Monday, 16 April 2012 11:29 - ORANJESTAD — Southwest Horeca Development is the winner of the contract for a new hotel on the former location of Bushiri Hotel. The contractor will build a Hardrock Hotel & Casino there. Minister of Tourism, Employment and Transport, Otmar Oduber (AVP) announced the aforementioned this morning.
After the options for project developers Fresnos and Barron Investments on the Bushiri property were withdrawn, the government held a new public contract. Nine project developers were interested initially, but five had eventually participated. According to Minister Oduber, two developers remained, namely Global Destinations, who wanted to build a Sheraton, and Southwest. Global Destinations dropped out because they were unable to present a guarantee amount of two million dollars. If Southwest is unable to arrange financing, then Global Destinations will be approached, said the Minister.
That Southwest with the brand Hardwork had wanted to build a hotel and casino was an important consideration for the special committee that had to choose between the last two candidates, said Oduber. Guests from the hotel chain in the age bracket 28 to 57 often have families and come from markets important for Aruba, such as the United States, Canada, The Netherlands, Venezuela, Columbia and Brazil. Worldwide, Hardrock has twelve hotels of which seven are under construction.
On Aruba, it regards a 4-star hotel with 308 rooms (maximum 310) and a maximum height of seven floors, with a training facility for catering of 1000 square meters, which facility will be managed by the government. A room at the Hardrock Hotel & Casino is to cost 170 to 280 dollars per night. The property only runs up to the current gate of the container harbor from APA. The construction of the hotel is therefore not bound to the planned relocation of the container harbor to Barcadera and must also be ready in two years.
Demolition before high season
The demolition of the Bushiri Hotel ruins must be completed before the high season this year and the new hotel must be ready in August 2013. The investment amounts to 120 million dollars. The financing runs through Aruba Investment Bank (AIB). Forty percent of this amount must come from own capital. The remaining 60 percent will be borrowed from a group of financiers. Southwest has already transferred the guarantee amount of two million dollars. It’s the first time that the deposit of such guarantee amount is included, said Minister Oduber. It’s meant to keep off project developers who wish to start quickly and only start seeking financers when they get the contract. If the financing is not arranged ‘within three to four months’, Southwest will lose the option on the property and the two million dollars, said the Minister.
600.000 dollar (5 percent of the investment amount) is to be spent on social projects and Hardrock Hotel & Casino is to ensure that the coastline between the hotel and Tamarijn becomes a public beach with sanitary facilities and possibilities for catering. The hotel itself will be built environment-friendly, with reflecting roofs against the heat, systems to collect rainwater, LED-illumination wherever possible, attention for wind ventilation, use of indigenous plants that can stand the aridity, swimming pools and spas heated by the sun and chlorine-free swimming pools with seawater. It’s also the intention that Hardrock thinks along with other institutions as regards generating durable energy for the hotel.