ETA able to secure 1,900 rooms as 2004 safety valve

New hotels currently constructed or due to be built in Attica by Hellenic Tourism Properties (ETA), the asset management arm of the Greek National Tourist Organization, will be regarded as a safety valve for the accommodation needs of the Olympic family during the 2004 Olympic Games. According to ETA’s latest business plan, with the completion of its real estate investment program, such needs will be more than covered. The new plan was adapted to the construction specifications set out under the existing urban planning framework. As a result, it is expected to secure 1,950 rooms in four hotels. Four hundred and fifty of these rooms will be located at the extension currently being constructed at the ETA-owned Asteras Hotel in Glyfada, which has been ceded to the National Bank of Greece, which in turn has leased it out to Estrelia, the company managing the hotel. It should be noted that the extension is part of a settlement between ETA and the bank over real estate in which they both have joint responsibilities. Another 300 rooms have been secured at the Grand Resort Lagonissi, formerly known as the Xenia Lagonissi, which is currently leased out to the Mantonanakis Group. ETA is presently holding talks with the group over the construction of an additional 300 rooms to the resort. The Cape Sounion Hotel is also due to provide 400 rooms. It is controlled by the Daskalantonakis Group. Following the settlement of pending issues with the former owner, the hotel will commence on its renovation program. ETA was also able to secure 300 rooms at the Ilios complex at Anavyssos, where the training schools in tourism are located. By relocating the schools to another place, possibly the eastern hangar at the old airport at Hellenikon, it can convert those facilities into a hotel. A request for the school’s relocation has been submitted to the Athens Planning Organization. Similarly, the buildings at the Ilios complex need to be ceded to ETA, which may be dealt with via a clause in a draft bill on tourism training which is presently being drawn up. Under the scheme, ETA would then hold a competition to find a long-term leaseholder for the complex who would also be called upon to construct a deluxe hotel. The tourism training schools’ facilities at the Hellenikon airport, with a capacity of 250 rooms, could also be converted into accommodation for the Olympic Games. The Mont Parnes casino complex on Mt Parnitha, presently being privatized by the State, is able to provide 500 rooms. Lastly, the Asteras Hotel in Vouliagmeni is expected to yield 250 rooms, once its extension is completed.

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