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Hotel business taking centre stage in Nakuru

15 April 2013, 13:35 Steve Wambugu

Over the years, Nakuru town has always been known for its Agricultural produce and also as a tourist destination for many people.
However, that trend and culture has slowly but surely continued to change over the years with Nakuru town now acquiring a new status of being a business destination to investors.

Two years down the line since the United Nation declared Nakuru town as the fastest growing town in East and central  Africa with a total growth of 11% in a year, the town is once again on the edge of becoming the leading county with the highest number of hotels in the country.

For the past five years, Nakuru has seen the number of hotels opened in the town double up forcing many land owners convert rental houses into business premises.

Initially, there were only a handful of hotels operating in Nakuru but that has long changed with new hotels emerging and joining the ever growing industry.     

According to one businessman Njoroge Bumasu who owns Joyvilla hotel along the Nakuru - Nairobi highway, he opted to covert his own rental houses into a hotel since the business was booming in the town.

Bumasu added that Nakuru county was a cosmopolitan town which he according to him was a major contributing factor that attracted him into the industry.

“The main reason I opted to convert my home into a care guesthouse hotel was because I realized we only had a handful of hotels which were offering this service,” said the businessman.

Bumasu observed that entertainment joints and clubs used to be located in the CBD but things have long changed and  many people are now opening guest houses at estate areas.

He further said that hotel business was more paying compared to rental houses where one has to wait till end month to collect rent.

“Hotel business is a good business because I am able to make some good cash unlike rental houses where you have to wait for a month just to earn KES 1 500 for a single room. I can make the same amount of money in a single night,” he posed.

Bumasu added that he chose to locate his hotel on the outskirts of Nakuru town because the town was so congested that many people were more comfortable conducting their businesses out side the town.

The same sentiments were echoed by the Managing Director of Golden Palace hotel Peter Karanja who said that hotel businesses was also one way of creating job opportunities compared to renting out the houses.

"Hotel business in this town is also one way of creating job opportunities to youths who are joining the job market, so it is a good thing that many people and investors are joining this industry," said Karanja.

However, Karanja said the major threat facing the industry in the town was insecurity adding that the county government should streamline security in the county in order to attract more investors.

"This is a well paying business but security has remained to be our major concern especially for us who we are located in the residential areas away from the town so it is up for the county government to put proper measures in place," he said.

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