Major hotels make reservations in city
26 Aug 2008, 0445 hrs IST, Shishir Arya,TNN
NAGPUR: The Mihan-fuelled realty boom is making several big hotel groups check into Nagpur.
Both national as well as global players in the sector have lapped up lands off Wardha Road, perceived to be the most happening tract in the city.
Some seven new players have plans to set up star hotels with some of them having already begun work. The first of these are expected to begin welcoming guests by 2010.
Recently, Mumbai-based Fariyas Group, having premium properties in Mumbai and Lonavala, has purchased a 2-acre tract in Khamla with plans to set up a 200-room five-star hotel there.
The plot has direct access to Wardha Road through Jaitala Road and is close to the airport. The building housing the over 50-year-old Marathi daily Tarun Bharat at Ramdaspeth is also set to pave way for a three-star hotel.
The Gurgaon-based Radisson Group has already started work on a five-star hotel off Wardha Road, and the Taj Group is also coming up with a hotel in the much-touted Empress City.
Sources say some of the hospitality majors purchased land off Wardha Road and plan to begin work in future. These include groups like Hyatt and Leela, among others.
Such groups have made investment three to four years ago, at that time the total investment would have come at around Rs 120 crore.
Today, only the land would be worth around Rs 700 crore. Building a star hotel would require an investment of at least Rs 100 crore and may go up depending upon the size, status and amenities offered, said an insider.
"Given the growth prospects, Nagpur was the next destination in Maharashtra. We have plans to set up with a five-star hotel with over 200 rooms," said a senior Fariyas Group executive.
The site off Khamla Road was chosen because it is close to the airport and yet slightly away from the busy Wardha Road, he added. Though he remained tight-lipped over the quantum of investment, he added that the group would come up with a modern hotel with a local flavour.
An executive of Radisson Group said that they aimed to finish construction by 2010. It too is coming up with a 200-room five-star hotel.
Appu Wadhwani of Heera Laxmi Infrastructure said the company had bought the Tarun Bharat property and expected to get possession by December. It hopes to complete construction of a three-star hotel at the site that admeasures 19,000 square feet in 18 months.
However, Anil Dandekar, Managing Director of Narkesari Prakashan and publisher of Tarun Bharat, refused to comment. Other players learnt to be coming up with hotels include The Kamat Group having Orchid chain of hotels as well as the Sun and Sand Group.
Former president of Vidarbha Industries Association Suresh Agrawal said the investments would bring a huge change in the city's profile.
"The top hotels would increase the city's appeal and make it even more attractive for investment. It would also give a fillip to ancillary industries and increase quality employment," he noted.