SUMMARY – AFRICAN SUN LIMITED TO CLOSE KINGDOM HOTEL IN VICTORIA FALLS DUE TO LEASE DISAGREEMENT WITH FIRST CAPITAL BANK. ASL SEEKS A 10-YEAR LEASE TO RECOVER ITS INVESTMENT, WHILE THE PROPERTY OWNER INSISTS ON A TWO-YEAR LEASE, LEADING TO THE HOTEL’S CLOSURE FROM JANUARY 5, 2023.
African Sun Limited (ASL) has made the decision to close its Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls starting from January 5, 2023. The closure follows the failure to reach an agreement on lease terms between ASL and First Capital Bank, the property owners.
The main point of contention between the two parties was the length of the lease. First Capital Bank insisted on a two-year lease, while ASL requested a 10-year lease to adequately recover its substantial investment.
In a memo dated November 24, ASL CEO Peter Saungweme expressed gratitude for past support and business, informing trading partners of the forthcoming closure. However, Saungweme emphasized the company’s commitment to continue working with partners at their other ten hotels, including the Victoria Falls Hotel and Elephant Hills Resort and Conference Centre, both located in Victoria Falls.
ASL Chairman Emmanuel Fundira expressed disappointment at the failure to reach an agreement. He stated that a two-year lease would not be sufficient for ASL to recoup its investment of over US$6 million in the hotel. Fundira argued that a minimum operating period of 10 years would be necessary for financial viability.
Fundira also hinted at external influences impacting the negotiations, suggesting the involvement of other parties in the disagreement. Since its establishment in 1997, ASL has successfully operated the Kingdom Hotel, which boasts 294 rooms.
Finally, African Sun Limited (ASL) has stated that the Kingdom Hotel in Victoria Falls would close on January 5, 2023. This ruling resulted from a lengthy leasing dispute between ASL and the property owners, First Capital Bank. The main point of disagreement was the lease agreement’s duration, with First Capital Bank insisting on a two-year lease and ASL seeking a 10-year commitment to recover its large investment.