Saturday, May 30, 2009

Uphill Crag Hotel makeover

THE century-old Crag Hotel at Penang Hill will be given a new lease of life soon as the state government has planned to renovate the dilapidated building.

Also in the plan for repair and upgrading is the Canopy Walk - a hanging bridge on the hill.

An open tender for works to be carried out at the two sites will be called out soon.

1 19th century hotel up Penang Hill is marked for restoration

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the tender for the hotel under the purview of the state government will close on Sept 1, while the tender for the walkway under the jurisdiction of the state Forestry Department will close on July 1.

He said the original hanging bridge was 290m long, and had been opened to the public since 2002 but due to felled trees in September last year, about 100m of the bridge was damaged.

“The attraction was closed to public for safety purposes.”

Treetop view: The Canopy walk at Penang Hill is currently closed after it was damaged by felled trees during a storm in September last year.

Lim said they have suggested constructing a 200m fork shaped bridge, which would be first of its kind in the country as part of the repair work.

“The bridge will have a triangle shape where visitors can either choose a straight route or stop-by the rest area to get a bird’s-eye view.”

Although it is a state funded project, he said they have not announced the allocation “as we want to get the cheapest cost without compromising the quality”.

Crag Hotel sits on a 3ha land and was established by the well-known Sarkies Brothers in 1929. The building was first built in 1890 and after the hotel was closed it housed the Upland School, before the school was moved to Burmah Road in the mid 1970s.

“Since then the building was left idle and now over-grown with grass. Besides it, there are another 18 dilapidated wooden and brick structured buildings at the surrounding area which can be developed, “ Lim told this to reporters after visiting the two sites yesterday.

Cool abodes: Part of the Crag Hotel destined for restoration.

He said the investment for the project will be high but the returns would be good.

“If the buildings could be restored to its former glory, people especially foreigners, would enjoy the panoramic view.”

The current market price for the property has been valued at RM4.2mil by the Property and Evaluation Department.

Lim said tourists especially those seeking for a private and peaceful environment would visit the area.

“It will be a good destination for those wishing to tie the knot and also for honeymooners,’’ he said.

Source : STAR
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