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Outrigger to operate West Sands resort

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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MAI KHAO: Lifestyle-property developer and management company Outrigger Enterprises Group announced on Thursday that it will manage West Sands Resort, Phuket, a mixed-use luxury resort and residential development currently under construction by Central & City Developments at Mai Khao Beach.

West Sands is seen by Outrigger Enterprises as a showcase resort as the company moves to establish a strong presence in the region. The partnership marks the first major mixed-use luxury resort and residential development in the Asia-Pacific region for Outrigger Enterprises Group.

Outrigger Enterprises is a 60-year-old, family-run, resort-management specialist, which operates a multi-branded line of hotels, condominiums and vacation-resort properties, including Outrigger Condominium Collection; Outrigger Resort Club by Fairfield; and Embassy Suites – Waikiki Beach Walk.

West Sands Resort is to be developed in two phases and will comprise a luxury 400-room, full-service hotel along with 98 villas and 336 condominiums, as well as standalone restaurants and the island’s first water park.

Darren Edmonstone, Vice-President of Acquisition and Development for Outrigger Enterprises, told the Gazette that the project is the first of several resort developments planned for the region. A regional support office at Plaza del Mare in Cherng Talay will be fully operational by mid-March.

“We see Asia as the real growth area for Outrigger. I think a lot of people are looking for a unique leisure and lifestyle solution, which we have the experience and know-how to offer. As a resort development and management specialist with 60 years’ experience in the industry, the Outrigger brand is suited to this region and we are able to offer something different,” said Mr Edmonstone.

“The West Sands project is currently our largest development in the region and it is a prime example of all the disciplines Outrigger brings to this kind of resort. It will be a great showcase for future Outrigger developments,” he said.

Mr Edmonstone added that Outrigger is currently in contract negotiations for another development in the south of the island. Other plans in the region include a project on Koh Samui, two projects in Bali, plus a 500-room resort on Hainan Island, China.

West Sands will manage the sub-letting and sales of the condominiums and villas, with a quota available to foreigners as freehold.

“We have a great deal of residential management experience from similar projects in Hawaii. As Outrigger owns and manages similar properties around the world, we are sympathetic to the needs of our villa and condominium owners,” said Mr Edmonstone.

Mr Edmonstone also expressed confidence in Outrigger’s expansion into the Asia-Pacific lifestyle and leisure industry with a strong background in resort management and specially developed IT software to oversee operations.

“This is an exciting opportunity for Outrigger,” said David Carey, president and CEO of Outrigger Enterprises Group. “We’ve had our sights set on Thailand – Phuket in particular – for some time now.

“West Sands is Outrigger’s first venture into Thailand, but it certainly won’t be our only venture. We’re looking forward to gaining a significant presence in Asia over the next few years.” added Mr Carey.

West Sands is the first project in a series of lifestyle resorts planned for development by Central & City Developments Limited, whose principals include Sir Terry Leahy, a former European Business Leader of the Year, and Paul Mercer, president of Central & City Developments.

“West Sands offers a superb environment, unmatched anywhere else in Phuket in terms of property and environment,” said Sir Terry Leahy.

“We’re pleased to have Outrigger as the manager of the hotel at West Sands and look forward to a successful project backed by Outrigger’s exemplary reputation and expertise, global strategy, cutting-edge technology and proven customer service,” he added.

 

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Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Covid-19 mask violators in Phuket forced to exercise

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: Pushups instead of a 6,000 baht fine at a Phuket checkpoint yesterday. (via video screenshot)

For those who have more pounds on their body than pounds in their pocket, exercise punishment seen in Phuket yesterday for mask violators may or may not be welcome. Officials have walked back the strict 6,000 baht punishment for the first warning against someone not wearing a mask and were spotted forcing those who have gone out without a mask to do exercise on the street.

The people forced to exercise were at a Covid-19 checkpoint in the Rawai subdistrict, where the Chalong Police along with local medical workers were checking people yesterday. The checkpoint was set up in an effort to push one hundred per cent mask compliance to stop the spread of Covid-19 on Phuket.

Not only were they checking everyone who passed by to make sure they had their masks, but also to correct those who were wearing their masks improperly. We’ve all seen the people who seem to think that a mask on their chin or underneath their nose is somehow just as effective as a properly worn mask, or at least that they can get away with “wearing a mask” while limiting their personal inconvenience.

Officials were quick to point out that the overwhelming majority of people passing through the checkpoint, both foreigners and Thai, did have their masks with them and were wearing them properly. But they did catch more than 10 people not wearing their face mask or not using them correctly.

Authorities decided to let them off with a first soft warning by moving bodies instead of moving baht. Police made violators do exercise right there on the street in hopes of shaming them into making better decisions next time. All violators did have their names and details taken down with a promise that if they were caught again proper traditional fines would be handed down.

