Riu Ocho Rios invests US$85 million in renovation

BY HORACE HINES
Observer staff reporter

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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The Riu hotel group has invested some US$85 million to undertake a major renovation exercise at its property in Ocho Rios, St Ann, which was opened in 2005. The spend represents the most the hotel chain has ever used for the funding of renovation at any of its properties.

“That kind of investment is when we are doing a new hotel from scratch. However, it is so important for the company that the renovation came out the way it did that they decided to go all the way. So, the amount is comparable to what Riu will invest on a new hotel,” Niurka Garcia, Riu's director of sales, Jamaica, revealed.

This was underscored by the hotel's communication manager covering Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America Marc Miralles. “The renovation that we did here in Ocho Rios is the most important renovation that we ever did, because it's similar in number to the US$85 million that we [normally] spend to open a new hotel in any destination – so it's the most important renovation that we did,” Miralles said.

Following the closure on April 29, the property was reopened September 21 with an additional 45 rooms, moving the room count to 901. Another significant feature of the upgrade to the facility was the addition of a water park.

“Where the water park is located is a completely extended area that has been added to the hotel. Over there we only had gardens before, so that's why we are so excited,” Garcia noted.

The staff complement at Riu Ocho Rios now stands at 780, up by roughly 100 since last month's reopening. Some 2,779 people are now employed at the six Riu properties in Jamaica.


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