Cape Town - The refurbishments currently underway at the iconic Sun City in the North West province will cost R200 million than previously stated, with all upgrades and finishes included.
The overall R1 billion project aims to be completed before the end of 2017. The main upgrades, which include a micro-brewery themed gastro pub, as well as a raft of new entertainment options including arcade games, various “always on” party zones and two new exclusive “invitation only” casinos, namely The Palace Villa and The Palace Salon, hopes to be ready for the Nedbank Golf Challenge in November 2016.
Although the currently temporary closure might be a disappointment for visitors, says GM for Brand and Communications, Michael Farr, the improvements will be worth waiting for.
In February this year Traveller24 reported that the massive resort was to undergo a dramatic rejuvenation project worth R800 million before November 2016. But this upgrade is only part of the plan, says Farr.
The upgrade wouldn't only mean the complete overhaul of the entertainment offering, but also includes the introduction of a new Sun Park - a state of the art, multi-purpose venue that would be able to change from a concert arena to a conference centre or expo hall in a matter of one day, Farr told Traveller24.
"No other venue in the country lends itself to this kind of diversity and interchangeability, with such a sort turn-around time," he says.
"Sun City saw unprecedented growth in visitors from China and Hong Kong during the 2015/16 festive season as the weaker rand appeared to help attract visitors. The Palace Hotel accounted for 126 of the 133 rooms sold to Hong Kong guests and more than a quarter of the 383 rooms sold to Chinese visitors over December," Farr says. The resort hopes to attract this market even more with their new Sun Park all-inclusive conference, business and entertainment offering.
The R1 billion upgrade will also see 380 bedrooms at the Cabanas self-catering apartments at the resort refurbished, along with refreshing the public areas and the pool bar, and relocating the children’s play areas. The entrance and reception area have also been remodelled.
Various children's activities - for youngsters as well as teenagers - have also been amended as part of the upgrade.
Although the Sun City resort features as perhaps the most iconic North West province tourist attraction, the North West Department of Tourism pledged last year to changing this misconception. The North West Department of Tourism at the time said they hoped to raise more awareness about what the province has to offer.
This came shortly after SA Express announced flight to Pilanesberg from OR Tambo International Airport three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from Cape Town International Airport twice a week on Mondays and Fridays.
Return flights from the Pilanesberg to Johannesburg are also on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and to Cape Town on Mondays and Fridays.
Cape Town to Pilanesberg flights will cost R3 000 return (including all taxes and levies) and from Johannesburg R2 200 return (including all taxes and levies).What to read next on Traveller24:
- North West sets sights on becoming SA's next big destination
- SA Express to launch new North West flight routes