No word yet on any plans to make this punishment into a Tik-Tok Channel.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

 

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Tourism

Thai public health and tourism ministers on Phuket to push the July 1 Sandbox reopening

Tim Newton

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Bangkok has sent a couple of ministerial heavyweights to Phuket today to keep pushing the July 1 ‘Sandbox’ bandwagon, insisting that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated tourists from July 1.

The Deputy PM and Public Health Minister Anutin Charnvirakul ,along with the Sports and Tourism Minister Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, are doing the island PR tour today delivering a message from the PM Prayut Chan-o-cha who is confirming that Phuket will open to fully vaccinated international tourists from the start of July.

Phuket has continued to rack up between 10-20 new Covid infections each day over the past week and still has hundreds of people listed as ‘active cases’. As of today 22% of the island has been vaccinated.

The original Phuket Sandbox model was intended to be quarantine-free. That issue was not made clear during today’s PR trip from the 2 ministers. The full details of how Phuket will open to international tourists, how those tourists might get to Phuket, or where they will visit on an island with its tourist infrastructure shutdown, have not been provided at this stage. It has also not been discussed how long the international tourists will have to remain on Phuket before travelling to other parts of the country.

The Phuket Governor welcomed the prime ministerial delegation to Provincial Hall at lunchtime saying that Phuket would progress with its plans to launch the Phuket Sandbox from July 1.

β€œAll stakeholders who are frontline warriors working to solve the problem of the Covid epidemic situation have earned the goodwill and concern from Prayut Chan-o-cha, who also believes that Phuket is ready to prepare for the opening of the Phuket Tourism Sandbox on July 1 for sure.”

Phuket Province generated several hundreds of billions of baht of income for the country per year and Thailand relies heavily on tourism income. Indeed, second to Bangkok, Phuket was the government’s golden goose delivering decades of high tourism receipt returns.

Speaking to The Phuket News, Anutin said…

“The government is ready to act as soon as possible. This has been clearly proved, such as by the large number of vaccine doses that Phuket has been allocated to vaccinate the people in the area to cover all groups and be as safe as possible as the β€˜Phuket Model’.

β€œWhen the economy is good, everyone gets better, so use patience to believe that good things will follow”.

Another 100,000 Sinovac vaccines arrived on the island to be formerly handed over today by Minister Anutin. An additional 100,000 doses will arrive on Tuesday.

AstraZeneca vaccines are also due to arrive from June, daily reserved for people over 60 years old or people who have other health conditions which require the AZ vaccine instead of the Chinese manufactured Sinovac.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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Phuket

Phuket may ditch light rail and build smart bus system instead

Neill Fronde

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PHOTO: A Smart bus plan may replace Phuket light rail plans. (via MRTA)

A proposal to drop the light rail planned for Phuket and replace it with a smart bus system is under an in-depth review as ordered by Phuket Transport Minister. Advocates for the smart bus – automated driverless buses on city streets – say that the project would bring mass transportation to Phuket Island for 15.2 billion baht cheaper than a light rail would.

The analysis was ordered Thursday in a phone meeting to check progress on regional transport projects. The Mass Rapid Transit Authority of Thailand has suggested changing the plan in Phuket from light rail to a smart bus system. The MRTA had been dead set on the light rail system but have now launched preliminary research on a driverless bus system.

HERE’S a previous story with more details about how the bus system would work, instead of a light rail.

But critics say the planned light rail system was almost unworkable with its routing not going through the main population centres and its complete avoidance of the tourist areas, was doomed from the start. The 5 years it was expected for construction would have caused major traffic snarls on the main island arteries and then reduced traffic flow on those arteries for the life of the light rail project.

Initial investigations show that an automated rapid transit bus system would shave about 9 months off the construction time and 15.289 billion baht from the budget. Cost-saving measures like precast concrete and launching gantries will further reduce construction expenses.

As a result, the bus system could be run with lower passenger fares than a light rail train would. The project was considering 3 bus fares… local in Phuket Town, local outside of Phuket Town, and transport between towns around the island.

The MRTA and the Office of Transport and Traffic Policy and Planning have coordinated with the Expressway Authority in Thailand to consider the smart bus plan and its effect on traffic. Unfortunately, the group is worried that building the smart bus system plan to be ready by 2026 while working on the Patong tunnel project scheduled to open in 2028 would create long-term detrimental traffic jams. They’re considering a postponement to a 2030 launch (the Patong tunnel project has been in ‘planning’ mode for 20 years and will never happen).

The Transportation Minister has requested proposals for 2 different timelines to be delivered within the next 2 weeks, and plans to have the MRTA and EXAT come to Phuket for public hearings after Covid-19.

SOURCE: The Phuket News

 

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