COOK ISLANDS’ VAIMAANGA HOTEL SLATED TO OPEN NEXT SUMMER

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COOK ISLANDS’ VAIMAANGA HOTEL SLATED TO OPEN NEXT SUMMER

By Alex Sword

AVARUA, Rarotonga, Cook Islands (May 31, 2000 – Cook Islands News/Abridged)---The government has signed an agreement with the Royale Takitumu Holdings Company to complete construction of the Vaimaanga Hotel beginning in July.

The hotel is expected to open in July 2001.

The company is connected to investor Jean Ravel, whose family has extensive shipping and transport interests throughout the Pacific.

Prime Minister Dr. Terepai Maoate, Undersecretary MP Tapi Taio, and Rowan Moss, the Ravel family’s General Counsel, signed the agreement yesterday in the PM’s Office conference room.

The agreement is similar to a contract mentioned in the Cook Islands News last February that calls on Fletcher Construction (NZ) to complete construction of a hotel on land belonging to Pa Ariki. Hilton Hotels is to manage that property.

Moss said the company will spend $20 million to $30 million to complete the 206-room project.

The government hopes the new hotel will increase tourism numbers from 50,000 to 80,000 annual visitors.

Moss said 50 overseas employees will be needed to complete the project.

Prime Minister Dr. Maoate said once the Vaimaanga project is completed, the government will work on developing the Rapae hotel in Aitutaki.

For additional reports from the Cook Islands News Online, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Cook Islands News Online.

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