As part of an ongoing $4.79 million refurbishment, The Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns has launched its new Bar 36 cocktail lounge and live music venue and is due to gradually unveil more of its revamped ground floor over the coming weeks.

According to a report from The Cairns Post newspaper, Bar 36 has replaced the Queensland property’s Vertigo Cocktail Bar And Lounge with Carol McFarlane, Executive Marketing Manager for The Reef Hotel And Casino, declaring that the new venue has been designed to deliver “all levels of entertainment”.

“We are trying to appeal to a wider demographic than before,” McFarlane told the newspaper. “It has always been a live music venue but we want to extend on that.”

The Reef Hotel Casino is owned by Casinos Austria International Limited in partnership with Accor Casino Investments (Australia) Private Limited with The Cairns Post explaining that Bar 36 now comes complete with a giant television and large stage alongside a cutting-edge audiovisual system.

“We want to deliver a great entertainment experience for the locals who have been loyal to us for so long and a “wow” factor for the visitors,” McFarlane told the newspaper before adding that an “entertainment weekend” would be held early in the New Year to showcase all the new-look premise has to offer.

As part of the refurbishment, The Cairns Post reported that final touches are being put on upgrades to the property’s lobby and Tamarind Restaurant while the new Merchant café is on track to open before the Christmas holidays. There will also be an interactive floor showcasing the Australian region’s natural wonders alongside an LED pillar that is set to serve as the ground floor’s “centerpiece”.

The ground-floor revamp comes roughly four years after the property spent around $1.84 million overhauling its second floor while Wayne Reynolds, General Manager for The Reef Hotel Casino, described the current project as the “most significant in years”.

“If you want to maintain a reputation as a market leader it is crucial to reinvest in yourself,” said Reynolds. “We are catering for the different tastes held by people who come in off the street. There are a lot of people who walk between here and the [Cairns] Cruise Liner Terminal or [the Cairns] Convention Centre.”

Despite the ongoing construction, Reynolds revealed that The Reef Hotel Casino was enjoying a busy November with occupancy rates regularly touching 90% while December was looking “very much the same”.