Strand Hotel Swakopmund Ground-Breaking Ceremony Today -

Walvis Bay — The ground-breaking ceremony for the much anticipated new four- star Strand Hotel which is to be constructed at the Mole will take place today at Swakopmund.

The ceremony will be officiated over by the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Uahekua Herunga at 10h00. The hotel, which is a development of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group of Companies, was initially meant to be a five-star but had to be been redesigned after objections from Swakopmund residents last year.

The hotel will cost about N$350 million and will create about 1 500 jobs during the construction phase and at least 150 permanent jobs once operational. The hotel will comprise of 135 rooms, three restaurants, three bars, a conference centre, a micro brewery, a deli shop, a beach kiosk, a public spa and fitness centre with heated swimming pool. Bruce Hutchison, the Managing Director of O&L Leisure, a subsidiary of O&L, in September this year said the new Strand Hotel will fit the brand values of O&L Leisure hotels and lodges. The subsidiary created by O&L manages the group's leisure portfolio after it broke ties with the Kempinski Group, one of Europe's largest and hotel companies.

O&L had indicated earlier this year that it has revised its hospitality business model after the group decided to part ways in July with Kempinski over the management of the group's premium resort properties The Kempinski project also caused a stir among the Swakopmund community because of what they termed the 'privatisation' of the public open space by millionaire holidaymakers at the expense of locals. A petition of more than 2 000 signatures against the initial design was collected against the building which led to O&L opting to redesign the hotel.

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