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Pattaya Daily News

08 August 2006 :: 19:08:04 pm 21076

Invasion of thailand property grabbers!

It was rather like the opening of a one of those old Black and White Mickey Spillane Movies.
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I was sprawling, feet up on my desk, in a darkened office, to save on the electricity bill. An antiquated fan, was complaining that it couldn’t do much about the heat, as small rivulets of sweat ran down my forehead. It was HOT man. If this was ‘The Land of Smile’, I wasn’t…….To make matters worse I had just made the decision to stop killing myself with Tobacco. Then just as my hand, that seemed to have developed a mind of it’s own, pulled open the draw, where I had bravely thrown my last pack if cigarettes, the phone rang!

“They are transferring vast sums of cash to Pattaya Banks”said a conspiratorial voice.

“ Who is, and who the Hell are you?” I mumbled sleepily.

“ Never mind who am. Investors from Singapore. You check it out, and you will see”He hung-up.

Now, us journalists are well used to cranky callers. But, it is not a good idea to ignore them. You may actually be onto something. It could be the story of a life time…….

So, kicking shut the cigarette draw, I sat-up and made for the door. It was time to do a bit of digging.

Word on the street was that Property Developers from Singapore were waving their cheque books under the noses of any owner of a 3 or 4 Star Hotel, that was either poorly, run or in Financial difficulties.

According to Mr Sawat Praepiromrat, President of the Pattaya Hotel Association, word had filtered through to money rich Singapore, that the new Suvanaphumi Airport would greatly increase tourism in Pattaya, and they wanted a piece of the action. Beachfront Hotels that were below par would be snapped-up at bargain prices, refurbished to 5 Star standards, and a nice little profit would ensue.
Members of the Hotel Association had voiced deep concern, but nothing could be done to stop these raiders from Singapore. Thailand has long made foreign investors welcome, and the results are plain to see, wherever one goes, in this wonderful country.

To many struggling Thai Hoteliers, those Singaporeans would be invited to make offers that could not, and certainly would not, be refused.

One such Hotelier told me “ I have had a very bad year, and the Bank is on my back. My place needs a lot of refurbishing now. I can’t afford to do it. If I get even a reasonable offer, I will take it. And if they make a profit, out of my Hotel in the future, good luck to them”.

Several others said much the same, but there were those who were dead against the ’Invasion of the Accommodation Grabbers’ .

“Soon there will be no Thailand left for Thai people”
“All they want is to make a profit out of us”
“They tried to buy The Sunshine Group of Hotels, but they were told to go away, in no uncertain terms”
“They approach owners through a Real Estate company here in Pattaya. So you don’t know they are from Singapore”.
“Yes, I am struggling to survive, but I ill not let those ****have my family business. I want my sons to have it when I go”
“If all the inexpensive accommodation is lost, tourists will stop coming to this part of Thailand. They come because rooms are cheap”.

Clearly, for every one who refuses to sell, there are many who will take their money and run!
Rumours of ‘Big Deals’ in the offing, are everywhere.

The Monthien Hotel in Pattaya, is said to be targeted. A figure of around 1.8 million Baht has been offered, I hear.

Then there is The Regent Marina Hotel, and a whopping hundred million, to turn it into a 5 Star Hotel.

Isawan Resort & Spa was offered 800million Baht. No news as to whether it is likely to sell though. Watch this space.

Also, allegedly, they want to buy a Condo (for a vast sum) don’t know which one yet, but apparently it is not too far from the Beach in Central Pattaya, and turn it into the most exclusive residence in the Eastern Seaboard.

And so it goes on. How much truth there is in all this I really don’t know. But for sure something very fishy is afoot!

Speculation as to where all these vast sums are actually coming from are everywhere……who knows? I don’t, and even if I did, it would be more than my life is worth to tell you, brother……

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : Property

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