General manager of the Mercure Capricorn Resort Mark Jackson.
General manager of the Mercure Capricorn Resort Mark Jackson. Nikita Watts

Resort seeks that exotic feel

A NEW restaurant and market stalls may be on the cards next year for the Capricorn Resort since hotel giants Accor took over management last month.

Mark Jackson, the general manager of Yeppoon's popular resort which is now called the Mercure Capricorn Resort, yesterday said he was looking at opportunities to "be creative" in dining, but there were no immediate plans - nor for a major renovation of the aging accommodation.

Mr Jackson, who has family in Brisbane and worked for the Chelsea Football Club in London, said the resort was like being in South-East Asia or Phuket and there was opportunity to develop its food and beverage options without over-supplying the region with good restaurants.

And in keeping with the feel of an exotic resort town, Mr Jackson said he envisioned holding regular arts and crafts markets, like South Bank in Brisbane, to encourage people to visit.

He said the resort would change in time and would be a "huge project".

"We are approaching it from the focus of what we've got and what we can do with it," he said.

"There is lots of scope, lots of opportunity. It probably needs a fresh set of eyes."

The Capricorn Resort is the first resort-style accommodation in Australia, if not the world, to be run by the international hotel management company.

Mr Jackson said it didn't have an equal in terms of the facilities on offer to the region.

He said weekend bookings and Christmas holidays were looking good, but weekdays presented a challenge, which could be assisted by the growing gas and mining opportunities in Gladstone and the Bowen Basin.

He credited resort owners, the Iwasaki family, for their vision for the coast.

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