The Star Gold Coast is contributing to a boom in the region’s property prices ahead of the 2018 Commonwealth Games according to local experts.

Star Entertainment Matt Bekier.

Star Entertainment CEO Matt Bekier’s push to transform the Star Gold Coast is helping improve the region’s economy. (Image: listcorp.com)

Recent data from the Domain Group has shown that, ahead of next year’s athletics event, the Gold Coast is thriving. According to the statistics, the median house price in the area has increased by 8 percent in the last year to $615,000.

Price Increase Isn’t Just a Game

While the impending Commonwealth Games has be cited as the main economic driver, the experts believe it’s not the only reason. Commenting on the recent boom in property prices, CEO of Ray White Surfers Paradise, Andrew Bell, told domain.com.au that the Games are helping but the effects will live on after its gone.

Helping to buoy the market is the recently revamped Star Casino. Formerly known as Jupiters, the venue has been completely transformed over the last 12 months thanks to a multimillion dollar commitment from the Star Entertainment Group.

Designed to tie in with the ten-day athletic event, which gets underway in April 2018, the regeneration project has already seen the existing building receive a major facelift. As well as new entertainment and dining options, outdoor lighting projections illuminate the casino as well as its refurbished suites.

In addition to improving the current structure, Star Entertainment is building a new hotel and apartment tower on Broadbeach. Residential apartments are now complete, while the hotel itself is due to open its doors in time for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

Tourism Prompting Positive Changes

For property experts like Bell, the investment by Star Entertainment has had a knock-on effect that’s now helping to enhance the region.

“Jupiters spent a couple of hundred million more than that in the end. Then, across the road, Pacific Fair saw it happening and thought we’d better not get left behind, so they spent $800 million rejuvenating it,” Bell told Domain.

For the casino operator, the project has been part of a company-wide transformation. Speaking with the Australian Financial Review, CEO Matt Bekier said that he wanted to make Star Entertainment a tourism company rather than one that simply catered to gamblers.

“For an integrated resort to be successful these days, it has to be a whole lot more than gaming. These days, if you wanted to, you could hop on your phone and bet,” Bekier told AFR’s Lunch.

This drive to create a high-end tourist destination is something that’s marked the Australian casino industry over the last 12 months. Although the recent Australian Gambling Statistics Report showed that Aussies now wager $24 billion every year, casinos have struggled due to a drop in high roller activity.

Star Entertainment hasn’t been immune to lower margins from VIP activity, but a financial report in October did show that the new Gold Coast facilities are starting to show signs of a recovery. Looking forward, Bekier wants to capitalise on this momentum with more options for all visitors, including those making the trip to Australia for the Commonwealth Games.

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