KRYAL Castle was back in the spotlight yesterday, for good and bad reasons.
The medieval-themed tourist attraction was named on a list of Australia’s top tourism investment opportunities compiled by Tourism Australia and the Australian Trade Commission.
Kryal Castle was sold last December to a consortium of national and international investors, including local businessman Gary Browning.
Redevelopment plans include 23 motel rooms, a tavern and cabaret rooms, a wedding chapel, jousting and entertainment area, function rooms and a medieval museum and armoury displays.
However, the consortium is still looking for additional investors.
But ABC radio host Jon Faine yesterday slammed its inclusion on the list, referring to previous rumours that it may have been turned into a brothel.
Click here for a photo gallery of Kryal Castle
Ballarat Regional Tourism chairman Stuart Benjamin rang the ABC, defending the development.
“He (Faine) wanted to know if it was a joke,” Mr Benjamin said. “Gary Browning and the other developers are looking at spending millions of dollars on Kryal Castle.
“I was going into bat for these businessmen who are going to stump up their own cash to create this terrific piece of tourism infrastructure and he was making it a bit of a joke.”
BRT director George Sossi said he was pleased Kryal Castle had made it to the tourism investment list.
“It is vital to this region that we have a world-class attraction,” Mr Sossi said.
“Part of our role is to build the product and industry in the town and keep reinvigorating it with new products.
“Kryal Castle has new owners, new developers and good backing.”
Mr Sossi said the developers had exciting plans, including using Disney theme park designers.