RTG ‘refashions’ Rainbow Hotel, HICC for Sadc meetings

Source: RTG ‘refashions’ Rainbow Hotel, HICC for Sadc meetings –Newsday Zimbabwe

Funding for the refashioning of the hotel and HICC is part of an initial US$10 million investment made by the company over the past five years.

HOSPITALITY firm, Rainbow Tourism Group Limited (Rainbow) is ramping up the “refashioning” of its Rainbow Towers Hotel and Harare International Conference Centre (HICC), ahead of two major Sadc events.

This comes as the Sadc Industrialisation Week and 44th Ordinary Sadc Summit scheduled for July 28 to August 2, and August 17, respectively, will both be held in Harare.

Funding for the refashioning of the hotel and HICC is part of an initial US$10 million investment made by the company over the past five years.

Since 2020, US$4,6 million has been used to refashion the hotel’s 183 guest rooms and provide two brand new high-tech Kone elevators, while government is funding the HICC upgrades.

Speaking at its annual general meeting (AGM) on Monday, RTG chief executive officer Tendai Madziwanyika told shareholders that work at the HICC began shortly after the recent concert by musicians Jah Prayzah and Winky D.

“We did something incredible that has never been done in this hotel. We took out all the chairs on the ground floor. We took out the carpet from the ground floor. Why? Because for the first time since it was built 40 years ago, we are now going to put brand new carpets and chairs in the HICC,” he said.

“You see, this is what we’ll do for now. We will do the ground floor because we have a very good event coming up, I think it’s on the 9th and 10th of July for about three or four days. After that, we will close again. Why? Because we want to do the rest of the HICC. The whole of the HICC will have brand new carpets and brand new chairs, come end of July this year.”

He said the hotel had the largest rooms in Harare at 38 square metres and was home to the country’s largest amphitheatre in HICC.

The preparations for the Sadc events come as the government has chosen the hotel to host the two events.

“Remember, this is a government property and we have been receiving money for the works that you are seeing here (HICC upgrades) and the works that you saw in those suites that we showed you. That is money that is coming from government because it is its property,” Madziwanyika told NewsDay Business at the AGM.

“However, there are other things like the lifts and so forth that are within the lease arrangement that we fund. So, we have our normal capex that is well funded and then these. As we have said, this is the first time it has ever happened since the building was constructed and so this becomes a government investment.”

The RTG boss did not disclose the amount that went into the HICC upgrade.

The Rainbow group leases the Rainbow Towers Hotel and HICC from the government which own the property.

Government owns the majority stake in Rainbow Towers through the National Social Security Authority and Tourism and Hospitality Industry ministry.

HICC can seat up to 4 500 people and can accommodate 1 000 parking bays in secure fenced premises.

“The presidential suite was completed in Q4 2023. We are currently rebuilding the remainder of the 72 rooms, which will be converted to six diplomatic suites and 48 standard rooms,” Madziwanyika said.

“By mid-July, all rooms at the Rainbow Towers Hotel would have been renewed.”

He added that by September 2024, the main kitchen and HICC service elevators would have been commissioned.