BOVIS Lend Lease is expanding and refurbishing Ayers Rock Resort, part of the GPT hotel and tourism portfolio.

Ayers Rock Resort is in the town of Yulara in the Northern Territory, 450 kilometres from Alice Springs. The resort provides accommodation for tourists visiting the world-heritage-listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, the home of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas).

Bovis Lend Lease has been engaged for the A$52 million project to provide project management services, and this role includes master planning, authority approvals, design and construction.

The GPT hotel team, Bovis Lend Lease and resort management have all contributed to the extensive master planning and design process to ensure the improvements to the resort meet the needs of the many stakeholders.

Cox Richardson has been engaged as lead designer. This completes a full circle for Philip Cox, who was the award-winning designer of the original resort. The majority of works have been awarded to regional trade contractors, maximising the economic benefits to the Northern Territory economy.

Bovis Lend Lease’s web-based project management tool, ProjectWeb, is being used to link the site-based team, remote designers, the GPT hotel team and local contractors for document control, drawing management and project updates.

The expansion involves a number of works identified as needing to be completed immediately to meet the growing needs of the resort.

Work has been sequenced to minimise disruption and suit peak occupancy periods. An active management plan is in place between Bovis Lend Lease and the resort operator, Voyages Hotels and Resorts Pty Ltd, to manage staging, construction interface and environmental controls.

Environmental controls have received a particular focus, and have included a flora and fauna assessment, a cultural mapping program, protection of lands during construction with stormwater, dust and noise monitoring and control, and rehabilitation of any lands that may be disturbed during the expansion.

Accommodation at the resort ranges from the five-star Sails In The Desert Hotel and four-star Desert Gardens Hotel through to the budget Spinifex Lodge, the Outback Pioneer Lodge for backpackers, and a campground.

Refurbishment and expansion work will focus initially on the Desert Gardens Hotel and the Outback Pioneer Lodge. Spinifex Lodge will be redeveloped as a three-star boutique hotel.

Accommodation for staff and residents will also be constructed, and the visitor’s centre is to be modernised.

A residential camp will be constructed for the 150-strong workforce, providing them with accommodation until completion of the project in August 2002.

Children of site staff are attending the resort primary school, swelling the numbers to 65.

Ayers Rock Resort, which was acquired by GPT in November 1997, is the cornerstone of the trust’s $400 million hotel and tourism portfolio.