DEVELOPMENT: Hotel Breathes Life Into Properties
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TWO year old Calders Hotel and Conference Centre is playing an important part in breathing new life into once sleepy Fish Hoek properties. Owner developer Harold Johnson believes the recession has played a part in this.
The development of the hotel property has brought new business into Fish Hoek and this in turn has resulted in an improvement to the business district around Calders with shops and restaurants feeling the benefit while surrounding buildings have also been upgraded.
Johnson says Calders’ success is due largely to its popularity as a conference centre and here the recession has played an important part. “The economic climate has forced many companies to review their conference and function plans as they seek greater value while nevertheless ensuring that their goals are achieved.”
According to Johnson most companies are having to look critically at their spend on these events but cannot afford to be seen to be taking short cuts.
“Companies are seeking to take staff and customers away from the distraction of the city but need to minimise costs by not travelling too far. At the same time they need to be comfortable in the knowledge that the venue is equipped with the best conference equipment and technology as this makes the difference between a successful conference and a failure.”
Johnson says that Calders meets all the criteria of successful conferences and functions which is why it has become attractive for both large and small functions in spite of the hard times. It also offers superior accommodation for those staying overnight while its position beside Fish Hoek beach and its close proximity to the city and airport are added attractions.
Johnson’s other property, Zevenwacht Wine Farm, on the Stellenbosch Wine Route, developed conference and function facilities as far back as 1992 and Johnson believes the farm pioneered this business in the winelands. “Today this is an important driver of the business and many other farms in the area have also become multi- disciplinary operations with the wine production being the popular attraction followed by the desire to conference in serene surroundings away from the interference of the city.”
As with Calders, the Zevenwacht property has benefited from the need to conference closer to home.
“Its vital that companies use conferences and functions to communicate with staff and customers on a face to face basis”, adds Johnson. “The interaction which is achieved with customers is invaluable in creating confidence in uncertain times and helps to create a favourable environment in which to do business while staff conferences serve to keep people informed of company plans and objectives. Choosing the right property on which to conference is equally important.”
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