Land prices shoot up; new hotels coming up
Times of India By Nayan Dave & Himanshu Kaushik
The hopes of an increase in tourism activity in and around Sasan and Dhari areas have not only drawn the attention of businessmen for setting up five luxury hotels but also helped in doubling land prices in Dhari in the past few months.
In Sasan, Amitabh Bachchan's visit to the Gir sanctuary has drawn the attention of businessmen to tap possible flow of high-end tourists to the Asiatic lion's abode. Around five luxury hotel projects are on the anvil near the Gir forest.
In Dhari, the land prices have almost doubled as the state government has begun the process of setting up an interpretation centre on the lines of Devalia in the Ambardi area.
Officials said that the price of the land which was between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh per bigah is now Rs 6-7 lakh. Sources said that towards the Dhari-Sarasia and Tulsishyam road, prices have suddenly increased. The government has recently begun the development of the Ambardi interpretation zone, which has raised hopes of increased tourism activity. Officials said that the number of those visiting Devalia was 1,35,200.
Meanwhile, the Amitabh impact can also be seen in Sasan. Developers are not only coming from within Gujarat but brands like Tata and Club Mahindra are amongst the few that want to extend their presence in the area. The Tata group is re-opening the 29-room 'Gir Lodge' with newly developed brand 'Gateway'. Tatas have taken a property on lease from Tourism Corporation of Gujarat (TCGL) way back in 1995. However, the hotel with picturesque view of Hiran River and the Vasadoor hills in Sasan is closed since a decade.
"Sasan is already a unique product and now it is powered by iconic brand Amitabh Bachchan. Asiatic lion safari, a world class product would boost high-end tourism in the region. Keeping this fact in mind, the decision to renovate the property has been taken. We plan to re-open the hotel before the end of March 2011," said PK Mohankumar, COO, The Gateway Hotel.
Club Mahindra has entered into a lease agreement with the promoters of Wonderland Resort that was commissioned last year. "The pact was inked immediately after the superstar completed shooting inside the forest last month," said a source at the three-star resort.
Rajkot-based Sanjayraj Group, with interests in real estate, hospitality and education, is also developing a five-star resort on 30 acres of land. "We are developing an eco-friendly theme-based resort at an estimated cost of Rs 30 crore (excluding land). The 100-room property is aimed at attracting high-end domestic as well as foreign tourists," said Indranil Rajguru, chairman of the company.
Another Rajkot -based realty company, Kotecha Group, is in the process of commissioning a four-star hotel in December this year. "The construction of the 30-room property started six months ago. Now we have decided to speed up the work to open the hotel in this tourist season itself," said Kishor Kotecha, director of the company.
Ahmedabad-based realty firm, Popular Group, is diversifying into hospitality to develop a five-star eco-friendly resort near Sasan on 30 acres of land. Nilay Patel, CEO of the group, said that the company is in the process of acquiring land.
Even the Gujarat government is in the process of creating a 'Little Africa', an eco-friendly resort in a bid to provide employment to youth of the African-origin Sidi community settled in the Saurashtra region. The theme-based resort to be developed on 25 acres of land would be promoted by global giant IBM. The tribal development department of the state government has entered into a tie-up with IBM India for the Rs 10 crore project (excluding land).
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