Monday, July 21, 2008 [ philstar.com ]
Waterfront Philippines Inc. of the Gatchalian family has vowed to restore the 215-hectare Mimosa Leisure Estate to its old glory as it anticipates the influx of tourists once the open skies policy in Clark is signed.
Waterfront won a bid to lease, develop and operate the Mimosa estate in Clark, Pampanga.
Arthur Lopez, director of Waterfront and chairman of Acesite Philippines Hotel Corp., said the group will conduct a review of the leisure estate’s facilities to determine the nature and extent of needed rehabiliation services.
Mimosa covers a 38-hole world-class golf course, Holiday Inn Hotel, a clubhouse, some 200 Montevista villas, Pagcor-operated casino and the Veranda Restaurant.
“We feel that Clark is going to take off once the open skies policy is adopted. Open skies in Clark Field, Pampanga, will make the Philippines an attractive potential hub for foreign airlines and pave the way for the entry of significant amounts of investments.
Under the open skies policy, national carriers would have the right to fly over a country without landing, stop in a country for refueling or maintenance without transferring passengers or cargo, and carry passengers and cargo from one country to another and vice versa.
Lopez said while the estate already houses a hotel there, there is still room for another one.
While he refused to say how much the company was investing in the redevelopment of Mimosa, a notice posted on the Clark Development Corp. website said Waterfront will infuse P1 billion over a period of five years to make Mimosa more appealing to foreign and local investors.
Meanwhile, Lopez said the Waterfront group is looking into the possibility of building an integrated beach resort in the future given its bullishness on the tourism sector.
At the same time, Lopez said the group is in discussions with the Pagcor to build a mixed-use hotel and gaming complex in the $20-million Pagcor Tourism City along Manila Bay.
“We’re talking to Pagcor right now regarding our proposed project which is similar to the ones in Macau and Las Vegas,” Lopez said.
Plastics king William Gatchalian earlier said Waterfront was in talks with a Macau-based company to jointly build a hotel-casino within Pagcor Tourism City.
Estimated to cost between P500 million and P1 billion, the project will have 2,500 rooms to be developed over a four-year period beginning next year.
To remain at the forefront of the Philippine hotel sector, Waterfront has budgeted around P5 billion for the acquisition of up to four hotels within the next two years in its bid to develop its own brand of the the first class business hotel and casino segment. It is eyeing hotels in Iloilo, Ortigas, and Cagayan de Oro.
Waterfront, the only hotel chain in the country that has a presence in the key cities of the country, has a 2,000-square meter lot in Ortigas and another 3,000 sq.m. property in Buendia, Makati.
Waterfront owns and operates the Manila Pavilion Hotel and G Hotel in Manila, the Waterfront Cebu City hotel and Casino, the Waterfront Airport hotel and Casino in Mactan, and Waterfront Insular hotel in Davao.