InterConti breaks ground in Panama

IHG has announced the groundbreaking of the Holiday Inn Panama Canal, in the Republic of Panama.The 115 room hotel will be located next to the Panama Canal in the City of Knowledge, a renowned international complex for education and research. It will be the fourth IHG hotel in the Republic of Panama through its affiliation with Panama City-based Bern Hotels & Resorts, the tourism division of Empresas Bern, one of the most respected commercial developers in Latin America. Currently the developer has the InterContinental Miramar, InterContinental Playa Bonita Resort & Spa and the Crowne Plaza Panama.

The unique component of the project is that it will be adjacent to the first educational institution for Bern Hotels & Resorts and IHG Latin America, which will be named Panama International Hotel School. The new hotel and the school are both scheduled to open towards the beginning of 2008, and will add a hospitality-oriented educational component while building on the City of Knowledge’s tradition of innovation and inspiring personal excellence.

“Not only will we have a beautiful hotel in one of the world’s most unique destinations - the Panama Canal - but we will have the added benefit of being part of a leading educational institution for the hotel industry in Latin America,” says Alvaro Diago, Area President of IHG Latin America.

The school will provide a broad range of instruction in the full range of business and hospitality disciplines and is being developed within the City of Knowledge in a cooperative effort between Bern Hotels & Resorts and IHG.

“Beyond any doubt, I’m confident that this development will make a major contribution to the hotel industry throughout Latin America. I’m certain, the Holiday Inn and the Panama International Hotel School will earn international acclaim,” says Tom Murray, Chief Operating Officer, the Americas, IHG.
The Holiday Inn Panama Canal and the Panama International Hotel School will feature state-of-the-art learning spaces, lecture halls, classrooms, meeting rooms, a state-of-the-art computer center, and an auditorium for large classroom lectures.

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“IHG has embraced education as a key mission,” adds Herman Bern, of Empresas Bern. “As a Holiday Inn property, we look to follow in the legacy of the brand’s founder, Kemmons Wilson, in continually educating the next generation of leaders in our industry.”

“Bern Hotels & Resorts has helped us achieve many milestones, so we are genuinely proud to continue working together alongside their team and continue to set the bar on high standards, innovation and excellence within the hotel industry in Latin America,” concludes Diago.
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