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The government-owned Rarotongan Hotel in the Cook Islands, which is suffering losses of $150-thousand (New Zealand) a month, will close June 3 for a 3-million-dollar face lift.

The resort is scheduled to open again September 10 as a four-star hotel, just in time to serve as a key venue for the annual South Pacific Forum meeting of regional leaders beginning several days later.

Meantime, complications associated with the announced sale of the Rarotongan to Crocombe & Company have continued to frustrate long-planned, essential renovation plans. Although a purchase agreement was concluded last November, sale closing obstacles still remain because of liens on the property held by the Nauru government, which is owed money by the Cook Islands government.

The hotel has suffered accumulated losses of over $15-million, according to official Cook Islands reports.

With the Forum meeting fast approaching and the sale still incomplete, the government has agreed to advance the renovation funds needed. Crocombe & Company has offered to repay the projected $3-million to be expended when the Cook Islands and Nauru governments resolve their fiscal differences and sale of the hotel property is complete.

The projected new owners of the Rarotongan Hotel have taken over management of the facility and will oversee the three-month renovation project.

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