Michael Farr, the group general manager for brand and communications at Sun International, said yesterday that Sun City had remained popular since its opening but they felt it needed a complete overhaul and took the decision to invest more than R1bn to achieve that.
“We’ve put this investment into making the resort even more attractive to families, gamblers, convention visitors and a host of new, niche-tourists, such as adrenalin-seekers, eco-tourists and millennials,” he said.
Farr added that Sun International was confident that with this massive refurbishment and upgrade, it would not only retain its status as South Africa’s favourite leisure destination but would also recapture its place as the premier convention venue in the country.
“Sun City remains the jewel in Sun International’s crown, setting the benchmark for leisure and business travel. Creating lasting memories for our guests is a core part of Sun International’s DNA and this is especially true of Sun City,” he said.
The upgrade included building a new entertainment centre, new indoor events area and outdoor space, significant changes to the hotels, restaurants and bars at the resort, a new VIP gaming experience, additions to the watersports activities and a new adventure hub for adrenalin seekers.
The new Entertainment Centre has replaced the original centre built at a cost of R30million and inaugurated by Frank Sinatra in July 1981 and will boast a suite of new family experiences plus a South African Hall of Fame honouring outstanding sports people and performing artists.
The new flexible Sun Park indoor events area and outdoor space is capable of hosting a range of lifestyle events, music festivals and corporate launches. The former Sun City Hotel has been transformed into a 24-hour Las Vegas-styled Soho Hotel, which features night clubs, burlesque clubs and restaurants.
The new 190-seat Legends restaurant now boasts a stage for live entertainment.
The Santorini restaurant at The Cascades has been replaced by the Luma Bar and the new Bocado Mediterranean restaurant.
The Cascades Hotel, which was built in 1984 at a cost of R50 million, now has a lush 5 5000 m² botanical garden and waterscape covering 7740 m², including three swimming pools, 12 waterfalls and cataracts and 1050m of low weirs.
The new VIP gaming experience is located at The Palace Villa and Salon, which has an upgraded breakfast buffet, while the Grill Room has also been upgraded.
Adrenalin Extreme, is the new adventure hub, which comprises of a range of outdoor activities including Drift Trikes, Hovercrafts, the Accelerator and the Grizzly 4x4 Quad Challenge. Two new rides have been added to the Valley of the Waves water park.
Further watersports action is available at The Watersports and Recreation Hub, which now also offers the new Kazooma Raceway and Rock Venture Golf with Grand-Prix-styled racing go-karts and an adventure golf course.
Kamp Kwena, which is for the resorts smaller and younger visitors, has also been refurbished.