Roderick Sursock Cochrane, the son of Lady Yvonne Cochrane, is restoring the Grand Hotel Casino Ain Sofar. The hotel sits on a 28,000 square meter plot and is valued at $14 million.
Built in the 1890s by Alfred and Ibrahim Sursock, Roderick owns half of the property and five female cousins who are descendants of Ibrahim own the remaining half.
The Grand Hotel Casino Ain Sofar is one of the oldest hotels in the country. Owning the first casino license in the country, the hotel became disused in 1975 at the start of the civil war. Today it stands derelict.
Sursock has finished restoration of the ceiling at a cost of $100,000.
“Just to keep the hotel standing on its feet, it is going to need at least $250,000 more,” he said.
The funds will be used to install windows, landscaping, and fencing. Restoration to stop the place from crumbling should take five years. Sursock hopes he can hold events at the venue in the meantime.
“It is a historic jewel. We want to save it,” he said.
The final function of the venue is still under study.
He said: “It has to become a year round destination.”
Sursock has other properties around the hotel that he is planning to exploit.