Sam Arnaout snares Alice Springs hotels

The Diplomat Hotel at the corner of Gregory Terrace and Hartley Street.

Sam Arnaout’s Iris Capital has added five more assets to its Alice Springs portfolio.

A mix of motels and pubs, the properties are being acquired from four buyers for a speculated total of over $75 million.

The priciest is the 3.5-star Diplomat Hotel at 20 Gregory Terrace, on the south east corner of Hartley Street.

Over four floors, it contains 81 suites, two conference rooms and a restaurant.

Waratah Funds Management was the seller.

Iris has separately acquired the Mercure at 34 Scott Street and Aurora Hotel, nowadays known as Stay at Alice Springs.

The spending spree also includes the Todd Tavern, formerly known as the Riverside Tavern – considered Alice Springs’ oldest pub, developed in 1959 by Monica “Mona” Minahan, who ran it over 15 years – and the Gap Tavern, at 1 Palm Circuit

Mr Arnaout is purchasing both these venues from long-time operators Di and Ray Loechel (story continues below).

Iris backs Alice

HTL Property brokered the five sales.

The deal comes 15 months since Mr Arnaout paid $105m for the 40 year old Lasseters complex, which includes a casino and 205 guest suites. A $100m refurbishment and extension is now planned.

Last week Iris outlaid c$80m for the Strathfield Hotel, in Sydney’s west.

In May, the group was permitted to develop its first Gold Coast project – an $800m mixed-use village, V&A Broadbeach, with two towers rising 56 and 40 floors.

That development will replace the Niecon Plaza, which Mr Arnaout purchased permit-ready last year for $58m from the family of late Raptis Seafood founder George Raptis.

Subscribe to our newsletter at the bottom of this page.

Share or Recommend article

Marc Pallisco

A former property analyst and print journalist, Marc is the publisher of