PNG’s Lamana Group Breaks Ground On Samoan Resort

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PNG’s Lamana Group Breaks Ground On Samoan Resort $60 million resort on Taumeasina island heralded by PM

By Niccola Hazelman-Siona

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, June 9, 2013) – Six months of work towards a new $140 million [US$59.3 million] boutique resort on Taumeasina island started yesterday with a single shovel of sand.

After forty years of "empty promises" Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi broke ground for the new resort, describing it as "history in the making."

Tuilaepa told invited guests of how he had stood in the same spot on Taumeasina Island "many times before" and "nothing eventuated."

"You are probably aware that we have attended many occasions such as this on this very island over the past 40 years and have for those years waited with much anticipation of seeing a hotel or resort being built on Taumeasina."

"Today is therefore a very special day in the tourism history of Samoa and we know from the development plans that the Taumeasina Island Resort will be the haven that will grant visitors the quality holiday and lodging experiences."

Funded by a Papua New Guinea company, the total project involves 18 rooms and 25 villas and is estimated to cost ST$140 million, with six months to complete the initial civil works stage.

"Tourism will continue to be the main stay of Samoa’s economy and we thank the Lamana Group and the Papua New Guinea Investment Group for choosing to invest in Samoa."

Lamana Group Managing Director Kostas Constantinou said yesterday was the "first step" towards the new resort.

"Taumeasina Resort will most likely be one of the best resorts in the Pacific along with the other properties we have our partners with."

Grand Chief Peter Ipatas spoke on behalf of the Papua New Guinean government and presented the Samoa government a gift of NZ$50,000.00 to mark Samoa’s 50th Independence last year.

According to Ben Kearney of Thomson Adsett Architects who presented the project outline the entire project is expected to take two and a half years to complete.

Mr. Kearney said that the resort consists of 18 hotel rooms and 25 villas as well as restaurants, conference facilities, a day spa, a gym, a bar, a café and many other features.

The civil works package will take six months according to Mr. Kearney which will include raising parts of the island by about one to two meters.

After the formalities, the dignitaries armed themselves with shovels and broke ground, ending the day with a luncheon and entertainment by the Moata’a youth group.

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