|Thursday, 3 April 2003|
$ 100 m investment program
Five-star Colombo Plaza renegotiating to re-brand
By Ravi Ladduwahetty
Colombo Plaza, successors to the Hotel Lanka Oberoi, is currently renegotiating with three frontline international hotel chains to re-brand itself while investing up to US$ 100 million in a major expansion program aimed at making the hotel the best five star hotel in Colombo.
"Negotiations are currently under way with three international hotel chains and we will decide whether we will re-brand the hotel in the next three months, depending on the negotiations," Viren Perera, Director of Asian Hotels Corporation, the owning company of the hotel told a news conference at the Hotel on Tuesday night. The names of the hotel chains were not disclosed due to confidentiality in negotiation talks.
Perera said that the name Colombo Plaza was picked for the transition period as it had no element of copyright and it had a semblance of the New York Plaza and the Paris Plaza. The proposed expansion program includes the construction and operation of three new towers.
"We are currently the second best of the Colombo hotels for occupancy and re-branding and we will make every endeavour to make it the best in hoteliering, shopping malls and condominiums," Perera said.
He also said that the occupancy of the hotel was bound to improve with increasing tourist arrivals from India and China with the proposed promotion campaigns in those countries.
There was an initial US$ 3.5 million allocation for refurbishment and the program itself would depend on the market conditions, he said. He said that the parking slots of the premises will be expanded five times in a bid to optimise the floor space currently available.
AHC Director and Colombo Plaza General Manager Daniel Roche said that the refurbishment of the hotel will endeavour to utilise the untapped land area of the premises, making use of the empty spaces which at present is up to 30 percent of the space.
"We will make the maximum profits from the expansion," he said.
He said that the restaurant capacities of the hotel premises will also be expanded where all household needs will be catered to. "It will be a paradise for shoppers where we will be taking advantages of Delifrance and Crescat. It will create its own image with branding," he said.
AHC Director Nick Layton said that the company has prepared a business plan for the next five years and that the company sees itself with the exciting prospect of being the market leader very soon.
Crescat will be the 24th Century city in Colombo where it will be the venue for working, playing, dining, wining and relaxing, he said.
Produced by Lake House