The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Hilton likely to manage LOLC’s 500-room resort


LOLC Leisure has almost finalised the international hotel chain operator to manage its planned new Rs 6.5 billion, 500- room resort hotel on a 20-acre beach stretch in the south coast, sources close to the company said.

They said the Hilton chain will most likely manage this new hotel to be constructed in the area which housed two of the Confifi hotels. LOLC bought these properties from the Furkhan family nearly two years ago and a hotel previously owned by Jetwing and Hayleys. The three Confifi hotels are Riverina, Club Palm Garden and the former Jetwing and Hayleys’ hotel, Tropical Villas. They said that negotiations are still on for a partner for Eden, also a former Confifi hotel situated less than half a mile away.

“We are negotiating with the Hilton chain to manage this new hotel we plan to build,” a source told the Business Times, noting that LOLC is working on a letter of understanding with them. He noted that many international brands were interested, but LOLC had felt that Hilton is a strong brand. “The three hotels are closed for business for 18 months from May 1, 2011 to complete building the new hotel,” he said. He added that the company is working with the Board of Investment pertaining to the approval process.

The Furkhans sold some of their stakes in related holding companies of the three Confifi hotels – Club Palm Garden (CPG), Riverina Hotel and Eden to a consortium led by LOLC and Browns two years ago. Further firming its position in the country’s famed golden mile, the company bought a 60% stake in Tropical Villas, a beach resort with 50 luxury villas in Beruwela, through LOLC Leisure last year. Early this year the company acquired a 99.9% stake of Dickwella Resort for Rs 1 billion. The source said that LOLC hasn’t finalised plans for this property as yet.

The sources said that LOLC’s resort project ran into some hot water when a local government authority wanted some of the land that the resort was to be built on for a project of their own, but when higher authorities intervened, it had stopped the forced acquisition.

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