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Big plans for ‘Grand Old Lady’ return

August 09
12:00 2011

Written By : RACHNA LAL. The redevelopment plan for the iconic Grand Pacific Hotel (GPH) was officially launched yesterday by Prime Minister Commodore Voreqe Bainimarama.
The redevelopment has been possible through a joint venture partnership between the Fiji National Provident Fund (FNPF), Papua New Guinea’s National Superannuation Fund (NASFUND) and Lamana Group, also of PNG.
Commodore Bainimarama revealed the construction proper is expected to commence in November with the completion date to be in the third quarter of 2013.
“At the end of the redevelopment, GPH will have 113 rooms with five-star standard including a 600-seat state-of-the-art conference facilities,” Commodore Bainimarama said.
“The new GPH will add to the room inventory in Suva, provide quality accommodation, complement the Holiday Inn which forms part of the FNPF portfolio and allow for the hosting of international and regional conferences in the capital city.”
According to the plan, the original structure of the GPH will be retained, however two new wings will be added on either side of the old building and will be connected through a transparent walkway.
Most of the original concept will be retained in the old building in order to retain the whole structure and original flavour of the hotel.
“The redevelopment of this site into a modern facility will ensure, with the approval of the National Trust of Fiji, that the heritage integrity of this iconic structure, known as the Grand Old Lady, will be maintained,” the PM said.
Commodore Bainimarama stressed the need for the right people with the right expertise for development like this.
“It is imperative that developments such as this are carried out by those who are financially sound, have a proven track record and have the necessary expertise and skills.”
“This collaboration between the two countries is a first of its kind. It also indicated to us the enormous potential and synergies that can be developed between Fiji and PNG.
“PNG has a highly developed and rich mineral gas resource sector.
“Fiji offers many opportunities in agriculture, tourism, services, manufacturing, ITC, property development, retailing and growth of financial markets,” he said.
He emphasised the recent positive rating of Fiji by Standard and Poor’s will provide the added impetus and confidence to investors.
“The positive rating is no doubt an outcome of my Government’s commitment to a sound and consistent fiscal framework, principles and practice of good governance and a reform agenda.
NASFUND chief executive Rod Mitchell revealed that the redevelopment of the GPH is expected to cost in excess of PGK 100 million (More than $70 million).

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