Chinese businessman buys Double Island resort near Cairns
HONG Kong-based multi-millionaire Chinese businessman Benny Wu has bought luxurious Double Island resort near Cairns.
The former mining magnate told The Cairns Post he planned to spend $10 million developing and upgrading the resort to host wealthy Chinese holidaymakers and businessmen.
The deal with current owner, Sydney developer Sean Howard, was signed last night and witnessed by Cairns Mayor Bob Manning at the Kewarra Beach Resort, also owned by Mr Howard.
The price was not disclosed but the island was on the market for $8 million. Mr Howard paid $4.5 million for the island in 2000.
The purchase comes just a day after The Cairns Post revealed billionaire miner Clive Palmer had bought the Sea Temple Golf and Country Club at Port Douglas for about $7 million.
Double Island has a mix of accommodation, including Polynesian-style villas, luxury apartments and eco-tents all set amongst landscaped tropical gardens. The resort includes a beachside gymnasium, reportedly built for Keanu Reeves when the actor leased the island while filming The Matrix Reloaded.
Mr Wu said he "liked the island" and decided to buy it over lunch with Mr Howard about a year ago.
He intends to target "the very top end of the market" and fly in "very rich" holidaymakers and businessmen from Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, Guangzhou and other emerging cities in China using the direct Shanghai service by China Eastern, proposed direct Guangzhou flights by China Southern and Cathy Pacific's Hong Kong service.
Mr Wu said he wanted to create an exclusive "private club" and encourage corporations to hold meetings on the island.
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Island deal: Chinese businessmen Benny Wu (left) and Davey Tam inspect Double Island yesterday. Picture: Tom Lee