Olympic Council of Malaysia (OCM) president Datuk Seri Mohamad Norza Zakaria has revealed Chinese hotel chain Echarm will take over the running of the Olympic Sports Hotel Kuala Lumpur.
The building, however, would still remain the property of OCM with Echarm signing a long-term lease.
“The previous operators gave up the lease after incurring losses in other projects,” said Norza.
“We called for a request for proposal (a document that solicits proposal, often made through a bidding process) before shortlisting three companies.
“After much negotiation, we decided to accept the offer from Echarm.”
He explained OCM wanted the hotel, located at Jalan Hang Jebat, to be maintained as it is a well-known landmark and it provides some income to the body.
Echarm has promised to spend RM10 million to renovate Olympic Sports Hotel which opened for business in September 1991 after two years of construction.
“I would like to make it clear all renovation being done right now is borne by the new operators. Not a single sen will come from OCM,” he said.
“We have also informed the new operators we must not lose the Olympic identity.”
Norza said the new operators are optimistic and gung-ho about the hotel’s future but have not set a date for its grand reopening.
“The hotel needed a major facelift as it was in bad shape,” said Norza.
“The people behind Echarm believe they can make the new hotel profitable.”
Meanwhile, OCM secretary general Mohd Nazifuddin Najib said Echarm has signed a 10+10-year lease.
“They have promised renovations would be completed between six and nine months and we are hopeful it would be sooner rather than later,” said Nazifuddin.
“Even though the hotel is closed now, the operators still have to pay us rent. That is part of the agreement.
“OCM is not forking out a single sen.”
On the naming rights of the hotel, Nazifuddin said it would likely to be called Echarm but OCM’s logo would feature prominently on the building.
He added the previous OCM board had agreed on the deal but sat on it for over six months.