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Home Tourist Attraction Surprise development for Sultan’s Surfers Paradise site

Surprise development for Sultan’s Surfers Paradise site

by Staff

A central Surfers Paradise site owned by the Sultan of Brunei will be transformed into a giant new insta-friendly attraction unlike anything previously seen on the Gold Coast.

Successive weather disasters in Far North and South East Queensland are projected to cause $2 billion in economic loss for the state.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick says at least half of that cost will be for repairs but has warned the number may rise as authorities get a clearer idea of the damage.

Mr Dick said at least 1300 homes have been damaged across the two regions, as well as almost 50,000 insurance claims.

He said he doesn’t expect serious impacts on the state’s budget, but helping tourism operators to recover will be a priority for the government.

Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the council will assist businesses in filing paperwork and advocating for insurance and is calling for incentives to aid the city’s tourism recovery.

It comes as Queensland Premier Steven Miles has visited some of the areas worst impacted by the storm.

The giant L-shaped site, which fronts Surfers Paradise Boulevard, View Ave and The Esplanade will become Imaginator, an “attraction which encompasses various indoor walk-through installations that are a multi-sensory immersive experience.

It is expected to operate on the site for two years starting in March, after running in Brisbane and Melbourne.

Creative director Nick Ennis said the attraction would be unlike anything previously seen on the Gold Coast.

The Sultan of Brunei site on the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and View Avenue. Picture Glenn Hampson

“Prepare to embark on a journey into the extraordinary at Imaginator, a groundbreaking fusion of audiovisual art, lighting installations, futuristic gaming, and inflatable architecture. This innovative creation is redefining the boundaries of immersive entertainment, offering a one-of-a-kind experience that seamlessly blends technology and imagination,” he said.

“The attraction features 15 immersive experiences – five of which are new and exclusive to Gold Coast – that bring together the creative talents of architects, authors, audiovisual artists, futurists, renderers and sound designers.

An artist impression of the proposed Imaginator attraction. Picture: Supplied

“Imaginator builds a constant sense of anticipation. Each room is slowly revealed as you move through the space and a different atmosphere and mood is presented. You can play, explore, relax or engage at your own pace. There are chairs and lounges throughout the experience to encourage lingering when the moment feels right.

“We can’t wait for Gold Coasters to step inside, slip off their shoes and engage with AI projections, sensor-triggered LED waves, giant silk parachute canopies, cosmic gardens, an anti-gravity sunset, an electronic hall of mirrors and a digital wishing well that whispers your greatest desires. Explore the multi-sensory and interactive play space at your leisure with the experience taking anywhere from a 15-minute walk-through to an hour-long immersion.”

Inside the proposed Imaginator attraction which has been pitched for the Sultan of Brunei’s site in Surfers Paradise on the Gold Coast. Picture: Supplied

The Sultan has owned the site since 1997 but has never proceeded with developing it despite calls from Mayor Tom Tate to push ahead with transforming the land.

The Imaginator has operated in Brisbane and Melbourne in the past three years, but the Gold Coast version will feature different exhibits.

Among the new features are an 80sq m illuminated inflatable structure which will use projection, LED light and “immersive spatial sound” to create a “soft sensory space to lay back and dream in”.

The smoke rings. Picture: Supplied

Giant smoke rings will also be illuminated with “light fired out of an automated vortex machine”.

A returning feature from Brisbane and Melbourne’s attraction will be its parachute cinema which has been revamped and changed for the Gold Coast.

“Visitors enter a moving parachute cocoon where they are invited to lay down on a sloping cushioned bed,” Plans lodged with council read.

“At the end of the room is a large projection screen presenting motion images of abstract skies in glowing embers and pale pinks. Imaginator is pioneering a new form of restful play with this new parachute cinema encouraging people to relax, converse, sleep or dream.”

The parachute cinema Picture: Supplied

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