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Business

Marriott to open New Kingston hotel

By Julain Richardson Assistant Business Co-ordinator richardsonj@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009    

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Marriott International will operate a city hotel on a section of the 161,610 square-foot land in Knutsford Park, New Kingston, acquired by Pan Jamaican Investment Trust (Pan Jam) from Government last week.

Pan Jam CEO Stephen Facey yesterday told the Business Observer that, among the various developments at the location, will be a hotel which will be managed and operated by the popular global hotel chain, Marriott.

"We are a part of a syndicate who will develop the property, which will be a mixed development" said Facey. "There wll be a city hotel to be managed and operated by the Marriott."

Cabinet last week approved the sale of the land for $454.5 million to Pan Jam. Aside from a hotel, the land will also be used for retail and recreational facilities, office space and residential space.

Facey said he was unable to provide more details of the hotel development at this time, but expressed optimism at the overall initiative.

"We think that the investment will produce excellent returns for our group in the medium to long term," he said.

Information Minister Daryl Vaz, at a post Cabinet press briefing last week, told journalists that Pan Jam's proposal for the property was consistent with the principles of the Urban Development Corporation for new investment, including the development of hotels, in the Liguanea area of the New Kingston business district.

"The proposal would complement the existing cluster of hotels in the area offering additional and diversified hotel rooms", the minister said.

The announcement comes just over two months after Sandals Resorts International (SRI), the operators of the Sandals and Beaches hotels, revealed that it would be setting up its own city hotel - Sandals City - on Oxford Road, New Kingston. SRI chairman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart said, at the time, that Sandals City would be a corporate hotel with a host of facilities, including conference and banqueting rooms.

The corporate hotel sector arena in Kingston is dominated by the likes of the Jamaica Pegasus, the Kingston Hilton and the Hendrickson-run Courtleigh Hotel.

Marriott International operates and franchises a diversed group of hotels and related lodging facilities across the globe. According to its website, Marriott International has more than 3,200 lodging properties located in the United States and 66 other countries and territories.

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