Banana makeover on the cards

EMBRACE the icon.

That's the message being touted by The Big Banana's latest addition, the tourist attraction's new general manager, Drew Grove.

After a diverse career in hospitality, resorts and casinos, including being part of the opening team for the Sebel Aqualuna and a stint revitalising Bendigo's iconic Hotel Shamrock, Mr Grove is turning his attention to Coffs Harbour's biggest icon.

“I've always loved The Big Banana,” Mr Grove said.

“I think there's always been a lot of potential and now we're going to do it.”

Mr Grove is talking about a planned $150 million redevelopment of the tourism complex that includes a water park, a shopping and dining precinct, and resort style accommodation.

But he stresses that during his tenure as general manager one of his aims is to bring locals back to The Big Banana.

“There's a perception that it's just for tourists and I want to show locals there is something here for them, I want them to embrace the icon,” he said.

While plans for the massive redevelopment have yet to be finalised, he did reveal that construction will begin mid-next year on a water park to rival the Gold Coast's Wet and Wild.



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