The owners of Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel said in a statement on Friday that they would return the licence to run the hotel in Taipa to the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO), because they could not finish the necessary work required to meet the building’s necessary fire safety regulations before the deadline – January 22 – set by the government – six months after the government announced the temporary closure of the hotel in July.
The operator, known as Macau Hotel Investment Co. Ltd, also said in the statement said they planned to re-apply for a licence to run the hotel again, after “rectifying the irregularities caused by the previous management team” of the hotel.
The statement did not elaborate on what the irregularities were. MGTO said in a statement on the same day that it had accepted the company’s request for the operating licence to be withdrawn.
The government announced on July 22 last year that it would temporarily close the hotel for six months from the next day.
The government also said at that time that it decided to close the hotel because it failed to meet fire safety standards, such as blocked exits and an inadequate number of fire extinguishers, thereby “posing a threat to public safety” and “harming the image” of Macau’s tourism industry.
The government also said that the hotel had failed to take the necessary measures to improve the situation although MGTO had issued many warnings and fined the hotel repeatedly from 2014.
The government then also said that it would consider withdrawing the licence to run the hotel if the operator failed to rectify the situation within the six-month deadline.
The government then also said that the hotel’s operator could apply to temporarily enter the hotel premises to carry out the necessary work to rectify the situation, provided that it has obtained the necessary construction permits approved by the relevant entities.
It was the first time that the government had temporarily closed down a five-star hotel in Macau.
Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel, formerly known as New Century Hotel, was a five-star hotel which opened in 1992. The property, renamed in 2014, has some 580 rooms.
The operator said in Friday’s statement that after the government announced the temporary closure in July, it applied for a permit from the Lands, Public Works and Transport Bureau (DSSOPT) to carry out the necessary work to tackle the fire safety issue.
The operator said that the hotel ‘s previous management team had caused “serious irregularities”, adding that the DSSOPT permit had still not been approved.
The operator said that even if the permit were approved now, it would be impossible for them to finish the necessary work by the January 22 deadline.
(Macau News / The Macau Post Daily)