‘We’re going to make it happen’: Outrigger CEO hints at Australian property on the horizon
Outrigger CEO Jeff Wagoner reaffirmed his commitment to opening a property in Australia at the company’s global showcase in Sydney on Thursday evening.
“There’s another place I really, really want to be; and it’s here,” Wagoner told attendees.
“I talk about it all the time. I feel serious pressure for something to happen to find a property here, so we will.
The global managing director said Outrigger was “working hard” to find the right property to mark the brand’s return to the Australian market.
“We are working hard on it,” he said.
“We think it’s important to be here because of you, and because we were here in the past. We have great relationships here and want to be able to celebrate that with you with a property here in Australia.
Given Outrigger’s strong affinity with surf culture, Wagoner said SM that Australia represents an obvious market for the brand. He pointed to a number of destinations on Australia’s east coast that present attractive opportunities for the company, including Manly and Port Douglas in New South Wales and Queensland’s Gold Coast.
Outrigger is rapidly expanding its presence around the world with five new properties added in the last year alone.
Three properties have opened in Thailand – in Phuket, Khao Lak and Koh Samui – all of which have recently been refurbished and renamed. Although international travel is still slow in this market, the company hopes Australians will embrace these offers when they return to the country.
The company also opened a new property in the Maldives in August 2020.
“This property was literally stripped down to the studs and rebuilt,” Wagoner said.
“He is in spectacular condition.”
In its home base of Hawai’i, the company invests heavily in its properties. He recently opened the Outrigger Kona Beach Resort overlooking Keauhou Bay.
“We spend about $50 million there,” Wagoner said.
In April, Outrigger revealed the transformation of its flagship Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort property following an $80 million renovation.
Outrigger’s executive vice president and chief marketing officer, Sean Dee, said the team has been investing in improving this property for nearly 10 years.
“It’s a very simple asset, tons of potential,” he told attendees.
“We’ve totally activated the place, including the Diamond Head towers – we’ve added 23 suites to this side of the building… we have the best club lounge, we think, in all of Waikiki and a 1200 square foot penthouse suite overlooking Diamond Head – two stories, private elevator, three bedrooms, three bathrooms – we are upscale and now compete with some of the biggest luxury brands in all of Hawai’i.
Waikiki Beachcomber by Outrigger in Honolulu has also been completely renovated.
“It’s a former Holiday Inn Resort on Kalakaua across from the original Outrigger,” Dee explained.
“We [renovated] this and opened it in 2019 – a great time! Then we closed it in 20, but we opened again and it works very, very well again.
“We call it Hawaii’s first craft hotel, which is a bit of a clever pun, since it’s anchored by Valley Brewing Company, which is arguably the best craft beer in Hawaii.”
Outrigger also showcased its Embassy Suites product — a partnership with Hilton — which offers one- and two-bedroom apartments, free breakfast, and evening cocktails on-site.