Kerzner keeps Cape a top priority.

Posted On Friday, 04 April 2003 02:00 Published by
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Cape Town is experiencing a shortage of rooms 'especially because of the impact of the new convention centre near the waterfront'.

By Linda Stafford
When, late last year, Sol Kerzner and his son Butch announced that an important part of the expansion of Kerzner International's One&Only portfolio of luxury hotels would take place in Southern Africa, they made it clear that Cape Town was their priority.

And though a report last week confirmed that talks had been held with Johannesburg's Inanda Club, One&Only's man in SA, Bruce Hutchison, says: "The Western Cape is of vital importance to us because of its potential as a worldwide drawcard. But we are holding talks all over the show and, of course, the rumours about where the first One&Only will appear are flying."

The Kerzners are also seeking locations in game-rich Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Botswana.

The question on many lips is: where will One&Only search for a site in a Mother City now seemingly short on prime spots for hotels and constrained by conservation concerns?

Turns out that, far from being overtraded with seven hotels (the flagship being Sun International's 329-room, five-star Table Bay) and 1,600 rooms, there is still space for development at the V&A Waterfront, reckoned by many to be best bet for a smaller, ultra-luxurious hotel.

"We are investigating the feasibility of other hotels and applying for planning permission," confirms V&A CEO Derick van der Merwe. "There has been enormous interest from all sorts of parties - and, yes, the Kerzners are among them. It's early days, but there could be as many as three more sites set aside for the development of hotels."

Van der Merwe stresses that not only the V&A but greater Cape Town is experiencing a shortage of rooms "especially because of the impact of the new convention centre near the waterfront".

Hutchison, who also heads Kerzner International's local marketing arm, World Leisure Holidays, says the V&A is not the only location in its sights in Cape Town.

Financial Mail

Publisher: Financial Mail
Source: Linda Stafford

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