Golden Tulip, the popular hotel magnates are to take over the management of the Mammy Yoko Hotel at Aberdeen and has invested $4.5m in massive reconstruction after it was handed over by United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) in July last year.
This was disclosed yesterday by Roger Crooks, who recently signed a 25 year agreement with the government and a further 25 years option to manage the hotel.
Crooks said: “the reason we choose them is because of their vast experience in Ghana and Nigeria; they visited the hotel under construction and they were really impressed with the work being done.
Briefing media practitioners he emphasized that, “the agreement we have is to turn the hotel into a four star, which has a lot of international standards to meet, so we have to do a lot of work and that has resulted in the injection of $2 million dollars to meet that standard.”
He further stated that, “in June I made an offer of 30% to Capital Discount House for any private citizen or national institution who wants to invest,” that attracted NASSIT’s interest, but it’s still waiting political approval.
However, he stressed, “we can’t wait any longer because we have to keep moving forward and the option to NASSIT would end by next weekend.”
Roger Crooks maintained, “I am winding down, I am 62 years old now, so I would like to see more indigenous Sierra Leoneans involved in Mammy Yoko and in the end it would be owned by indigenous people.”
He emphasized that the country needs more quality hotels that would attract tourism into the country, recalling that “with the completion of the hotel we can bring in more tourist, we had cooperation with the Danish to bring tourists once a month before the outbreak of the war.”
“All we need from the government in this area is support and even the media to portray a positive image of the country emphasizing that the war is over and the country is moving on.”
During the conducted tour of the hotel media personnel were shown the various works being undertaken in the kitchen, some of the rooms in the 184 bedrooms and 14 suites, and the external electrical wiring now being converted into internal.
He explained the process being undertaken in the lobby that would be more attractive than it used to be in the past, while a new conference hall that can accommodate up to 1,000 people is also under construction.