By George Psyllides
Buena Vista Hospitality Group said on Thursday it was interested in refurbishing Nicosia’s Ledra Palace hotel but not turning it into a casino.
The company, which is planning a massive health resort in Kalavasos, said its preliminary proposals concern a joint venture with the Church, the majority shareholder, for the refurbishment of the hotel and operating it under Buena Vista’s management.
An important condition was cooperation from the authorities in upgrading the area and promoting significant architectural and historic elements.
Responding to media reports, BVHG said none of the hundreds of projects funded by the company include the operation of a casino.
In its first meeting with Archbishop Chrysostomos, BVHG showed interest in acquiring a large estate near the Kermia hotel in Ayia Napa.
During that meeting, Chrysostomos also proposed cooperation in other projects, including the Ledra Palace.
BVHG inspected the area and collected information, which will be examined.
The Ledra Palace was, up until 1974, one of the largest and most glamorous hotels of the capital.
Following the Turkish invasion, it fell within the boundaries of the UN Buffer Zone and now serves as the headquarters for Sector 2 United Nations Roulement Regiment (URR) part of UNFICYP.
The hotel has played host to many high-level meetings between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot leaders, as well as hundreds of structured conflict resolution workshops between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot peace builders.