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Outrigger tipped to return down under

Exclusive interview: executive reveals search is on for Aussie property

Outrigger could be back in the Australian market within the next 12 months should the right property become available.


The company sold its four Australian properties to Accor back in 2015 but with the backing of new owners, the Outrigger brand could soon be heading back Down Under.


Sean Dee


In an exclusive interview with Traveltalk, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, Sean Dee, said executives were “actively looking” at properties in Australia.


“Outrigger has been in the Oceania market for years and over time we’ve managed, owned and operated more than 20 properties here, so we’ve had a long track record of success,” he said.


“It’s a critical source market – more than a quarter of the guests at Outrigger Waikiki are from Australia and New Zealand, so clearly the Outrigger brand resonates with the Australian market.


“We’re actively engaged in looking at properties – our CEO was just here in Brisbane – so it’s definitely on our short list. We have just got to make sure the deal makes sense.


“I would expect to see an Outrigger resort flag here within 12 months.”


Mr. Dee was among a 21-strong delegation visiting Australia as part of the Outrigger Global Showcase. Executives and representatives from Outrigger properties in Hawaii, the Maldives, Fiji and Thailand toured Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to demonstrate the company’s next phase of reinvestment and growth, backed by their new owners, the Denver-based KSL Capital Partners.


Members of the Outrigger delegation


Outrigger is currently executing a modernisation masterplan inclusive of $US200 million investment in capital expenditures for its core Hawaii-owned assets over the next two to three years.


This includes the highly-anticipated transformation of its flagship Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort, new food, beverage and retail offerings and premier Voyager 47 Club Lounges, along with the imminent completion of a $US35 million modernisation of Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger.


“That renovation literally finishes this weekend – they are filling the pool as we speak,” added Mr. Dee.


“It’s intended to be a modern interpretation of Waikiki so we’ve used a lot of local artisans, photographers, artists, weavers, even the music when you come in. Every element of the property has been re-imagined so we can’t wait to debut it to the world.


“We have really zeroed in on being the premier beach resort brand in the world. It’s pretty ambitious for a small, regional hospitality company but it’s really galvanized the whole organisation.”


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Written by: Jon Underwood
Published: 29 March 2019

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