Island News

Peppers says Bula Fiji

Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND. Mantra Group, one of the leading brands in Australia and New Zealand has announced an exciting new partnership with Naisoso Island. Mantra’s brand Peppers will
27 Nov 2010 12:00

image Written By : CHRISTOPHER CHAND. Mantra Group, one of the leading brands in Australia and New Zealand has announced an exciting new partnership with Naisoso Island.
Mantra’s brand Peppers will manage the $150 million and 178 room Peppers Naisoso Resort which will commence development in July 2011.
Mantra Group Chief Executive Officer Bob East made it his business to see first hand the beauty of Naisoso Island when the announcement was made on Wednesday.
This is the first time Peppers is venturing into Fiji and the Naisoso Island development was a key attraction.
Mr East said they have strong belief in the Fiji market.
He said Naisoso Island is a class above and they are privileged to be part of it.
“We have a long term belief in the Fiji market. It’s beautiful staying here and meeting people and to be served by the locals. That’s what drives my belief. It’s genuinely a great experience” Mr East said.
“We had to pick the right location and I think it’s a fantastic opportunity for people who are travelling from overseas to be able to land at the airport and be here within minutes so the location is perfect. The island is beautiful and Bob (Lowres) is doing a fantastic job making it even more beautiful with the natural setting and the waterways which are perfect. But really the key for us was getting somebody that would deliver our product that we would be happy to put our name to. I suppose Bob’s job is delivering a sensational product. My job and our task is to go about creating something special for the guests and something really warm and special for the locals because we are very interested in looking after the locals and looking after the owners.”
Mantra Group has over 16,000 properties with a client base of $2 million.
Pepper Naisoso Resort is expected to be open by late December in 2012.
The new development on Naisoso Island will create hundreds of jobs at the construction site and once the resort opens.
Mr East said negative reports by foreign media did little to harm tourists from coming to Fiji.
“I think the general public is very smart in what they do. They know that there is always going to be media speculation about certain things but they also know what they like and a resort like this and a place like this which is driven by word of mouth. People love this place and they will continue to come and they will also tell their friends,” Mr East said.
“It’s fair to say we will employ well over 200 people. We are really excited about the restaurants that will be opening here and we expect to open in a quite a flurry as it should be a very popular resort.
This is Peppers first foray into Fiji having declined over 20 projects in the past.
“We don’t do new projects lightly. I look at close to 70 or 80 resorts a year that can potentially come into our portfolio. This year we have chosen two only. We are extremely particular about the style of the resort and we are very, very particular about what we think our customers will want. Our customers are very dear to us and to our brand and we have really got to get the right resorts into our portfolio. I have got a team of three and a half thousand people who are extremely excited about being involved in this Fiji resort,” Mr East said.
Relcorp (Fiji) Limited Managing Director and Naisoso Island owner Bob Lowres said it was a special day for Naisoso when announcing the partnership with Peppers.
“We started here four years ago and it was my dream. Sometimes people said it became a nightmare but it’s still my dream and we are delivering on the dream,” Mr Lowres said.
“We have delivered a fantastic residential development that has been enormously successful but now we want to start delivering for the people who had the faith to buy land here and build houses. We are now going to start providing the infrastructure and the lifestyle that they bought here for and we are announcing our $150 million dollar, 178 apartments Peppers Naisoso Resort.
“Peppers is a name which is synonymous with doing things really well and that is what Naisoso is all about. We did talk to a number of other operators but to be quite honest we always wanted Peppers as our operator here.”


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