Guam – The Korea Herald is reporting that Korea’s Lotte Hotel Group will be remodeling the old Aurora Resort in Tumon and transforming it into one of their chain hotels.
According to the article, published last Friday, Lotte’s goal is to create the “most luxurious hotel” on Guam.
The paper reports that Lotte is investing about $9 million dollars to re-model the old Aurora Resort and “Lotte Hotel said it will send its Seoul staff to Guam to upgrade the services to meet the hotel’s standards.”
Lotte is a Korean conglomerate or chaebol. They are one of 4 bidders for the lucrative duty free concession at the Guam International Airport. The other 3 are Shilla Duty Free [another Korean chaebol,], Australia’s JR Duty Free and DFS.
DFS is the current concession holder, whose contract has been extended on a month to month basis after the Guam International Airport Authority [GIAA] failed to recommend one of the bidders to the GIAA Board when DFS’s contract expired last month.
The 5-year contract, with a 5-year renewal option, is worth millions to the winner.
A contract award to one of the bidders was supposed to have been decided by the GIAA Board in December, ahead of the January 20th expiration of the DFS contract. It is not clear why there has been a delay, although there has been some controversy over the bidding process.
As PNC reported last November, 2 Board members, who must vote on the contract, expressed concern after receiving what they considered to be inappropriate gifts from one of the bidders, Lotte.
Senator Tom Ada, whose Committee over sees GIAA, has objected to the GIAA’s intent to approve the contract without seeking legislative approval.
And in December Congresswoman Madeleine Bordallo wrote to Acting Airport Board Chairman Frank Santos cautioning the airport to be fair and transparent as it decides on the new contract.