As Gaborone fast elevates into a regional capital, South African City Lodge Group has joined the bandwagon of investors that are flooding the city’s prime business areas.
The company that operates a number of lodges in South Africa have decided to try their business fortunes outside their home soil with a promise to open a successful 4-Star hotel, Town Lodge, at the Airport Junction Shopping Centre next February.
Khumo Property Asset Management, a subsidiary of Botswana Insurance Fund Management (Bifm) that owns the Airport Junction have welcomed the new investors with open arms. “Khumo Property Asset Management is excited to be associated with City Lodge Hotels, who are a leading Hotel Group in the region. Partnering with City Lodge at Airport Junction Shopping Centre continues our mandate to offer only best at the mall,” said Property Developments Manager Bakang Palai.
The City Lodge Group has 4 brands which include Courtyard, City Lodge, Town Lodge and Road Lodge brands. The brands comprise of 54 hotels and the anticipated Town Lodge in Gaborone will be the first one to be built outside of South Africa. The decision, according to management, was prompted in part by regular guests of the Group in South Africa travelling to Gaborone on business.
Bifm Chief Executive Officer, Tiny Kgatlwane, said she was excited to be involved in yet another project that brings not only greater value to the shareholder but the creation of jobs in the building phase and also when the hotel is operational.
“As Bifm we are proud to have provided the funding for this 104 roomed property, and attracted another sterling tenant. We can lay claim to another first as the Hotel Group entered into its first venture outside of South Africa with Bifm,” said Kgatlwane.
Chris Marais, the General Manager of the Hotel is expected to be the only expatriate, while the rest of the staff shall be Batswana. Management have promised to employ 30 people who will be taken for training in South Africa.
“The smart partnership between Khumo and Airport Junction’s latest tenant, Town Lodge Gaborone, works because of the close proximity to Sir Seretse Khama International Airport (SSKIA) and the Diamond Hub,” said Chief Executive Officer of Khumo, Outule Bale. The retail and lifestyle development, Bale said, was conceived and initiated in line with strategies aimed at adding value to a number of stakeholders that include clients and the City of Gaborone.
“The Town Lodge will be a select service hotel offering breakfast only, but will form a relationship with the restaurants in Airport Junction Shopping Centre. A boardroom will also be provided for hire by the Hotel which is a special consideration unique to the Gaborone property.
There are 104 rooms offering twin and double room configuration. Wifi and flat screen TVs, laundry service are also part of the amenities of the hotel,” he said. Khumo Property Asset Management is a joint venture between Bifm and Eris Property Group of South Africa.
Apart from Airport Junction Shopping Centre, Khumo Property Asset Management also manages Railpark Mall near the bus rank, the Gaborone Private Hospital and the adjoining 80 housing units and the Debswana Pension Fund property portfolio among others.