Strong demand for hotels around Formula One circuit

Preparations for Singapore’s Formula One Grand Prix this weekend have kicked into top gear.

And hotels around the circuit area said interest remains high despite it being the race’s fifth year.

Hotels that command prime views are also making sure their guests have everything to make their experience enjoyable.

A check with several hotels around the circuit area revealed occupancy is around 95 per cent at the moment while a full house is expected over the weekend.

One hotel, Swissotel the Stamford, added that besides strong demand from foreigners, more Singaporeans are also booking circuit-view rooms as well.

Raymond Tait, an executive assistant manager of sales and marketing at Swissotel The Stamford, said: “As a trackside business we really enjoy excellent business throughout the weekend. It (The response) has been stronger. I think with the fifth year, it is definitely a nice pace. The local fan base in Singapore has expanded. They have become F1 aficionados.”

Marina Mandarin Hotel also said their guests are predominantly locals and make about 25 per cent of their guests over the weekend.

But this is a different case for the Conrad Centennial who said they will not be having any local guests over the weekend.

This is due to a good number of rooms being taken up by Formula One race teams.

But retailers at Marina Square are a little less enthusiastic about race weekend.

Road closures have typically caused business to dip.

“We have more walk-in customers, but they don’t really spend a lot,” said Kyaw Min Swe, a visual merchandiser at Quiksilver.

To counter a potential drop in business, Lyn Lee, the owner of Loola’s by Awfully Chocolate at the Esplanade mall has a few tricks up her sleeves.

This is the first time the restaurant will be experiencing the Formula One period.

Ms Lee said: “We’re hoping to cater to people who might want to grab something quickly, but they don’t want fast food. So we’ve come up with a special menu for the grand prix where it’s our a-la minute cooking but we’re going to get ready for little take away packages. And we’re going to do ice-teas and shandys because it’s very hot out there.”

Source : Channel NewsAsia – 18 Sep 2012

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