developer Sekisui to build a $1 billion beachside resort in nearby Yaroomba.
Although he said he had not followed the situation closely, he was reluctant to support Sekisui's plans.
Questioned on the allegations in following days, Mr Palmer said while he acknowledged Mr Martin's opinion on the resort, his changes were for the benefit of local people, not Sydneysiders.
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