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Sun Marina Hotel changes owner, no layoffs

Date Posted: 2002-09-21

As the hotel and resort industry enters further into previously uncharted waters, the owner of Sun Marina Resort Hotel in Onna Village decided to bail out of the business and sell the property to another company. Although the change of ownership does not affect the hotel’s operations, nor does it lead to loss of jobs, it signifies the uncertainties that the tourism industry is facing. The hotel changed hands officially on Aug. 28 when Osaka-based Japan Golf Promotion Corp. President Susumu Onishi handed the keys to the hotel to President Kazuo Iwata of Suruga Corp. of Kanagawa Prefecture. The new owner intends to operate the hotel under the same contract with JAL Group as it is now.

The key reason for the decision to sell the property was the continuing decline in profits and difficulty to finance necessary renovations, Onishi said in a recent interview. “We opened this 200-room hotel in 1987, and it proved to be very popular from the beginning. By and large we have been fully booked, but the Sep. 11 terrorist attacks clearly have affected the business. Another blow to our profits was the 2000 Okinawa Summit when all hotels on Onna Village’s west coast resort area were closed for tourists for almost a month,” he said. Onishi also said that he was certain that now was the right time to sell the property. “I decided that it is better to sell the hotel when it still is profitable. The property needs some major renovations, and the cost would be too much for me. So it’s time to get out of this business,” Onishi concluded. According to the new owner, all 250 employees of the hotel will keep their jobs, and all hotel operations will continue as usual.

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