Port Douglas, 27th December, 2016 – The Reef Marina is celebrating its third anniversary with over $5 million in achievements –  jobs, super yachts and craft beer.

Chris Ellis, Andrew Hooper-Nguyen and Rob Cruz took over the Port Douglas marina in December 2013, renamed it to reflect its unique position as the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef and immediately began investing in their vision for the facility to be Australia’s premier marina.  Their goal from the outset has been to transform Port Douglas’ waterfront into a vibrant community, entertainment and residential precinct providing first class facilities and service to boating clients and quality dining, entertainment and shopping experiences for Port Douglas residents and visitors.

“Port Douglas is one of the most beautiful places in the world and we feel honoured to be here and be part of its story now and into the future,” Mr Cruz said.

So far, more than $5 million has been spent refurbishing the retail space and expanding the marina by 30 new berths, including the new Superyacht Hub.

“This investment has allowed The Reef Marina to attract new world-class tenants, including Hemingway’s Brewery and Barbados Port Douglas,” he added.

Hemingway’s microbrewery, bar and restaurant opened mid-year with a range of specially crafted beers reflecting Port Douglas’ unique character and its rich and colourful past, while Barbados Port Douglas embodies the charm of tropical living with a sophisticated setting, creative cocktails and a view over Dickson Inlet that is unrivalled.  The Reef Marina’s investment has also encouraged existing customers such as the Quicksilver Group, Port Douglas’ largest tour operator, to further extend its 30-year presence at the Marina with a new long-term lease agreement finalised this month.

Upgrading the 3866 square metres of retail area, including the slipway and ramp, has stimulated capital expenditure in the order of $11.7 million, including fit-outs, equipment and marketing.

By the time The Reef Marina’s fifth birthday rolls around in 2018, its owners hope the proposed $85 million redevelopment of the Port Douglas waterfront will be well underway.

The work is expected to generate more than 600 jobs during the two-year construction period and around 240 permanent jobs, a 4.4% boost to the regional economy and a $588 million economic contribution over 30 years, according to figures from Cummings Economics.

Once complete, it will offer luxury waterfront living including 85 luxury residences with almost 200 rooms for holidaymakers and permanent residents, as well as shaded pedestrian links connecting the town centre with The Reef Marina, timber waterfront boardwalk, outdoor entertainment spaces, community areas and public art.