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Country Club continues on the mend

The Desert Jewel Casino has been upgraded and new slot machines added. Renovations cost about N$20 million over three years. (Photograph by Clemencia Jacobs)The Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino is financially sound and is in a position to compete with other establishments in the same market said board chairman, Sven Thieme this week.
The Country Club reported a 4.8% growth in profits for the 2011 financial year to N$97.6 million up from N$93.1 million. Operating income increased to N$28.6 million from N$26.1 million while earnings before income tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) increased by 11.9% from N$17.6 million to N$19.7 million despite operational expenses rising from N$39.0 million to N$41.2 million. Josephine Nakatana receives her 15-year achievement award from Clara Bohitile, a member of the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino’s board while Tony Boucher, general manager of the Country Club, looks on. (Photograph by Clemencia Jacobs)
Thieme said the company achieved these good results despite the global financial crisis; a tough time for the tourism industry during which especially European visitors spend less on travelling.
“On the outlook for the next two years, we expect the global crisis to continue having an impact on the tourism industry in Namibia. A number of other factors, such as alternative low-cost destinations and the cost of flying to Namibia, might also put a damper on the expected results.
“However, we believe that our ongoing efforts to improve service delivery and product will bring positive returns in the near future. Our recent upgrades, the hotel’s tranquil surroundings, the entertainment factor of the casino, and the beautiful golf course are just some of the strong attributes which make us unique in the four-star market,” he said.
On his part, Tony Boucher, general manager of the Windhoek Country Club, said that in the new financial period, the company will continue to establish contacts in new markets in line with its business diversification strategy, and will increase activities in these areas in order to compensate for the expected reduction in business from traditional source markets.
“Economic conditions in southern Africa are expected to remain under pressure, however, and whilst we cannot anticipate precisely the trends to follow, we remain cautiously optimistic. Through our business model, the company will be shielded from negative impacts to the highest extent possible. The challenges facing us include the entrance of international hotel groups in Namibia,” Boucher said.
Over the past three years, an estimated N$20 million has been spent on the renovation and upgrading of the hotel’s casino, rooms and entrance hall. The lazy river and pool area are still undergoing refurbishments, while landscaping is also under way.
Thieme stressed that the renovations are being paid for out of the company’s own pockets.
“The Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino is financially sound, and can therefore fund its future capital and operational needs. Enhanced service, products and experience for our guests will remain a top priority for us. This is vital if we are to stay competitive in the Namibian market,” he said.
A new three-year (2011 – 2014) strategic plan was also established for the hotel this year. The strategic plan dictates that the Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino makes it its mission to excel at satisfying its guests through quality in hospitality and gambling operations, thereby optimising profitability.
The Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino’s board and management has further committed to achieve a gross operating profit of N$50 million by 2014.
The Windhoek Country Club Resort and Casino was selected as Namibia’s Leading Hotel at the World Travel Awards for 2011. It received the same award in 2010.
The hotel has 152 rooms; which all have mini-bars, individual heating and cooling controls and 24 hour room service. It also has parking space for 450 cars, an 18-hole golf course, conference facilities as well as a casino and slot machines.

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