Hotels and gaming group Sun International has‚ in the past three weeks‚ opened two new hotels with an overall capacity of 420 rooms‚ strengthening its position in the key commercial and tourism markets.
The new 5-Star Boardwalk Hotel‚ Convention Centre and Spa opened on 14 December along with the new Boardwalk Casino and Entertainment World upgrade‚ an investment of some R1-billion.
Styled after boardwalks made famous during the turn of the 20th century‚ the hotel is extremely well positioned in Port Elizabeth. It has 140 sea-facing rooms.
Since opening‚ the Boardwalk Hotel has already enjoyed a 74% occupancy rate. Apart from leisure tourists to the region‚ it is designed to complement the new 2‚000-person international conference centre built on the property‚ the company said on Thursday (10 January).
The Maslow Hotel‚ the group's new business hotel in Sandton‚ opened on 7 January following a R250-million refurbishment of the hotel formally known as The Grayston.
The upgrade included a complete internal and external refurbishment including guestrooms‚ modernisation of the public areas as well as food and beverage outlets‚ landscaping of gardens including the pool and terrace‚ reconstruction of the conference centre and the addition of 13 individual meeting rooms.
"Growing our presence in Sandton has been a major focus for Sun International and I am delighted that we now add our first business-focused hotel to our portfolio of hotels in Southern Africa‚" said Garth Collins‚ acting chief executive of Sun International.
The Maslow Hotel is one of the first properties within Sun International to feature the Africology Spa.
In late November‚ Sun International announced that it would extend its Latin American reach to Panama through an agreement with Newland International Properties‚ the developer of Trump Ocean Club International Hotel and Tower in Panama.
In terms of the agreement‚ Sun International will acquire‚ on a freehold basis‚ the ground floor casino component of the development‚ the penthouse level (to be used as a Salon Prive)‚ a number of premium condominiums in the building to cater to high-paying guests. It has the the right to apply for a casino licence.
Trump Ocean Club opened in July 2011 and is a landmark 70-floor sail-shaped building - the tallest in Latin America.
It is situated in the affluent area of Punta Pacifica‚ within easy driving distance of Panama City's centre and the main residential areas.
Collins said that the company had had tremendous success with its Monticello operation in Chile and given the economic fundamentals in Panama‚ believed the new property would yield excellent returns‚ and allow the company to further broaden its footprint in Latin America.
The acquisition is subject to the country's regulator approving an application by Sun International for a casino licence.
The licencing process is expected to take six months and will involve the completion of standard probity investigations by the regulator.
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