|08 October 1998 - A 50% international joint venture has
been concluded which will see the historic Wanderers Sports Club transformed
into a unique hotel complex. Africa's largest hotel group, Protea Hotels,
has been awarded the management contract for the R100 million project,
ahead of a number of international brands.
Acknowledged by Protea as an exciting and prestigious development, the four star Wanderers Protea Hotel is due for completion in October 1999. UK-based Morrison Construction Group PLC holds equity of 50% and will be the project managers. The balance will be held by the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of SA Ltd, a Black Empowerment group and Protea Hotels.
Morrison Construction Group is a broadly based construction and development group active throughout the United Kingdom and in selected international markets. The Group was founded some 50 years ago and floated on the LSE in 1995. Latest financials show Group profit at 20 million pounds at a turnover in excess of 380 million pounds.
Sir Fraser Morrison, Chairman of the company, professed himself "delighted" with the agreement to build a new flagship hotel for Johannesburg as well as the opportunity to invest in South Africa.
In line with the Group's goals to triple its International Division over the next five years, "there is no doubt that this prestigious project is a welcome addition to those we have in other parts of the world such as St Petersburg (Russia), Kiev (Ukraine), Baku (Azerbaijan), Accra (Ghana) and Berlin (Germany)". Referring to it as an "exciting and important development", Sir Fraser said it was "especially pleasing to be working with Protea who are to be congratulated for their assistance in getting this project off the ground".
The IDC's involvement in the Wanderers Protea Hotel gave it a number of firsts of which it was very proud, according to spokesman Claus Lippert, Manager of Tourism Development. Not only did it represent IDC's first ever empowerment funding of a hotel development in South Africa, but it was also the first hotel development of this nature in which IDC had taken an equity stake. Says, Lippert, "This funding is in line with the mandate provided by the IDC Board to significantly increase our support of the tourism industry. The growth in this industry guarantees job creation, foreign currency earnings and the empowerment of previously disadvantaged communities."
The joint venture has allocated a R2 million-refurbishment budget to the Wanderers Club House. Situated a mere 50m from the hotel, the clubhouse's facilities will be upgraded and will be available to all GUESTS for the duration of their stay. All hotel GUESTS will automatically become honorary temporary members of the club, which, with the addition of the hotel's facilities, will offer an unprecedented selection of conference venues and restaurants as well as an 18 hole golf course, tennis courts, squash courts, bowling greens, badminton courts, hockey fields, soccer fields, swimming pools, rugby fields, an athletics track and a gymnasium, amongst other recreational activities.
Otto Stehlik, Executive Chairman for the Protea Hotel Hospitality Group, comments that nowhere else in Johannesberg will you find a deluxe International standard hotel offering all these facilities. Stehlik stressed the advantages of its location in the greenbelt of Sandton, in secure surrounds. "It's without doubt the last site of this magnitude available and in such close proximity to the pulse of Johannesburg."
The announcement was welcomed by the Wanderers. Club GM Eric van Piggelen noted that the hotel development "will generate a substantial amount of business. Established in 1888, the Wanderers Club is a world renowned institution and the addition of a hotel within its grounds will be an added attraction. Both local and international hotel GUESTS will enjoy our many facilities, be it social or sporting".
Situated on the corner of Corlett Drive and Rudd Roads, the new hotel will comprise of 231 bedrooms and junior suites, 1 presidential suite and 2 deluxe suites.
Construction began last month and the hotel is due to open 30 October next year. The Wanderers Protea Hotel will be a Premier Protea Hotel.
|Also See:||Disney Wins Inter-Continental Hotels West Africa Award / May 1998|
|MGM Grand, Inc. Opens Temporary Casino Within the Sundome in Johannesburg, South Africa / Oct 1998|
|Southern Sun Hotels in South Africa Now Using Hotel Information Systems PMS and Central Reservation System Software / Oct 1998|