Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon Pool Main
Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon Pool Main

CAP RESORT: Will we ever see the it back up and running?

PLANS FOR the $600 million development at the Capricorn Resort for the 300-room, five-star resort are continuing in the background.

The environmental impact statement project approval lapses in June 2021 and Capricorn Resort spokesperson Toshiyuki Suda said they were still under negotiations with the Queensland Government.

When The Morning Bulletin asked for an update of the project, he did note that while he had no further information to disclose at this time, they were moving forward during “the difficult situation” of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Tsuruya Japanese restaurant is back up and running with a new menu featuring Wagyu cattle beef.

Iwasaki Sangyo Australia has been operating the Wagyu grazing business since 2010.

At the beginning there was only four full blood Wagyu bull and three full blood Wagyu cows and by the end of this year there will be more than 3000 head of cattle.

“Iwasaki Grazing is still increasing and expanding its operation and number of cattle is going to increase,” Suda said.

“Iwasaki Wagyu is specialised on full blood Wagyu, which demonstrates true Japanese-style Wagyu breeding techniques.

“We have dispatched Wagyu specialists from Japan and demonstrated that we have contributed for the expansion of Wagyu industry in Australia.”

The golf course is also open for business at the resort.

Pool area and accommodation building at Capricorn International Resort Yeppoon Pic Philip/Norrish 09 Feb 1998.
Pool area and accommodation building at Capricorn International Resort Yeppoon Pic Philip/Norrish 09 Feb 1998.

CAPRICORN INTEGRATED RESORT

The project is approved for the development of a 1500-hectare integrated resort community by Iwasaki Sangyo Co (Australia) Pty Ltd.

It is planned to be a world class integrated eco-tourism resort.

The site is 45 km north of Rockhampton, and 9 km north of Yeppoon’s town centre with about 9000 hectares of land, which includes the tourist resort, areas of conservation, and grazing land.

The project will be made up of three main precincts: the conservation precinct (to the north), the rural precinct (to the west) and the urban precinct (to the south).

The project has a $600 million investment with the following key features:

  • 300-room, five-star resort, including a golf course
  • 1-2 star caravan and recreational vehicle park
  • Eco-friendly cabins
  • Wellness centre
  • Wagyu cattle farm – for farm stays, cattle and sheep farming and educational activities
  • residential community of 8000 dwellings and village centre of up to 2,000 m2 including retail, restaurants and sales offices
  • Public open spaces including parks and recreation facilities
  • Conservation precinct
  • Airstrip – for tourism, charter flights and a potential fly-in, fly-out hub
  • Refurbishment of the existing 331-room Mercure Capricorn Resort
NOVEMBER, 2005 : Rydges Capricorn Resort at Yeppoon, 11/05. Queensland / Hotel / Exterior Travel
NOVEMBER, 2005 : Rydges Capricorn Resort at Yeppoon, 11/05. Queensland / Hotel / Exterior Travel

JOBS

The construction is expected to be done over 20 years with 8500 jobs over this period. Once operational there would be 2160 jobs.

RENEWABLE ENERGY

The development plans to have smart grid technology and renewable energy.

It is planned to partner with Kyushu Electric Power Co. to build solar and wind farms to produce renewable energy for the resort and surrounding region.

This would reduce the resort’s net grid energy consumption and create a lower carbon footprint.

Rydges Capricorn International Resort at Yeppoon, Queensland (Pic: Rae Atkey). /Queensland
Rydges Capricorn International Resort at Yeppoon, Queensland (Pic: Rae Atkey). /Queensland

TIMELINE

The Iwasaki Group began the long-term project in 2010 for the staged development.

The project was first submitted in late 2013 and underwent public consultation in 2014.

Project declaration lapse dates were given in late 2014, with a new date declared each year for the next five years.

The latest lapse date is June 1, 2021.

The proposed development is envisaged to be done over 20 years for the entire project, staged in accordance with the delivery of infrastructure, community need, market demand and future feasibility studies.

Chapel at Rydges Capricorn International Resort at Yeppoon, Queensland (Pic: Rae Atkey). /Queensland
Chapel at Rydges Capricorn International Resort at Yeppoon, Queensland (Pic: Rae Atkey). /Queensland

HISTORY

The Capricorn Resort is mostly known by locals as the Cap Resort or Rydges.

Yohachiro Iwasaki purchased the site after his visit to Australia in 1969.

The Iwasaki Group company was incorporated in 1972.

Now the Mercure Capricorn Resort Yeppoon, it was opened in 1986.

In 2013, it employed between 300 to 350 people, depending on the tourism season.

The resort closed in August 2016, with the golf course and club house and Tsuruya Japanese Restaurant remaining open.

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