New General Manager has big plans for Graceland

Mr Willem van Rooyen brings more than 20 years of experience to Graceland and is excited about the upgrades to the resort.

SECUNDA – Graceland Hotel, Casino and Country Club‘s new General manager, Mr Willem van Rooyen aspires to make the resort the number one entertainment destination in Mpumalanga once again.

Having worked in the hospitality and casino industry for his entire adult life, van Rooyen began his career at an international hotel and casino group and also worked on cruise ships, but his true passion lies with entertainment destinations like Graceland.

Born in Mpumalanga, Mr Van Rooyen has a particular love for the province and with nearly 24 years of hospitality and casino experience, this will be a major asset to Graceland.

Asked whether he is a people’s person, he laughed: “Absolutely. I have to be. I have such a passion for my work. The fact that I have always worked in the hospitality environment must show that I am committed to giving customers the best possible experience.”

Mr Van Rooyen is particularly excited about the R13-m that has been spent on refurbishments, including upgrades of the presidential and junior suites, three floors of the 4-star Peermont Walmont Hotel, the addition of Madison’s loft-style Bistro and Family Restaurant, upgrades to the Augusta Club Lounge and the Gary Player-designed golf course as well as the relocation and expansion of the spa facilities.

The final project is the replacement of the old show-bar with Moo Bar, a bold and stylish new sports and cocktail venue due to open next month.

“The public can expect amazing things from the new Graceland. Motivated and happy staff leads to satisfied and happy guests, which in turn helps your business grow. Providing exceptional family-friendly entertainment is one of Graceland’s top priorities,” he added.

Mr Van Rooyen has been married for 16 years and has nine-year-old twin daughters. His family has not yet relocated to Secunda, because Ms Van Rooyen who is also in the hospitality business is currently working in KwaZulu-Natal where theie daughters are attending school. The set of golf clubs in his office is evident of his love for the game of golf and he is an avid and active golfer in the golf community and at leagues.

His message to the public is straightforward: “Our guests must know that I am an open, friendly person who is there to make their experience unforgettable.”

Willemien Aukema

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