In Uruguay and luxury hospitality firm Cipriani SA has reportedly asked the local government for more time to complete work on its envisioned Cipriani Ocean Resort, Club Residences and Casino development.

According to a report from SBCAmericas, the request from the firm’s Chief Executive Officer, Giuseppe Cipriani, came after officials for Maldonado Department expressed concerns regarding the slow rate of progress on the $450 million scheme for the seaside resort city of Punta del Este. The source detailed that the project is destined to transform this community’s historic San Rafael Hotel into a five-star resort featuring a 70-room hotel designed by New York-headquartered architect Rafael Vinoly as well as 75 private apartments and a large casino.

Coronavirus consequences:

Cipriani SA has now reportedly asked the local government for ‘patience’ in finishing work on its Cipriani Ocean Resort, Club Residences and Casino after proclaiming that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has hindered the ‘mobilization of the capital’ tied to the coming project. In its letter to Soledad Laguarda, General Director for Maldonado Department’s Urban Planning Department, the Luxembourg-based developer also purportedly proclaimed that these difficulties mean that it cannot give a final determination ‘on what the final cost of the investment will be or when the work would start.’

Tardy target:

The offices of federal Tourism Minister German Cardoso and Economy and Finance Minister Azucena Arbeleche reportedly approved the plan to bring the three-tower development to Punta del Este in December with Cipriani SA hoping to later add a convention center, gym, theater, spa, hair salon, restaurants, further residences and a pair of underground parking garages. However, delays in construction purportedly now mean that the developer is almost certain to miss its initial end of 2021 opening deadline.

Ambitious aim:

Established in the 1930s, Cipriani SA is already responsible for multiple luxury properties in the United States, Hong Kong, Spain, Mexico, Monaco and Saudi Arabia. The firm is reportedly still hoping that its Cipriani Ocean Resort, Club Residences and Casino development will be able to join the area’s trio of existing gambling-friendly venues in the Nogaro Casino, Enjoy Punta del Este and Conrad Casino and help to increase tourism to the community located at the southernmost point of Uruguay.

Demanded declaration:

Built in the late-1940s as Punta del Este began its journey towards becoming one of its South American nation’s premiere tourist destinations, the San Rafael Hotel has reportedly been closed since 2011 and was purchased by Cipriani SA in February of 2018 as part of a deal worth approximately $40 million. Local councillors have now purportedly responded to the plea by asking the developer for ‘certainties’ on carrying out the venue’s transformation encompassing ‘a written note with missing data to analyze the latest project presented by the investor group.’