Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Holiday Inn to undergo a multi-million Kina make-over

Members of the largest superannuation fund in the country, Nambawan Super will benefit from a K200 million investment to expand the Holiday Inn in Port Moresby (artist's impression above).

Nambawan Super is the major shareholder with 54% of the Kumul Hotel group which owns Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza.

Last week (Mar 29) Kumul Hotel group signed a contract with Canam Construction Company of New Zealand to begin work this year.

The hotel expansion comes at a time when the LNG projects are set to begin with the demand for accommodation in the nation’s capital expected to rise.

Chairman of Nambawan Super, Sir Nagora Bogan said the Holiday Inn had been an important institution in Port for over many years as an accommodation provider.

It is now time, he said, for the shareholders to capitalize on the full potential of the site to benefit the thousands of members of Nambawan Super, as well as the members of the Melanesian Trustee

Fund which is a minor shareholder.

When signing the contract with Canam Construction, Chairman of the Kumul Hotel group and Nambawan Super Board member, Mr Greg Taylor said the demand for short and long-term accommodation, and resort-style facilities had increased and it was expected to continue as the flow-on effects of the LNG projects percolate through the economy.

The expansion work will include a new hotel and all-suite apartment block at the current Holiday Inn site.

The new hotel to be called HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS will add 200 rooms to the group’s

existing 312 whilst the separate block of apartments will add another 86 apartment suites to the hotel chain.

The hotel will have 11 levels with the 200 rooms being located on eight (8) floors. The other three floors will be reserved for car parking. In total, there will be 158 queen-size rooms and 40 twin-size rooms.

On the other hand, there will be 86 all-suite apartments, 58 of them will be one-bedroom while 28 will have two bedrooms.

The first phase of the project involving extension of the hotel facilities which is the all-suite apartments will commence immediately for completion this year whilst work on the hotel section will begin in May and is expected to be complete in late 2011.

Representative of the Intercontinental Hotel Group (IHG) which operates Crowne Plaza and Holiday Inn, Mr Bruce McKenzie, said the new development would establish a competitive edge for accommodation in the nation’s capital.

“Considering the high demand for accommodation products in Port Moresby, both the all-suite apartments and the Holiday Inn Express service model will enhance the appeal for our existing accommodation,” he said.

“The new facilities will provide a distinct competitive advantage, especially in relation to larger companies seeking service and product standards that can be provided by an international operator with long-term commitment to the destination.

The Holiday Inn Express model is the first for the South Pacific region.

Mr McKenzie added, “We are particularly excited to be introducing Holiday Inn Express to the South Pacific region. The express will complement our current Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza hotels by offering a fresh, uncomplicated hotel with competitive rates to a range of government and mid-scale business travelers.”

At the signing last week was the Chairman of the Kumul Hotel Group Mr Greg Taylor with fellow Board member Mr Wayne Smith.

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