New York Firm Wins Bid To Refurbish American Samoa’s Rainmaker Hotel

 Pago Pago property has languished empty for many years

By Fili Sagapolutele

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (The Samoa News, July 11, 2016) – A New York based firm which deals in hotel development has been awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the old Rainmaker Hotel site, however, details are being negotiated before an agreement is finalized and signed.

Samoa News understands that two US companies submitted bids for the Request for Proposal (RFP), which was issued twice, and the RFP deadline for submission was the close of business on Feb. 29, this year.

Responding to Samoa News inquiries, acting chief procurement officer, Sapi Ma’o Ena said last Friday that the Procurement Office issued a letter on June 23 to Destination Hotel Partners LLC & Integrated Engineered Energy Solutions LLC,  informing them that they had been “selected” for the ‘American Samoa Tourism Revitalization Initiative — Hotel Site Development’.

“There are still details that need to be negotiated and agreed upon before a lease agreement is signed,” Ena said.

Samoa News understands that the second company who submitted a bid was Honolulu-based Lively Architects. The rehabilitation project is under the jurisdiction of the Commerce Department and total cost of the project will not be known until negotiations are completed.

According to its website, Destination Hotel Partners says it is committed to be the leading hotel development organization specializing in development, construction and management of hotels on college campuses, universities, hospitals and medical centers worldwide.

The company says it works in partnership with institutions, functioning as an integral part of their destination, allowing the institutional partner to fulfill their mission.

As  reported by Samoa News last year, the RFP states that the winning proposal should be developed to include the Design, Build, Finance, Operate and Maintain (DBFOM) phases of a new multi-purpose hotel facility.

According to the RFP, the DBFOM proposal should include design and service elements consistent with ASG’s efforts to improve tourism in the territory. The minimum requirements, sought by ASG for the new hotel development, is that the hotel must be at least a 3 1/2 Star hotel; must have a minimum of 250 rooms; must be a nationally and/or internationally recognized major hotel brand; and have at least 10,000 square feet of meeting or conference room space with full computing and media capabilities.

Other minimum requirements in the RFP include the option to include at least 5,000 square feet of casino/gaming room space — although legislation will be required for gambling to be legal in the Territory.

According to the RFP, this project is being structured as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP). It says ASG recognizes that its primary role in the development of the tourism industry is to build and develop the necessary infrastructure so that the private sector can fulfill its role.

With that in mind, ASG prefers that the project be privately developed, owned and operated with ASG acting as a landlord and project facilitator only.

The Samoa News
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