The place of tourism in Tasmania’s economy has long been recognised, and so too has the place of Wrest Point in Tasmania’s tourism industry. While Wrest Point has come to be synonymous with the landmark casino that bears its name, this book shows there is far more to the hotel and to the place than just the casino. Adopting a biographical approach, the study traces the business history of what became known as Wrest Point from its ancient days as an important place in the social and economic life of the Mouheneenner people, through its colonial years as Chaffey’s Point, to the present day ownership by the Farrell family. With authorised and unprecedented access to the business archives, and in-depth interviews with previous employees, patrons, and associates it shows how a series of innovative entrepreneurs shaped the hotel at numerous clearly identifiable stages in its development, and in so doing played a significant part in shaping Tasmania’s economic fortunes, a part that continues to this day. It demonstrates how and why the casino idea came into being, and gives a behind-the-scenes view of the public debates and of the direct influence Wrest Point has had on Australia’s gambling legislation. More than this, though, it tells the hitherto unwritten story of the hotel, its architecture, its fare, its employees, and its clientele, unlocking the secret to its ongoing success and its place in the business fabric of Australia’s island state.
Dr Graeme Tonks is a former lecturer in Human Resource Management and Organisational Behaviour at the University of Tasmania.
Dr Mark Dibben works in the Tasmanian School of Business and Economics, Hobart.