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Work starts on Aspara hotel

Work starts on Aspara hotel

GROUND was broken on a major new hotel in Siem Reap on Feb 8, the first such

undertaking in Cambodia's major tourist destination by a foreign investor since

the passage of the new investment law last August.

A $7.5 million

project of Apsara Holdings of Singapore, the Apsara Villa Khmer Hotel - when

completed in mid-1996 - will comprise 100 rooms and is being constructed in the

"Khmer village style" according to architect and project manager Garth Sheldon.

The hotel will be only one story high, with accomodations built on stilts,

according to Sheldon.

Hotel Properties Ltd, a company listed on the

Singapore Stock Exchange, is the major shareholder of the venture and is owned

by Ong Beng Seng, who has won fame in his home country by being named

"Businessman of the Year".

Construction began on a site on the main road

to the Angkor Wat Temple complex, just south of the exclusion zone and north of

the fabled Grand Hotel.

The hotel will be managed by the Concorde chain

which runs numerous tourist-related properties in Southeast Asia. Hotel

Properties Ltd. also holds the rights in Asia for the Hard Rock Cafes and Planet

Hollywood restaurants.

Sheldon says that both the Ministry of Tourism and

Minister of Culture Van Molyvann, himself an architect, were "very supportive"

of the project idea. It is expected that 350 people will be employed during peak

construction and that the hotel will employ around 200 when up and running.

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