Hyatt looks to invest USD 50 million in Hotel Carrasco in Uruguay

Hyatt hotel chain and investment group Liberman showed their interest in participating in Carrasco hotel casino tender process. The consortium looks to manage a five-star hotel in Carrasco with a private casino.

The investment needed to refurbish this hotel will exceed USD 50 million and will be ready in two years, said representative of Liberman Group, Horacio Espósito. This group is dedicated to real estate investments in Argentina and is specialized in building five-star hotels, among other activities.

Hotel Casino Carrasco is damaged after a failed concession granted by the Montevideo Council to the company Carmitel in 2001. According to this firm, the economic crisis made them recycle just a 30% of the luxury building, located in the residential zone of the city.

Espósito explained that the project of Hyatt chain for this place will generate “one of the most important hotels in the world”. The businessman remarked that the casino “will be private” and that is an important factor to invest in Hotel Carrasco. The same as Hotel Conrad in Punta del Este, Hyatt chain aims to attract players in the region. „The effort of marketing programs in Uruguay will not be addressed to the local gaming market but to the international gaming market”, said Espósito.

The council aims Casino Carrasco not to impact in a negative way in the operation of Casino Parque Hotel and also compete with Conrad, said IMM secretary, Jorge Rodríguez.

Espósito considered that, in case they win the tender, new Hotel Carrasco would be ready in 2010. Papers specify that the winning company has four months to present blueprints and designs and has a deadline of 20 months to inaugurate the play. We consider that these deadlines are aggressive but logical“, indicated.

Besides, Senior Vice President of Hyatt Latin America, Myles McGourty, said that an executive team of the hotel chain has been working for eight months in the project, which will be presented to Ehrlich administration. He added that, in case they will the tender, Hyatt will occupy management charges with executives that work for at least ten hotels located in different parts of the world, and the rest of the staff will be trained in Uruguay to work in the complex.

McGourty remarked that the hotel chain has been exploring business opportunities in Montevideo for years. Besides, Hyatt hotel chain, consortiums Pestana (Portugal), Tsakos Group (Greece) and firms associated to Codere Group (Spain) also showed their interest in operating Hotel Casino Carrasco. Pestana group manages a chain of hostels located in historical buildings. The hotels are distributed in Portuguese-speaking countries. President Tabaré Vázquez and Minister of Transport, Víctor Rossi, visited a hotel of this kind within an European tour in October 2007.

Besides, Tsakos group started negotiations with Carmitel for a possible change in concession. However, the trial failed and the council demanded Carmitel to return the building. Codere group –a multi national that is part of the consortium that manages Maroñas horse-racetrack, also showed its interest in participating in Hotel Carrasco tender. This consortium is a reference in Europe.