ith an investment of U$S 60 million, Sofitel intends to recover the emblematic building of the promenade of Montevideo, bringing the splendor it used to have, with a modern casino, to ingrate it to the life of Carrasco neighbourhood.
"It will not be a summer hotel. It will be the most important five-star hotel of the country. A symbol of Uruguay", said the director of Sofitel project, Guillermo Arcani. Sofitel is presented as a synonim of French elegance. With 172 hotels, the brand is present in the five continents and in the main capitals and key places worldwide.
It also has a great experience in the refurbishment of emblematic buildings or heritage sites, such as the ones that are being managed in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia; Aswan, Egypt and Santo Domingo, in Dominican Republic.
Together with Codere, Uruguay has experience in the refurbishment of Maroñas Horse race-track. "Since it was inaugurated in 2003, there haven't been any dividend, which shows the long-term interest that the company has in the country", said Arcani. In the case of Hotel Casino Carrasco, it has a 30-year tender.
After having seen all the proposals presented, the businessman declared: "Our project is the one that adapts the most to the interest of the city and the country". Arcani commented that the proposal respects the historical value of the building, that was build almost a hundred years ago.
The construction work will demand a year and a half, so the new hotel would be operative in 2010. Sofitel project includes the creation of an underground parking space with capacity for 196 cars "in order to avoid any type of visual contamination of the surroundings”.
"420 people will work in the operation of the hotel and casino, most of which will be Uruguayan”, assured Arcani.
The director of the Sofitel project said that the project "is not planned as a shopping", so he added, "It will not compete with the stores of the neighbourhood". "We will work with Carrasco council, bringing them the tools so they may bring a better service to the customers, which will be mostly foreign,” he indicated.
On top of that, the businessmen said that problems with the traffic will be solved "with little roundabauts and deceleration lanes,” no need to put traffic lights. The casino will be managed by Codere, Spanish multinational with a wide experience in the management and operation of casinos.
Besides, Sofitel proposes to transform Rostand road in a promenade, connecting the hotel with Church Stella Maris and causing a “cascade effect” of improvement in the surroundings. This, however, will be subject to the consideration of Montevideo Council. The design presented combines with an elaborated proposal of landscape that considers the creation of green spaces of public access in the surroundings. The building will have a spa and a heated swimming pool. It will also incorporate areas in the restaurant for 102 people, a VIP restaurant, bar and a complete business center.