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Radisson opening a show of confidence in TT say PM

By Sasha Harrinanan Wednesday, April 9 2014

click on pic to zoom in
Good investment: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar chats with businessman Issa Nicholas, left, as his son George Nicholas III listens in during th...
Good investment: Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar chats with businessman Issa Nicholas, left, as his son George Nicholas III listens in during th...

THE Radisson Trinidad hotel officially opened its doors on Monday evening with a cocktail reception attended by such high-profile guests as former President George Maxwell Richards and his wife, Dr Jean Ramjohn-Richards.

One of the night’s featured speakers was Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, who said the renovation and rebranding of Capital Plaza to Radisson Trinidad was a clear indication of investor confidence in the local economy.

“We thank you for the employment opportunities that have been created for the people of Trinidad and Tobago. I’m advised that your staff is over 300, and so once again, as you partner with the citizens of TT, I can see only success in the future.”

The PM not only commended Issa Nicholas and his family for their commitment to this country’s tourism sector, she thanked the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which owns the Radisson chain of hotels, for “the confidence they have reposed in the economy of TT, and for their substantial investment in our country.”

The 243-room hotel, best-known for its 360-degree revolving restaurant, also has a swim-up bar in its swimming pool, 24-hour business centre and 24-hour fitness centre. It’s located opposite Hyatt Regency on Wrightson Road, Port-of-Spain, in which Government has a “stake.”

However Trade Minister Vasant Bharath said he had no problem with Hyatt getting some competition from Radisson.

“Competition is very good. It creates a situation where people will offer a better service at a better price. Ultimately it’s the consumer who benefits.”

Bharath, one of several Government ministers who attended the Radisson’s formal opening, also revealed he had earlier on Monday “signed off on another large investment in the leisure sector.”

While he wasn’t able to share any other details just yet, the Trade Minister did say those would be forthcoming “within a few weeks. Therefore, more and more investors, both local and foreign, are looking at Trinidad as an investment destination of choice.”

Radisson Trinidad’s managing director, Daniel Nicholas, said the more than $30 million “transformation” bill for the hotel was a clear indication of his family’s confidence in the local economy.

“As owners, we are highly confident of the strength and longevity of the Trinidad economy, as are the Radisson executives. Investing in Trinidad is not only the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. To date, over $30 million was invested in the Radisson transformation. I gratefully give thanks to the Ministry of Tourism for demonstrating their commitment to working with hoteliers to improve the quality of the hotel product in Trinidad,” Nicholas stated.

A wide variety of dishes and drinks were served buffet-style to the guests afterward, including chocolate-dipped strawberries, mini pecan tarts, mini chocolate tarts, fresh fruit on skewers (one had the option of dipping them in the nearby chocolate fountain), lamb meatballs, vegetable and meat kibbehs and roti.

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