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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tradewinds to improve hotel brand and look

KUALA LUMPUR: Tradewinds Corp Bhd is forking out about RM60mil to refurbish its hotels to improve its branding and inject a fresh new look.

Group chief operating officer Arief Nasran Abdul Wahab said the refurbishment would take about three years with some of the hotels already under renovation last year.

“We will do it progressively and after the refurbishment, we expect to see an increase in the room rates by about RM30 to RM40 per room,” he said yesterday after the group AGM.

The group has six hotels under its stable Crown Plaza Mutiara Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Petaling Jaya, Mutiara Beach Resort Penang, The Danna in Langkawi, Hotel Istana Kuala Lumpur and Hilton Kuching.

Arief said that despite the possible increase in the room rates, the rates were still reasonable compared to other international hotels outside Malaysia.

“As an example, Hilton hotel in Singapore is charging an average of about RM605 per room while our Hilton Petaling Jaya is currently charging an average RM240 per room,” he said.

He acknowledged that the refurbishment would somehow affect the hotels' room inventory but said it would only be a “short-term pain” as they would benefit over the long term.

Touching on the group's property division, Tradewinds director/advisor PK Poh said the group would continue to create more value from its existing buildings such as Menara Tun Razak in Kuala Lumpur which was expected to undergo a major refurbishment early next year.

“We also have about 4,000 acres of land mostly in Johor and some in Penang and Kuala Lumpur that will be developed in time to come,” he said.

The group's 30-year old Menara Tun Razak would undergo a major refurbishment with its existing tower to be completely refurbished while the 4-storey annex block will be replaced with a new 40-storey office tower.

It is expected to be completed in four years, and Poh said the property's gross development value would jump to RM900mil-RM920mil from the current RM167mil.

By The Star

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