400 more rooms for Negril
SPANISH group Riu, that just added a 400-room hotel to Negril, is expected to begin construction on another 400 rooms for the resort area by September.
According to Prime Minister P J Patterson, Cabinet recently approved the sale of the land earmarked for the property.
“A few weeks ago Cabinet approved the sale of some land to that same group (Riu) that will be building another 400 rooms of hotel capacity in the Negril area,” said Patterson.
He added: “The people who were responsible for the development of the Riu Hotel have been so impressed by the quality of our workmanship that they didn’t hesitate to identify Jamaica as a suitable location for the provision of additional room space.”
The Riu group recently completed Hotel Riu Tropical Bay in the Bloody Bay section of the parish.
“We were hoping that work will commence in another six months’ time,”said Vin Lawrence, executive director of the implementing agency, the Urban Development Corporation. “They are saying to us that they need more time, maybe as much as 14 months but I am not prepared to give them 14 months; I am prepared to give them six months but we will see what happens when we meet.”
The Negril area has been touted by the Patterson-led administration as one of the hottest areas for potential investors. With a failing economy, and the need to stimulate growth, the government views Riu’s investments as proof that the country can still attract investors.
Member of Parliament for the area in which the hotel will be built, Ben Clare, told the Observer that Riu is now awaiting the necessary building approvals to proceed.
“I gather from what I have heard they intend to start in the region of September. There are permits and other things to obtain and as soon as this is completed they are going to start,” he said.