The Samoa Land Corporation is going ahead with their plans to lease out the Malifa Lodge despite Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi’s recommendation to reconsider their decision.
“The Corporation is still going ahead and as of today, we have a number of bidders who have expressed their interest and we hope that the selected one will generate more income for the Corporation,” said an official who refused to be named.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s comments followed the decision by the S.L.C. to put the building up for lease in May.
“But this is just a recommendation (fautuaga) for them to look into their decision before further action,” Tuilaepa said.
However, in the S.L.C annual report of 2014/2015 it was noted that the contribution of the newly-established Lodge with its initial collection totalled $161,310 for the period.
But during an interview with the General Manager of S.L.C., Ulugia Kavesi Petelo, he refused to confirm or deny that returns from the Lodge had dropped since it was first opened.
“All I can say is that this is the nature of businesses like hotels, there are high and low seasons.” Ulugia said.
“So the Samoa Land Corporation is looking at other ways to generate more returns from the Lodge.
“That is why we have advertised the Lodge, so we are giving a chance to the private sector or interested parties to express interest in developing or investing in the lease of the 1/2acre of land and the existing two-storey building.”
Just three years ago, at the official opening of the Lodge, Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, congratulated the Corporation’s management for their perseverance.
Tuilaepa said such establishments were vital for the development of Samoa.
“We hope that this new project will be able to grow and prosper in the future,” Tuilaepa said.
He said these developments not only earned the country much needed revenue, they also provided employment opportunities for members of the community.
However the Malifa Lodge, like the empty S.L.C building at Tuanaimato which cost 4.4 million tala, is now seeking tenants.