THE management of Nelson Mandela Bay's Radisson Blu rallied yesterday to reassure the public that it was business as usual at the five-star Summerstrand hotel.
This follows last week's surprise revelation that Bay-based Auspex Hotels and Leisure – the group which owns Radisson Blu in Summerstrand – was handed a liquidation order after it was unable to meet its payments to Absa, the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and third- party investors.
The hotel's general manager, Clive van Oudtshoorn, said day-to-day operations of the hotel were not affected.
The liquidation order handed down by the High Court in Port Elizabeth on August 23 was a shareholder issue which did not affect the otherwise profitable hotel, he said.
Also present at the briefing was the Rezidor Hotel Group's vice- president of development for the Africa and Indian Ocean regions, Andrew Mclachlan, and well- known Nelson Mandela Bay businessman Phil Gutsche, who was named as an "investor in Radisson Hotel".
The hotel is a brand of the Rezidor group. Rezidor South Africa operates and manages the hotel.
The liquidation was initiated by main creditors with express instructions that the company be continued as a going concern.
The sectional title ownership of the hotel rests with the IDC, Absa and a number of private sectional title investors, Van Oudtshoorn said.
According to Mclachlan, Rezidor had taken note of the application brought against Auspex by Absa, but the group wanted to emphasise that it was a shareholder issue.
"The hotel remains profitable and will remain open and under the Radisson Blu brand and management.
"The commitment by Absa, IDC and the investors to find a rapid solution to what is essentially a shareholder matter is without question.
"In addition, the three aforementioned parties have all passed a vote of confidence in the existing management and hotel operations to continue business as usual while the matter is resolved," Mclachlan said.
Asked whether the hotel faced any threats as a result of the liquidation, Mclachlan said there were no threats, but that if any should arise, it would be in the form of another hotel group taking over the hotel.
The Radisson boasts an average annual occupancy of 60% during the week and between 35% and 40% on weekends. The 18-storey hotel employs about 115 skilled and semi-skilled full-time staff members, as well as about 14 casual labourers.