Australian development and hospitality group Iris Capital has vowed to spend more than AU$100 million (US$75 million) on upgrading Lasseters Hotel Casino after officially taking ownership of the property this month.
Located in the outback town of Alice Springs, Lasseters was previously owned by Singapore’s Lasseters International Holdings before the company announced in April that it had reached a deal for Iris Capital to acquire the property for AU$105 million (US$78 million). The sale was finally settled this month after its new owners were granted regulatory approval to operate the casino.
According to Iris Capital’s CEO Sam Arnaout, the company is now planning to double its investment via an upgrade to existing infrastructure and the addition of a new hotel.
“We are well advanced in discussions with the Northern Territory Government in relation to recapitalising the asset,” Arnaout said in a statement.
“Our master plan for Lasseters incorporates a new hotel offering within a fully integrated resort and includes a repositioned casino floor with significantly expanded food and beverage offerings.
“The investment is aimed at capturing pent-up demand for new domestic tourism destinations, as well as the international travel market, while also capitalising on the mining industry’s connection to the region.”
Arnaout explained that the upgrade was designed to fully capitalise on the property’s potential.
“We are taking a first-mover position with a significant investment that we believe will provide the catalyst for further investment in the region,” he said.
“We’re putting the pedal to the metal to make sure the hotel and casino are ready to go in line with the government’s tourism vision for the region. We believe our plans will be a major shot in the arm for local stakeholders and other investors.
“With international flights already servicing Alice Springs, the infrastructure is there for this region to attract further investment by tourism operators and bring the red centre closer to a travel-hungry world market.”
Iris Capital runs around 30 pubs and hotels in Australia with more than 1,000 electronic gaming machines under its purview.