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Waterfront airport hotel starts P100-M face-lift

New MCIA terminal seen to bring in more airport traffic
By: - Senior Reporter / @agarciayapCDN
/ 06:35 AM February 15, 2013

Anticipating more tourists and foot traffic at the Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA) when the new airport terminal gets completed, the Waterfront Airport Hotel and Casino (WAHC) will pour in at least P100 million for renovations starting with upgrading of all 164 rooms this year.

When the airport expansion is done, more flights would be added to Cebu and this would mean high traffic in the area, Maria Teresa Fernandez WAHC general manager said yesterday.

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“Because of that we are preparing ourselves. We are the only hotel that have the advantage of proximity to the airport. With high traffic soon we are also looking at expanding our rooms,” said Fernandez.

She said they could expand up to 250 rooms in their property if they would see the need to do so in the next two years.

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At present, the hotel is enjoying a 75 percent occupancy rate which was high compared to the industry rate of only 60 percent, she said.

“We don’t want to be complacent that is why we are investing this much to upgrade and continue to be a well preferred hotel by the travelers,” Fernandez said.

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The hotel upgrade has already started.

“Piping upgrading project is ongoing right now because we are going towards environment-friendly operations which will require that we install the best equipment that will help us achieve efficiency,” said Fernandez.

She added that aside from the piping system, they had already started replacing the halogen lights with LED lights as well as LED television sets are energy efficient.

The hotel is now on it’s 17th year this year and the owners think it would be the right time to upgrade their properties including Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino which had started its P300 million facelift in 2011.

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Fernandez also said that the hotel was financing its own renovations through revenues it was generating.

By second quarter, the UNO which the hotel’s main restaurant will start its makeover.

“For that we will have to move it temporarily to one of the function rooms near the entrance of the Casino. The entire area will be boarded up to make sure that the hotel operations will not be hampered,” said Fernandez.

MCIA bidders

Meanwhile, more companies have publicly expressed their interest to bid for the P17.5 billion MCIA expansion project.

In last Wednesday’s pre-qualification conference held at the Edsa Shangri-la Hotel, four more companies expressed their intention to bid by purchasing pre-qualification documents.

These are First Philippines Holdings Corp. (FPHC), Premier Airport Group of the SM Investments Corp. (SMIC), Megawide Construction Corp. (MCC) and GMR Infrastructure Ltd.

FPHC is a holding company of the Lopez Group with core businesses into power generation and distribution, manufacturing, property and infrastructure.

MCC on the other hand is a listed construction company with work portfolios in residential developments and commercial buildings.

GMR Infrastructure Ltd. is an Indian firm with a global presence and interests in airport projects, energy, highways and urban infrastructure developments while SMIC is the holding firm of the SM Group founded by the Sy family which already have existing projects in Cebu including three full service malls and pocket retail chains under their Save More brand.

After the prequalification (PQ) conference, the submission of qualification documents by the companies is set on Feb. 27.

Other companies who participated in the bidding includes Filinvest Development Corp., Macro Asia Corp., Metro Pacific Investments Corp. (MPIC), Ayala Corp. and Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. partnership, Prime Power Holdings Corp., South Korean company Samsung C&T Corp. and Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (MAHB).

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TAGS: airport, Mactan Cebu International Airport (MCIA)
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