Iconic Village Hotel In Pohnpei Closes Doors

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40-year old business could not reach agreement to renew land lease

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 14, 2013) – After 40 years of business in the Federated States of Micronesia, the Village Hotel, a tourism icon in the country has closed after failing to renew its land lease.

The Pohnpei based hotel - owned by Americans Bob and Patti Arthur - was popular with visitors from Europe and America because of its eco-friendly practises.

Bob Arthur says the hotel was a labour of love and its closure is a huge loss for them and also those who worked there.

He says the negotiations for the land lease just became too complicated with the different landowners, and they had no choice in the end but to leave.

"We started off with four landowners to start with and the second time around we had 26, and if you have ever tried to negotiate with people in one setting or one instance, it can’t be done."

Bob Arthur says the closure of the hotel will leave 52 people out of work.

The closure of the hotel comes as debate begins on the proposal for a controversial billion dollar 10 thousand room hotel development on Yap by a Chinese consortium.

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Thank you for this report.

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