BY OSA AMADI
Governor Ambode at the commissioning of the Chalet on Thursday, July 6, witnessed by an array of guests including party leaders, members of the House of Assembly, members of the Diplomatic Corp and other stakeholders in the hospitality industry, said his administration thought it wise to expand the old Government VIP Chalet built by the Alhaji Lateef Jakande administration, in line with its objective to strategically reposition the town to take maximum advantage of the economic benefits from the huge investment activities in and around Lekki Free Trade Zone.
He said beyond the Jubilee Chalet, his administration was taking deliberate actions to promote tourism, leisure and recreation, including the construction and upgrading of road projects in Epe, adding that ongoing Epe Marina project will soon wear a new look.
“As we are changing the face of Epe, we are doing the same thing in Badagry in a twin-pronged approach to promote tourism in the state. The Government VIP Chalets in Badagry is currently being rehabilitated and will be commissioned early next year. Work is also going on at the Badagry Marina to prepare it for the investors and tourists that the Badagry Deep Sea port will attract,” the Governor said.
Ambode also said that aside enhancing the tourism potential of the Epe axis, the facility would provide employment opportunities for different categories of individuals and companies, boost economic activities in the community, and generate additional revenue into the state coffers.
“The Jubilee Chalet and Epe town are ready for you. This facility is not only for tourists but also for corporate institutions looking for a serene location for their retreats and all Nigerians looking for vacation spots within the country. l assure you all that this facility will deliver services that will surpass your expectations and someday be ranked amongst the best hospitality properties in Africa,” he said.
To ensure the smooth running and maintenance of the facility, the Governor said the facility would be managed by MP Hotels, an internationally acclaimed firm in the hospitality industry, which will be charged to deliver world-class services and create wealth for the state and all stakeholders.
Bruce Prins, Managing Director of MP Hotels, said the concept behind the establishment of the Chalets was far-reaching and the benefits could not be overemphasized.
“I think it is a very good thing that the government is investing first of all in hospitality industry and infrastructure development for its people because building is something that creates job opportunities and it contributes to the economy, especially to Epe as a town because contrary to popular belief, Epe is larger than people think it is but yet it has the rural distinctiveness that makes it very nice for relaxing,” Prins said. For Prins, the beautiful view of the lagoon also adds to the aesthetics of the facility and gives guests the opportunity to savour the aquatic splendor that abounds in Epe.
“As a result, the chalet can attract both leisure by individual people who wants to get away from the busy life in the city or it can also attract companies who want to do small retreat. We basically categorize this chalet as a mid-level or mid-scale hotel and with that it is more affordable for majority of companies and individuals. It has elements of luxury but it’s affordable,” he said.
Prins is also confident that the mere fact that the facility is located close to the waterfront with the amazing view would be a major selling point and a point for consideration by guests who would crave for more than just a roof over their heads.
In his words: “The facility is very serene and it is unlike living on the island which is very noisy and very hectic. Here, it is relatively calm and once the waterfront project ongoing is completed, the waterfront visitors will also like to come here.
“Epe is outside of Lagos and it’s a quiet place. So, what we are selling is the experience that people will have with us when they visit us at Jubilee Chalet, Epe. It’s a serene environment with natural features.”
Aside the facilities at the Chalet, there is also a water fountain, good road network and expansive packing areas within the premises of the chalets, while effective security arrangement has also been made to guarantee safety of guests.
The Jubilee Chalet, Epe, according to the State Government is just one out of several models to be built across the state.
With the Jubilee Chalet now open for business, visitors and tourists alike have a viable alternative for a one-stop relaxation center that would provide a luxury treat, home away from home and a unique experience in a natural habitat.