From left: Stephanie Zubiri, Wil Dasovich and Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez. 8990 Holdings Chairman Mariano Martinez with 8990 Holdings President and CEO Willie J. Uy

The grand idea started with one word.

Property developer 8990 Holdings Inc. (HOUSE) recently announced that it is expanding its portfolio to the hospitality industry with a plan that is big on numbers. The company, through its new subsidary 8990 Leisure and Resorts, will be developing around 3,000 rooms across the country over the next five years with P5 billion worth of investments. 8990 Holdings Chairman Mariano Martinez said it’s a big dream they are confident of achieving.

“Everything always starts with one great word: imagination,” Martinez said during the launch. “This move is our way of celebrating our country, from its wonderful and award-winning beaches to the breathtaking nature parks and reserves.”

HOUSE has been running the tourism-focused, time-sharing brand Azalea with two properties in Baguio and Boracay. Martinez said Azalea would be entirely separate from the 8990 Leisure and Resorts group, which will have three original hotel-and-resort concepts defined by the group’s commitment to offer luxury from the pinnacle of society all the way to the ordinary man.

Three public personalities introduced each brand during the launch at Green Sun in Makati, where a panoramic screen gave guests a peak into the locations of the properties.

WWF ambassador, writer and mother Stephanie Zubiri said at the core of everything she does are home and family. Her idea of a perfect family trip is an escape to a sanctuary where they can connect with nature in comfort. She said Adama offers exactly that. The brand is 8990’s five-star luxury family resorts to be nestled in the country’s most scenic spots, and designed to pamper guests with first-class amenities.

Adama will have branches in Puerto Princesa, Boracay, Lapu-Lapu City, Siargao, Baguio and Siquijor. The one in Siquijor will open by the first quarter of 2020, during which a new airport will be operational. The 15-hectare property will offer 22 villas.

Meanwhile, fashion industry veteran and mother of three Mikaela Lagdameo-Martinez shared what she looks for in a hotel for family trips: it should help her children know more about the country, and it should feels like a home away from home. Lagdameo-Martinez then presented the urban luxury brand Kura Hotels & Resorts. Designed with trailblazers in mind, the brand will operate in Cebu, Makati, Davao, Alabang and Manila.

The final presenter was adventure-seeker Wil Dasovich, who just landed from Iceland earlier in the day. Living by the mantra of “do something new every day,” he emphasized the importance of ending a day of adventure by going home to a safe space. Resident urban hotel Argo is 8990 Leisure and Resorts’ offer for travelers like Dasovich, being equipped with amenities and tools to help guests explore, discover and experience the best of the locale. Argo will be present in all of the locations of Kura Hotels & Resorts, with additional branches in Iloilo, Legazpi and Clark.

Martinez said that 8990 Leisure and Resorts will be opening three to four hotels every year. It’s a pace that Martinez is confident of executing, given the parent company’s experience and success.

“We build 12,000 housing units a year,” Martinez said of HOUSE, which saw a record-high net income of P3.4 billion in the first three quarters of 2018.

According to Willie J. Uy, 8990 Holdings president and chief executive officer, one of the biggest factors in their decision to diversify into the hospitality sector was the upswing of the industry brought by tourism development.

Meanwhile, Martinez said the new subsidiary is seen to build up the company’s recurring income; that in five years, they will be able to derive “at least 20 percent to 25 percent” of the company’s gross income from the subsidiary.

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