Heron Island open again after weeks of renovations

GLADSTONE'S own slice of paradise, Heron Island, successfully underwent renovations for six weeks from May and is again open to the public.

Gladstone residents were invited to stay and see the new updates at the weekend.

"It's the first time Heron has had a closure," Delaware North regional general manager Ross Greenaway said.

"Most remote resorts will have a seasonal closure in the wet season. But the temperate climate here means it doesn't have a horrible wet season or bad winter," he said.

Renovations included much-needed infrastructure work with a new hot water service and cutting down of overgrown foliage.

"The main changes (people will see) will be in public spaces," Mr Greenaway said.

"The bar and the restaurant have all been completely renovated and repaired.

"The public areas by the pool have new umbrellas, new furniture and the paving has all been re-levelled."

Around this time last year, The Observer reported on troubles the resort faced when a desalination pump stopped working.

"That was really quite an exception and I think the company in retrospect looks back and says okay, in hindsight we should have closed until it was solved," Mr Greenaway said.

"In the closure period we put a new plant in which has actually replaced the original problem and given us a more up-to-date facility."

With 26 years of experience in resorts and hotels, Mr Greenaway began his full-time position on the island in December, and said he had been thrown in the deep end with Christmas school holidays.

Heron Island's general manager Ross Greenaway admires the view from the resort's pool area.
Heron Island's general manager Ross Greenaway admires the view from the resort's pool area. Emily Kemp

"I think some of the social media feedback from that time was good feedback for us," he said.

"February and March we were able to take stock and plan how we were going to move forward over the next few years."

Some of those plans included staffing, which Mr Greenaway said was vital to the guest experience.

"We made the very conscious decision to look at our human resources," he said.

"Not being critical of the people we had at the time, but we identified areas we needed to put strengths and skill sets.

"We decided very consciously to spend more time matching the chemistry of people with the island, which has proved to be successful."

Mr Greenaway said he looked forward to continually improving the resort.

"We are just so conscious of being the custodians of the place and what it means to the local community."



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