After nearly 25 years of operations management company of ELIA Village Holiday apartments, in Latsi, Polis Chrysohchous, Garmonis Hotels has decided to close down the hotel operations due to absence of several licenses, permits and requisite masterplans that are required for compliance with regulations of operations.
After years of painstaking efforts to find compliance documents for the property, the management company announced the decision in letters to Cyprus Tourism Organization and Municipality of Polis Chrysochous in August 2018. The company informed Cyprus Tourism Organization and Polis Chrysochous Municipality that the property was inoperable and should never have operated as a hotel due to constant high risk to environment, guests and workers safety in several parts of the property.
Garmonis has invested more than 10 million Euros of their own capital in the property and project.
The decision was taken after all efforts of Garmonis to obtain property electrical, water, sewage master plans and permits and building completion certificates failed. The property was constructed in 1990s and Garmonis took a ten year lease/management with an investment in room and facilities upgrade in 2013. The company has communicated with several government agencies as well as the owner of land and property Mr. Leonidas Georgiou for nearly 4 years to obtain engineering plans, master plans and compliance / completion permits for the property so that smooth operations of the property could continue.
In the absence of these plans the engineers and maintenance staff had to work blindly and through guess work to locate the sources of various breakdowns, water leaks and electrical failures. These problems with water supply, contamination of water, land slides, leakages, room and building damage have been numerous as the process of operation and maintenance has exposed a disturbing fact – the property has agriculture irrigation pipes running through the land site like spaghetti – these pipes do not correspond to standards required for supply of water. High voltage armored cables are also laid haphazardly without any master plans or maps alongside these water cables. Garmonis has come to a sad realization that ELIA Holiday Village never had any master plans of water supply, electricity and sewage disposal even though it is operating since the 1990s.
Garmonis has demanded that landlord, municipality, environmental department and the sewage board show to the company master plans of where and how the raw sewage is disposed. No master plans for sewage disposal exist and the absence of these plans alludes to a disturbing fact : the property never had a sewage network and raw sewage is being dumped into the ground untreated. The company has demanded from authorities that they need to investigate how a seaside property has been permitted to dump untreated sewage into land. It is something Cyprus government needs to investigate. Garmonis replaced a biological sewage processing plant but that serves only a fourth of the property. The rest of property is not connected to this plant.
The company has demanded from owner that since the property was built and operated for many years without any approved or legally compliant master plans or systems , new compliant infrastructure should be built which meets all standards and regulations. The landlord has failed to respond to these demands from Garmonis. Garmonis has proposed making the necessary investments so that a whole new modern environmentally suitable and legally compliant infrastructure may be built. Unfortunately the landlord and owner believes it is not required and he can operate the hotel as in the past through his connections and obtain CTO license and permits through his influence. Garmonis does not believe in such expediency and believes that the level of risk operation of holiday village as a hotel presents is simply not acceptable.
Garmonis has been deeply disturbed to find that a baby splash pool has operated on the property for nearly 20 years without any license by owner and has been permitted by inspecting authorities. This is is reckless endangerment of children’s lives and the company does not wish to be a part of such naked pursuit of profits while endangering lives.
The hotel ELIA Latsi Hotel apartments has held CTO and municipality licenses for several years since its opening in 1990s. Garmonis has asked for an investigation as to how and through what methods these licenses were obtained by owner even though the property never had any approved and compliant master plans , no engineering drawings and no safety systems.
Despite repeated demands by management company Garmonis, the owner of ELIA Latsi Holiday Village has failed to connect safe municipal water supply to the hotel and insists on using irrigation water from agriculture land for drinking. Garmonis installed water treatment systems and has undertaken expensive actions to ensure that the irrigation water supply – provided in to rooms and kitchens through agriculture irrigation pipes ( not compliant with water supply requirements. ) However, Garmonis believes that these are stop-gap arrangements and a hotel cannot work on a water supply system as through it is an agricultural farm and should be connected with municipal water supply. The owner has refused to do so and wishes to save cost of paying for municipal water, instead referring to supreme court rulings which give him the right to operate the hotel on agriculture water from a borewell.
Since 2013, the company has faced enormous recurring accidents, breakdowns, falling debris, blocked pipes, sewage overflows and other technical difficulties with the operations of ELIA Holiday Village property. Over the last four years, it has started to become obvious to Garmonis that there was an effort and collusion on part of the same people in certain departments and agencies who colluded with owner of this property built without any standards, without any compliance, without any electrical, water or sewerage master plans to pin the responsibilities on to Garmonis, a foreign investor. The company has resisted any such attempts of and demanded that all relevant departments fulfill their responsibility and show how and what was being done to ensure full safety and environmental compliance.
Only 40 to 50 of the 145 rooms on the property are operable and have been converted into private residence for software programmers who wish to live and work from there.
The unlicensed children’s pool has been shut down. The modern sewage treatment plant installed by Garmonis is functional and works to treat the sewage of a small number of rooms according to highest legal requirements. Sewage from other operated rooms is frequently taken from known reservoirs and treated in compliance with rules by licensed contractors.
Garmonis has initiated legal proceedings and is unequivocal that it will not allow an operation that harms environment and or human life.
Garmonis has five years left to its lease which started in 2013 and is determined that the property is operated as a hotel only to highest standards of safety. Till such a time that new infrastructure is built in compliance with all relevant laws and regulations ELIA Holiday Village is not operable as a hotel.
Garmonis is not interested in continuing past twenty years of expedient practices of obtaining operational licenses and permits printed by some inspectors and agencies through influence peddling by owner when there is a clear and evident rot in the whole infrastructure posing a clear and present danger to environment and safety of the whole area of Chrysochous Bay.