10 Dec 2007

Hilton confident Cooks venture will succeed

2:36 pm on 10 December 2007

The international hotel chain Hilton has agreed to manage the abandoned Sheraton Hotel project on the Cook Islands main island, Rarotonga.

The project which began as the Vaimaanga Hotel in 1987 was plagued with problems and the unifinished building lay idle for many years.

However, after almost 20 years there's hope now that the construction of the 200 room hotel complex will be completed by 2009.

The Hilton Hotels vice President Australasia, Ashley Spencer, says there were a number of reasons why they put their support behind the venture.

"We've been a bit of a pioneering hotel company around the world since the 30's, so there's no reason why it should stop now, and I guess from a commercial point of view we really see a future for the hotel."

The Hilton Rarotonga and Spa will cost about 77 million US dollars to complete and is being undertaken by the New Zealand-based McEwan and Tepaki groups.