Photo: Reuters
JOHANNESBURG – THE new concept hotel within the City Lodge Hotel Group that is to be developed in Waterfall City in Midrand will expand the group’s Courtyard Hotel portfolio to six and boost the total number of hotels in the group to 64 in six countries of East and Southern Africa.

The construction of the new 10- storey 168-room hotel, to be developed on a land and building lease agreement with JSE-listed property company Attacq and the Barrow Group, was expected to begin next month and be completed in October next year.

Attacq chief executive Melt Hamman said the hotel would be developed on the site next to Ellipse, the company’s first high-rise residential apartment development in Waterfall City. 

Ellipse Waterfall comprises 590 apartments being developed in two phases at a total cost of R1.2billion by an equal joint venture between Attacq and property development company Tricolt.

City Lodge chief executive Andrew Widegger said that with the Waterfall node growing fast, the moment seemed right to expand the group’s footprint by developing a new concept for their Courtyard Hotel brand.

“We look to capture the growing number of business and lifestyle visitors making Waterfall their home away from home,” he said.

The group already has a 149-room City Lodge Hotel within the Waterfall City mixed-use precinct in Midrand.

The hotel will complement the group’s other Courtyard Hotels, with three in Johannesburg and one each in Pretoria and Port Elizabeth.

The City Lodge Hotel Group also plans to develop a 90-room Road Lodge in Polokwane and expects to open its 154-room Town Lodge uMhlanga Ridge in July this year after the 148-room City Lodge Hotel Maputo in Mozambique in April.

The group ranks among the five largest hotel chains in South Africa and once the new hotels are operational, it will have a total of 8160 rooms.

The City Lodge Hotel Group last week reported a 6percent decline in fully diluted normalised headline earnings a share to 375.1cents for the six months to December, compared to the prior period.

Widegger said average group occupancies dropped to 58 percent from 63 percent in the prior period, with average occupancies in South Africa where the group had most of its hotels declining by three percentage points to 61percent.

He attributed this deterioration largely to depressed business and consumer confidence ahead of the upcoming national elections.

Statistics South Africa reported yesterday that total income for the tourist accommodation industry fell in nominal terms by 2.9percent year-on-year in December after a 2.7 percent year-on-year improvement in November.

It added that the income from only the accommodation component declined by 1.1percent year-on-year as the number of stay units sold dropped by 2.5percent year-on-year and the average income per stay unit sold improved by only 1.4 percent year-on-year.

Shares in City Lodge rose 2.66 percent on the JSE yesterday to close at R121.

BUSINESS REPORT