Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sa’ilele Malielegaoi, has recommended to the Samoa Land Corporation (S.L.C) to reconsider their decision to lease out the Malifa Lodge.
“But this is just a recommendation (fautuaga) for them to look into their decision before further action,” Tuilaepa said.
Prime Minister Tuilaepa’s comments follow the decision by the S.L.C. to put the building up for lease.
Built by Diamond Head Construction near the Malifa intersection in 2014 at a cost of $2million, government had high hopes that it would provide much-needed income as well as jobs for locals.
According to its website the property includes 19 rooms, a laundry and an office.
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, are now both seeking tenants.