KARON BEACH: Innkeepers on this popular stretch of beach are busily preparing new guest rooms as the high tourist season approaches. Karon’s newest hotel will debut next month with the planned grand opening of the Phuket Sukpracha Resort. Located on Patak Road near the Karon Circle, the 200 million baht project includes 196 guest rooms, a shopping arcade, a Thai restaurant and a row of open-air beer bars. Managing Director Warakorn Sukpracha told the Gazette today that 55 rooms in the low-rise building will be ready for occupancy in October and another 141 will be brought on line in November. The outdoor restaurant and bar area opened to the public earlier this year. Kata Group Managing Director Pamuke Achariyachai reported work is nearing 80 percent completion on a 250 million baht expansion of the 100-room Karon Inn. The property, to be renamed the Phuket Orchid Resort next month, will offer 101 newly-built rooms on November 1 and another 48 on December 1. The expansion project, which began early last year, also includes conversion of the former Karon Shopping Mall into a restaurant. Last year, according to statistics provided by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, occupancy rates at Karon resorts and hotels averaged 58.82 percent – the highest among the five Phuket “zones” surveyed by the TAT.
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