BY JAMES WILKINSON
Fiji is set to get a AUD$290 million integrated resort – featuring a casino under the first ever gaming licence to be issued in the country – on Denarau Island after US-based developer One Hundred Sands Limited was given the green light for the project from the Fijian Government.
Groundbreaking on the project is expected to commence in March 2012 and stage one of the project will include a 190-room hotel and three restaurants, while the second phase will include further accommodation, a 1500-seat convention centre and a casino with 500 slot machines and 54 gaming tables.
Fiji’s Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, said the project would create 800 jobs for locals and was a development of national significance.
“It is important with all new investment projects – both internal and international – that we protect the rights and interests of Fijians, and provide for the prosperity of our nation,” Bainimarama said.
“[This project] provides a malleable fusion between the Western ideals of casino gaming with the strong cultural virtues of tribal and community life. This fusion is what we seek… considering our own national pride in, and respect for the value of the unique, yet united cultures present among all Fijians,” he said.
Completion is expected in 2013 and the new development will join internationally-branded hotels by Accor, Carlson, Hilton, Starwood and Wyndham on Denarau Island.