From learning ancient history to leading Port Douglas' favourite
The General Manager of the new Oaks Resort Port Douglas is looking to usher in a new era for the former QT holiday destination.
Paul Clark brings more than 25 years of hospitality experience to the venue and has his eyes set on making the place sparkle again.
He began a degree studying ancient history before discovering his calling as a top-tier hotel operator.
He has worked in hotels and the hospitality industry across the world including in New Zealand and Fiji.
However, he has always had a love for Tropical North Queensland.
“I was born in England but my parents moved the family to Australia when I was about five years old and I thank them every day they did,” he said.
“It was a great move; I love the north and always have, even from the first imprint I had when we arrived.”
Mr Clark moved away from the north for a while to study in Sydney before finding his calling in hotels, and meeting the love of his life.
“I was working in hospitality when I met a lovely young lady named Shelly and when we were married, we always promised to return to the tropical north,” he said.
After 22 years working all over the country, Mr and Mrs Clark returned to Far North Queensland with two teenage boys in tow in 2013.
After working in Cairns for a while, Mr Clark took on the role of General Manager at the new Oaks Resort about four months ago.
He has a bright vision for how he wants the resort to look and feel moving forward and is wasting no time bringing his vision to life.
“There are several elements I want to address that will have a significant impact,” he said.
“Firstly, there is a focus on freshening the rooms and also I plan to refresh the public areas and rebrand the outlets; for example Bazaar is now called Oak and Vine.”
Mr Clark also wants to bring a different atmosphere to the venue that focuses on good food and quality family-friendly amenities.
He said he wants to ensure locals, as well as guests, feel welcome to take advantage of the place.
“We will be working hard on getting the service culture right to move to a food-driven family-friendly atmosphere,” he said.
“We realise and respect the locals had a place here and we will work to make sure locals feel welcome in an appropriate family setting.
“We know the local population is a range of people and we would like this resort to be a place that is a refuge from home for everyone."
As the look and feel of the resort changes, Mr Clark said he is dedicated to ensuring it represents the best of Port Douglas.
“I want to Oaks Resort Port Douglas to be an integrated, responsible community member that is helping enhance the tourism reputation of the district and become a centre of service excellence.”
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