The Gold Coast Titans’ naming rights sponsor Aquis have certainly been active in developing their Australian interests with a major redevelopment of the former Patinack Farm horse training complex on the Gold Coast hinterland and the announcement of a proposed $330 million project to build a new casino and resort-style entertainment centre in Canberra.
Aquis, also the major sponsor of the ACT Brumbies in the Super 14 rugby competition, have revealed plans to develop the Canberra site which it has been operating since 2014.
It plans to build two hotels on the site. One is a six-star, 12-storey tower targeting high-rollers, luxury tourists and VIPs – and the other a 15-storey 100-suite, five-star hotel. There would also be bars, cafes and restaurants and promenade-style shopping complex.
Aquis has yet to secure approval or financing for the project but wants to start construction next year. It was expected to be a two-year build, with a likely opening date in 2018. The two-stage project would see the existing 21-year-old casino remain open and operating while the new one is built.
Aquis managing director Justin Fung told the Canberra Times: “We've been very confident in the Canberra market for some time now. The reason we acquired Casino Canberra was because we saw the potential here for growth in domestic tourism and international tourism here, so this was really a natural next step for us.
"It's not just an integrated resort. It's an entertainment and lifestyle precinct, something that people will associate with the food, the shopping, somewhere you can spend your afternoons. The gaming component is just one component, it doesn't incorporate the whole experience
"It really would be an extension of City Walk and the rejuvenation of that part of the city."
Justin’s father, Hong Kong businessman Tony Fung, bought the casino in 2014 for $6 million.
Meanwhile, leading Gold Coast trainer Brian Guy has taken over Aquis racing stable at Aquis Farm, the former training establishment of Nathan Tinkler which was called Patinack Farm.
The Canungra complex has been renamed Aquis Farm and Guy is moving his stable of about 409 horses from his Bundall stables he has occupied for 17 years.
Guy will have exclusive control of the Aquis racing team and also bring horses of other clients across.
The state-of-the-art training facilities had been restored and are now among the best in Australia. It includes restored stables catering for more than 80 horses in training, private grass and sand training tracks, restored water walker and lap pools.
“It is an incredible facility that was allowed to run down as a consequence of lack of investment under the previous owners but the Aquis team have turned the property around,” Guy told News Ltd.
“I do not think there is a property anywhere in Queensland that is better for racehorse training now that is has been restored.
“Aquis has a clear vision that it wants to be a leading player in the Asian horse racing industry and that will serve my clients well in the future.
“The combination of state of the art training facilities in a quiet, rural location will allow us to implement a number of innovative training concepts that I am confident will produce plenty of winners in the future.
“Aquis Farm will be particularly beneficial for horses not suited to the hustle and bustle of the city training tracks.”