Steelman to Design Vietnam Hotel
- Jan 10, 2011
January 7, 2011
By Barbra Murray, Contributing Editor
Steelman Partners L.L.P. is expanding its international presence and becoming a big player in the world of architecture in Vietnam, which continues to move up the list of the top tourist destinations in the world. The architectural firm signed a contract with Khang Thong Group, developer of Happyland Entertainment City, to design the über-upscale Happyland Hotel for the $600 million mixed-use entertainment park.
Located less than 20 miles outside of Ho Chi Minh City in Thanh Duc, Ben Luc, Long An, Happyland Entertainment City will consist of a Disneyland-style theme park and a central retail district, the master plans for which are also being spearheaded by Steelman Partners. The architectural firm’s design of the entertainment destination’s Happyland Hotel, which will occupy nearly 15 acres, will reflect the lodging facility’s status as a 5-star hotel. The property will feature 999 rooms to help accommodate the approximately 14 million visitors that the Khang Thong Group anticipates will visit Happyland Entertainment City every year.
Steelman CEO Paul Steelman asserted that Happyland will be a major financial success given pent-up demand for entertaining offerings in Vietnam as well as a tourist-friendly government.
While Vietnam’s tourism industry is still recovering from the impact of the global financial crisis, it is very much back on the upswing. According to figures released by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, the number of international visitors to the country skyrocketed 34.8 percent in 2010. In the Ho Chi Minh City area, hotels in the 3- to 5-star sectors experienced a 13.8 percent year-over-year increase in bookings, as per a third quarter report by commercial real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Co.
The Happyland project is scheduled to reach completion in 2014, at which point, according to CBRE, 2,493 five-star hotel guestrooms will have hit the Ho Chi Minh City market to accommodate growing demand.