Big Pineapple back on market after sale talks stall

Big Pineapple

The Big Pineapple near Nambour on the Sunshine Coast.

ONE of Queensland's favourite tourist icons is back on the market after protracted negotiations over its sale stalled.

The Big Pineapple on the Sunshine Coast suddenly shut its doors last October when receivers sold the heritage-listed tourist attraction to Buderim's Dan Bowden.

The Bowdens known for their $25 million rare car collection and car-care product business planned to renovate the 80ha site before turning it into one of the world's biggest motor racing museums.

But seven months after the sale, the contract has not settled and the Big Pineapple is on the market again.

But Mr Bowden told the The Courier-Mail the family had put a lot of effort into clinching the deal and negotiations would continue.

"We're still going ahead with it. We're all working together to get this deal through," he said.

"However, I'm a bit scared of putting a timeframe down because all our timeframes so far have been broken.

"It's just a very complex project and procedure."

While Mr Bowden would not be drawn on his family's grand plans for the site due to confidentiality, he said they remained "first cab off the rank" to buy the property.

"We're the only ones that have a good plan to put this thing together," he said. "Our plans haven't been scaled back at all. In fact, they are bigger."

A spokesman for Ray White Special Projects, Andrew Crook, said the contract was not capable of settlement.

"The contract, as it stands at the moment, can't be settled as conditions haven't been met," he said. "We continue discussions and are certainly hopeful of a resolution . . . it's a complex property, it's a big property. The property's still for sale and there is interest."

Receivers and managers PPB took control of the property from Graham Hayes's family in 2009 but the Australian Taxation Office had been pushing for it to be wound up since 2003, when it was revealed it owed the ATO $533,700.

Meanwhile, a steady stream of tourists continue to arrive at the "big" tourism venue.

Sydneysiders Samantha and Michael Edwards were this week shocked to find the visibly neglected theme park roped off after a 13-hour road trip with their two children.

"We checked the website, it all looked fine. It didn't say anything about being closed," Mrs Edwards said.

"As soon as we drove up we noticed how faded (the pineapple) was. It's such a shame. I think they should try to restore it to what it was."