Enugu State Government is making plans to bring Hotel Presidential back to life in the effort to boost tourism in the local city
Stories: Ebere Chibuzor
Following the desire of Enugu State Government to retain one of its pride, the Sullivan Chime led government has concluded arrangements for new partners, contractors that would see through the new Hotel Presidential project.
According to sources, It is expected that the main contract for the redevelopment will be awarded in Q4 2015 and the Hotel ready to be opened by Q2 2017
The new drive, according to sources is fanned by the government’s desire to ensure that it preserves the central and historic place of hotel.
In a bid to remedy the situation, the current Enugu State Government, sought proposals from private sector investors willing to invest in the redevelopment of the Hotel as well as manage it under an international hotel brand name. After due consideration of a number of proposals from private sector investors, the Government of Enugu State granted a concession on the Hotel to E-Hospitality Services Limited (EHSL).
EHSL will undertake the project through a special purpose company – Primeview Hotels Limited. EHSL will also engage a suitable International hotel management company to operate the Hotel post renovation. Following extensive research EHSL noted the lack of international standard hospitality services in the South-East. Given the strong demand for quality hotel, leisure and conferencing facilities in the region EHSL aims to breach this supply gap by providing what would be undoubtedly the premier business and leisure facility in the South-East zone when completed. EHSL also expects that with the growing FDI flowing into the zone and the commencement of direct international flights into Enugu airport and significant foreign traveller traffic, the Hotel is expected to become the destination of choice. Enugu is strategically located, being approximately an hour’s drive from the state capitals of Anambra, Abia, Imo and Ebonyi and about ninety minutes from Port Harcourt. The Hotel when completed will play a key role in facilitating business and socio-economic activities across the South-East and South-South zones.
Primeview Hotels Limited has since taken possession of the facility and concluded preliminary surveys and assessments including a structural integrity test carried out by Sanni Ojo and Partners, a leading firm of structural engineers. The results of the tests have been positive. In line with the forging,EHSL has assembled a team of world class design and engineering consultants and produced a redevelopment concept. A contractor has also been mobilised to the site and has commenced the stripping of the Hotel in preparation for the redevelopment works. The Proposed Redevelopment concept involves reconfiguring and modernising the existing hotel facilities such as Restaurants, Conferencing facility, Outdoor swimming pool, 4 tennis courts and increasing the stock of rooms from 100 to 150 rooms. In addition a Family leisure center will be incorporated and the number of restaurants and other elements increased in line with the requirements of the preferred hotel manager.
Hotel Presidential Enugu (“the Hotel”), was one of the first iconic buildings built post-independence as part of the Eastern government’s industrialization plan created under the late Dr. Mike Okpara. With a unique offering of recreational and lifestyle elements, the Hotel Presidential quickly became a popular destination for Nigerians and foreign visitors. The collapse of the pride of the East led the Government of Enugu state to concession the Hotel to capable hands to bring it back to life and upgrade it to world class standards expected to cost over N4 billion naira. The Hotel sits on prime land within the Independence Layout Enugu and is approximately 15 minutes by car from the Enugu International airport.
At the time it was open to the public, the Hotel offered 100 rooms on 4 floors with recreational facilities such as swimming pools, tennis courts and a night club considered best in class. Many people growing up in Enugu and other eastern states have fond memories of Sunday lunch in the Hotel’s restaurant as well as attending functions in the grand ball room. These memories however quickly fade once the reality of the Hotel’s current state of disrepair is revealed. Many years of poor management, particularly during the many years of military rule, culminated in a complete rundown of the Hotel and subsequent closure of the once iconic facility.