The bulldozer put an end to more than 40 years of history yesterday, as it moved in to demolish the old Hotel Kursaal in the Plaça des Pont (Andrea Doria). The emblematic hotel of the Fifties and Sixties will be replaced by a luxury hotel which will be built by the AC Hoteles chain, presided by Antonio Catalan (founder of NH Hoteles). The company purchased the building for 400 million pesetas. The Kursaal was described as an historical hotel by Eduardo Gamero, chairman of the Institute for Spanish Hotel Quality, who said it was one of the great hotels of its period. It was a small two star hotel, but it filled a void in its moment of splendour among the city hotels. Its guests were mainly Spanish, although it was also popular with Scandinavians, he reminisced yesterday. In the Sixties, it competed with the Bahia Palace, which has been converted into apartments. But the tourist boom in the resort areas took away guests from the two establishments which were just metres apart. AC Hoteles want to build an urban hotel with the same characteristics as the Kursaal and have commissioned plans from Josep Joan Pere. A company spokesman said that they wanted to create a unique and avantgarde hotel in Palma. It will have 80 rooms (160 beds), meeting rooms and all the services expected of a city hotel, which is aimed at a determined sector. The total investment will be in the region of 1'020 million pesetas, the spokesman said. The company has already purchased the number of obsolete beds which must be withdrawn from the tourist market for this project, as existing legislature demands, and it should be fully operative in spring 2002.
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