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Outrigger Hotels & Resorts Announces Newest Pacific Property in Fiji

Honolulu, Hawaii USA, July, 1997 -- Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, Hawaii's largest hotel company, has signed an agreement with Coral Coast (Fiji), Ltd., to manage a new resort slated for development on the site of the current Reef Resort hotel in Fiji. Located oceanfront along the Coral Coast on the island of Viti Levu, the new 255-room Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort is scheduled to open in 1999.

The agreement was formally signed on July 3, 1997, in the offices of The Honorable David S. Pickering, Fiji's minister of tourism and civil aviation. It also calls for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts to provide technical assistance and support under a Technical Services Agreement during the planning and construction phases of the project.

According to Perry Sorenson, chief operating officer for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, "The Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort will be a first class resort offering visitors quality accommodations, beautifully landscaped grounds and a wide variety of activities for guests to enjoy. The tropical beauty of Fiji and the wonderful Fijian people who take pride in the tradition of friendly hospitality will definitely enhance the resort's ambiance."

Geoffrey Shaw, managing director of the current Reef Resort and Coral Coast (Fiji), Ltd., said part of the decision to select Outrigger as the management company for the Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort was based on the company's proven expertise in conducting business in island locations and Outrigger's comprehensive sales and marketing network.

Said Shaw, "Outrigger is a Hawaii-based company that has been in operation for fifty years. They have one of the largest and most effective worldwide sales networks of any independent hotel chain. Outrigger also enjoys close relationships with numerous customers from Fiji's major markets, including the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and Japan. Their management of the Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort and involvement in Fiji's tourism industry will be a plus for all concerned."

Shaw is also pleased with the support the project has received from various Fiji government agencies. "One of the critical elements for moving forward with the project was to relocate a portion of Fiji's main coastal highway and the government has been extremely supportive," Shaw said.

Minister Pickering commented that the realignment and subsequent upgrading of Queens Road is a timely project that not only will be the catalyst for an infusion of F$40 million into Fiji's tourism sector, it will also enhance the island's roadways for all of Fiji's traveling public.

"The opening of the Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort in 1999 will see the establishment of a 255-room resort with a recognized international brand image," Minister Pickering said. "More importantly, the resort will create a substantial number of jobs for our local economy during the construction phase of the hotel, and long-term employment once it opens. The new Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort has the potential of attracting an additional 20,000 visitors per year to our island nation, all of them bringing thousands of visitor dollars to spend within our local community."

Bill Henderson, Outrigger's vice president of business development stated, "We are excited about this opportunity to add Fiji to Outrigger's growing family of Pacific Island destinations. Fiji continues to experience steady growth in visitor arrivals from many of Outrigger's core markets. We are particularly impressed with the strong support for development of new tourism infrastructure by the Fiji government, as well as their aggressive promotion of Fiji as a unique Pacific island tourism destination."

Adrian Sofield & Associates, Ltd., an architectural firm based in Fiji, has completed the design concept for the oceanfront project that will include five low-rise buildings totaling 208 rooms, plus 47 traditional bures (individual bungalows) scattered throughout the property.

The Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort will be extensively planted and landscaped, with covered walkways between the main sections of the resort. Thatching, along with Fijian artwork and decor will be used extensively throughout the property to enhance the Outrigger Reef Fiji Resort's "sense of place."

Hotel amenities will include several restaurants and lounges offering local culinary specialties and international cuisine, meeting space for up to 150 people, a night club, fitness center, tennis courts, three pools and a spa. Guests will also enjoy a variety of beach activities, horseback riding and golf on the resort's 9-hole golf course. All guest rooms will feature a private bath/shower, lanai, telephone, color television, alarm clock/radio, refrigerator, in-room safe, and more.

Fiji has been a longtime holiday destination for Australians and New Zealanders. Within the past few years, it has become increasingly popular with travelers from Europe, the United States and Japan. Air service to Fiji is frequent and convenient with flights from the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Asia and other South Pacific Islands. Some of the international carriers landing at Nadi International Airport on the main island of Viti Levu include Air New Zealand, Korean Airlines, Japan Airlines, Air Caledonia International, Air Nauru, Air Marshall, Solomon Airlines and Qantas.

Outrigger Hotels & Resorts is Hawaii’s largest hotel company and the 28th largest in the U.S., offering 30 hotels and resort condominiums throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific. This year marks the company's 50th anniversary of doing business in the Islands. Outrigger's affiliate, Outrigger Lodging Services, manages nearly two dozen hotels and resorts throughout the U.S. mainland. For reservations or information, call Outrigger Hotels & Resorts at 1-800-OUTRIGGER (1-800-688-7444) within the U.S. or Canada. Outrigger's toll-free number is also available from 130 countries via AT&T's new Direct 800© Service. Elsewhere call 303-369-7777. Internet users can access information on Outrigger via the World Wide Web at www.outrigger.com. Outrigger's e-mail address is reservations@outrigger.com.

