Heydays for the famous Sunset Hotel in Kisumu are over, even as the government contemplates on converting the facility into a conference centre, or a regional Utalii College.
The hotel which has been reeling in debt and financial difficulties has been on the verge of privatisation, the norm to any public facility that is looted dry by cartels.
In a u-turn, Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala yesterday informed investor who were eyeing the hotel that it was no longer on sale, as earlier indicated.
”We are thinking of coming up with a big convention centre with a capacity for 10,000 delegates per session,” said Balala.
The two options seem to be out of the blues without much viability. The current Utalii College at Mega Plaza is struggling to survive due to low number of students enrolled there. Openning another one would mean waste of resources since to would mean less economic sense.
The other option of converting it into a conference centre like the Kenya International Convention Centre (KICC) still does not make an economic sense, owing to the low numbers of people who would use such facilities in Kisumu.
The Kisumu County Assembly approved proposals allowing the county government to buy shares in the hotel worth Ksh40 million.
The hotel, whose current market value is Ksh300 million, owes the county government Ksh47 million in rates.