Challenge Boost Hotel Industry
Challenge Group of Companies has diversified to include hotels in its line of business.
The group’s latest acquisition is the Cathay Hotel in Lautoka. Once a pride of Lautoka.
This joins its Trans International and Hotel Oasis hotels in Nadi.All three are open with special rates. Challenge Engineering Limited’s manager property maintenance and facilities, Anit Gounder, said: “We have had reduced occupancy, but we have been having a lot of locals staying with us.
“We have dropped the room price to $75 per night for all three properties.”
The recent purchase of Cathay Hotel has brought with it maintenance and repair works on the building, Mr Gounder said.
The company is increasing the number of rooms at the hotel from 44 to 60, with a budget of $1 million.
Mr Gounder said occupancy levels were still low with locals as guests.
The Challenge Group’s $40 million Airport Plaza complex at Legalega in Nadi is on hold, pending municipal and Government approvals.
Mr Gounder said a retaining wall around the four acre project site was constructed as part of ground works.
However, construction of the complex was on hold pending approval from the Nadi Town Council and Department of Town and Country Planning.
Mr Gounder said contractors were waiting for the green light to proceed with plumbing work.
However, director Town and Country Planning, Mohammed Ziar, said he was not aware of the project and referred queries to the Lautoka City Council.
Lautoka Town Council chief executive officer Craig Powell said the Department of Town and Country Planning would have to first finalise either the zoning or re-zoning of the area where the complex would be built.
“Once we have received this from the Department of Town and Country Planning, we could start working on the approvals needed for construction to take place.
“I will certainly look into it and see what the holdup is.”
The two-storey complex will have floor space suitable for supermarkets and 13 smaller retail outlets, while the top floor would feature the same floor space and nine retail outlets.
Parking spaces will be included as part of the development.
“With this project and the interest shown by businesses to set up here, increased employment is expected.”
“This complex is being outfitted with the best materials in the market, so our tenants can be assured of quality finishing.”
He expects construction to be completed in 18 months following the tender process.
The Challenge Group of Companies has maintained all its em
ployees since coronavirus affected Fiji. Mr Gounder said managing director Suresh Patel did not want his employees sent home, but had reduced wages for all.
The Challenge Group of Companies comprises:
■Automart – one of the largest dealers of vehicles in Fiji.
■Mobi●e Cranes Limited – recently purchased two brand new cranes to complement its fleet.
■Cha●●e■ge Engineering Limited - purchase and maintenance of properties.
■Du●ci■a Limited – looks after three entities which are the building where the company headquarters is situated on Vitogo Parade in Lautoka, the Nadi Town End Complex (beside the Nadi River) that consists of retail outlets and the Hotel Oasis in Martintar, Nadi.
■Mari■a Investments Pte Limited - owners of the newly purchased Cathay Hotel on Tavewa Avenue in Lautoka.
■Epic Homes - owners of Trans International Hotel, near Nadi International Airport.
Cathay Hotel in Lautoka now owned by the Challenge Group of Companies.