By Staff Sgt. Luke KoladishAugust 24, 2009
BAGHDAD--Col. Franck T. Trainor, 364th Civil Affairs Brigade, Functional Specialty Team Chief, signed a memorandum of agreement with Iraq Civil Aviation Authority Assistant Director General Samer Kuba turning over control of the Caravan Hotel at Baghdad International Airport to the ICAA Aug 19.
Distinguished guest Maj. Gen. James P. Hunt, Multi-National Corps-Iraq deputy commanding general, and Dr. Adnan Al Obaidy, Iraq Department of Transportation, attended the ceremony transferring the hotel to the government of Iraq.
This event is much more than a simple transition of a building or facility," Trainor said. "This is a transition that validates the process that we have emplaced to ensure long term sustainability and success in this venture."
The hotel was started as a Command Emergency Relief Project in October 2007 and completed in August of 2008. The hotel has 100 rooms; 86 are double bedrooms and 14 are single. In addition there is a gift shop, beauty salon, tourist agency, gym and shisha cafAfA.
Since it's opening in September 2008 the occupancy has continued to grow, averaging about 40-50 percent, and as high as 90 percent when events are being held.
The official party and guest arrived at the hotel at approximately 2 p.m. Following the playing of the U.S. and Iraq national anthems, Sigma Group International manager Hadeer Al Omary signed the paperwork along with Trainor and Kuba.
"Sigma is an Iraqi company contracted to maintain the hotel staffing," explained Lt. Col. Schaeffer. "The ICAA will ensure that their contract is continued to be honored now that the government of Iraq has taken over."
The hotel is part of a three facility system to jump start economic development of the BIAP area. The other two projects are a office tower and convention center.
"This event will help the process for all ambassadors, important guest, and businessmen to come to Iraq," Kuba said at the closing of the ceremony.