Fiji Fact Sheet

Geography: The archipelago of Fiji lies 1,100 miles north of New Zealand, in the southwest Pacific Ocean. It is comprised of about 330 islands — with a few more at low tide — encompassing a 200,000-square-mile area. The islands range from small coral atolls to larger volcanic islands. About 100 of the islands are permanently inhabited. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the two large main islands in the group. Viti Levu’s main cities of Suva and Lautoka are modern and developed, but most of the remainder of Fiji is rural plantation, small farms and small villages.

Population: 771,104 (1993) – Fijians make up 50 percent of the population, Indians number about 45 percent, and Polynesians, Micronesians, Chinese and Europeans combine for the remaining 5 percent. The Fijian are Melanesian, but they are closer to the Polynesian groups of Tonga and Samoa.

History: There is evidence that Fiji was first settled about 3,500 years ago. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman was the first European to discover the island group in 1643. Captain James Cook conducted further explorations of Fiji in 1774. However, it was Captain William Bligh who is credited with making the major discovery of the islands in 1789 after sailing through the group following the mutiny on the Bounty.

Christianity was established in Fiji by missionaries in 1854. The islands were ceded to Great Britain in 1874. Sugar plantations began to flourish in the islands, requiring additional workers, so Indian indentured laborers were brought to the islands between 1879 and 1916 to work the fields.

Fiji gained independence from Great Britain in 1970 and was declared a republic in 1987.

Climate: A warm tropical climate can be expected most of the year. The summer wet season extends from December to March with rainfall on the eastern side of the island group measuring about 115 inches, almost twice that of the western side.

Language: Although English is the official language in Fiji, Fijian and Hindustani are widely used.

Religion: Primary religions are Christian, Hinduism and Islam.

Air Transportation: Airport — Nadi International Airport and Nausori Airport in Suva City, both on the island of Viti Levu, provide service to international and local travelers.

International — The islands can be accessed by the local carrier Air Pacific Limited or any of the international airlines serving Fiji, including Air New Zealand, Japan Airlines, Korea Airlines, Qantas, Air Caledonie International, Air Nauru, Air Marshall and Solomon Airlines.

Domestic — Air Fiji and Sunflower Airlines provide regular interisland service as well as special flights to small destinations and charter services. Turtle Airways offers seaplanes from Nadi Bay to outer island resorts available for charter.

Departure Tax — F$20.00

Ground Transportation: Rental car agencies have offices at Nadi Airport, Suva and Lautoka. Overseas driver’s licenses and international driving permits are recognized in Fiji for a maximum of six months. The major islands are well served by an extensive bus service. There are also deluxe motor coaches and taxis.

Entry Requirements: All visitors must have a current passport valid for at least 3 months beyond their intended stay in Fiji. Pre-arrival visas are required for nationals of only a few countries. Visa fee for single entry, F$55; for multiple entry, F$110.

Health Requirements: No vaccinations necessary, unless arriving from an infected area. The islands are free of serious diseases, and pests of plants and animals.

Water: The water is safe to drink in all cities, resorts and urban areas.

Finances & Banking: Currency — The Fijian dollar is used throughout the islands in denominations of $50, $20, $10, $5, $2 and $1 notes. Fijian coins have values of $1, 50¢, 20¢, 10¢, 5¢, 2¢ and 1¢.

Banks and Exchanges — Financial institutions around the islands are the Australian and New Zealand Banking Group, Westpac Banking Corporation, Bank of Baroda, the National Bank of Fiji, Bank of Hawaii and Habib Bank. Banking hours are 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday – Thursday, with a late 4 p.m. closing on Friday.

Electricity: Voltage is 240DC/50 cycles AC. Most hotels have 110-volt AC converters for electric shavers.

Medical & Dental Services: The islands are free from most tropical diseases, including malaria.

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Outrigger Hotels & Resorts is Hawaii’s largest hotel company and the 28th largest in the U.S., offering 29 hotels and resort condominiums throughout the Hawaiian Islands and the Pacific, with projects under development in Guam, Palau, Tahiti, Fiji and the Cook Islands. This year marks the company's 50th anniversary of doing business in the Islands. Outrigger's affiliate, Outrigger Lodging Services, manages nearly two dozen hotels and resorts throughout the U.S. mainland.

CONTACT:

Sandi Yara, Public Relations Manager - Phone: 808-921-6803

Nancy Daniels, Public Relations Administrator - Phone: 808-921-6839, email: nancy.daniels@outrigger.com


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