Peermont unveils R115-million make over for Tusk Umfolozi
25 November 2010
Situated in the heart of the busy uMhlathuze Region in Empangeni, KwaZulu-Natal, Tusk Umfolozi is undergoing an amazing R115-million transformation. The multi-million rand project will completely change the face of the existing 21 500-m² casino, turning it into a sought after business and entertainment destination.
As part of the development, a new Peermont Metcourt hotel with 44 rooms and suites, state-of-the-art conference centre, multi-purpose entertainment and events arena, themed sports bar and outdoor facilities are planned. In addition, the existing casino interiors will be upgraded and the restaurant will be revamped and enlarged. With the expansion, the resort will take on a completely new identity as the Umfolozi Hotel Casino and Convention Resort.
Peermont CEO, Anthony Puttergill says, "The addition of a new Peermont Metcourt hotel, conference centre and multipurpose entertainment and events arena to our upgraded casino complex will provide guests with progressive and inexpensive accommodation, as well as much-needed meeting and entertainment facilities in the greater Richards Bay area on the north coast of KwaZulu-Natal. Peermont is confident that this resort will quickly become one of KwaZulu-Natal's premier business and leisure destinations and is proud to be an integral part of providing this region with the very best in entertainment, conferencing and leisure options. With this investment we will create over 350 new jobs during the construction phase and over 80 new jobs upon completion."
The new facilities use a modern Zulu design theme with bold colour palettes highlighting the richness of the Zulu culture. The new Peermont Metcourt hotel will become a convenient sanctuary for guests wanting to escape from the hustle and bustle of this busy region. The design footprint of the hotel replicates a homestead with open yet central living spaces. The large double volumed entrance foyer immediately gives an impression of grandeur and space as a series of courtyards entices guests to explore further.
Once inside the hotel, guests can choose to visit two levels - the higher level features the newly revamped Shaka's Grill, whilst the lower level overlooks a beautifully landscaped central courtyard. The sapphire-blue swimming pool will be conveniently part of the hotel, providing guests with the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail or a refreshing swim.
"Not only is Umfolozi located in the business and industrial heartland of the uMlathuze Municipality, but en route to a number of leading game reserves and tourist attractions such as the St Lucia Wetlands, Phinda, a lush conservation area that has earned World Heritage Site status and the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park, so we hope to not only welcome local guests but international tourists onto the property. We will be investing further in training our staff to ensure they deliver the warm, friendly service that is synonymous with the Peermont brand," says Mark Jakins, Peermont's Chief Commercial Officer.
A shaded walkway takes guests to a conference facility housing some of the most up to date technology and conference facilities. The facilities can seat 600 people cinema style and will also include a climbing wall, and a unique corporate event facility, perfect for corporate functions and action packed team-building sessions - a welcome alternative to KwaZulu-Natal's existing attractions.
Guests have direct access through shaded walkways to the new Salon Privé which will feature slot machines and Roulette and Blackjack tables adjacent to the gaming floor and exclusive parking for Salon Privé guests, including a separate entrance into the gaming area. Outside, the landscaped surroundings will be brought to life with indigenous plants and trees as well as stylish touches of timber and stone giving the landscape a natural yet elegant contemporary Zulu look and feel.
"We are incredibly excited to showcase this property and offer the very best in entertainment, accommodation, conferencing and gaming experiences to all our guests. This major refurbishment and construction of new facilities underpins our commitment to the KZN Gambling Board to uplift and drive tourism and economic prosperity in this area. We looking forward to launching the new look resort and marking the occasion with a celebration in true Peermont style," says Puttergill.