Monday, March 17, 2014

Sun City luxury casino and resort

Sun City is a luxury casino and resort, situated in the North West Province of South Africa. It is located between the Elands River and the Pilanesberg, about two hours' drive from Johannesburg, near the city of Rustenburg. The complex borders the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

Sun City was developed by the hotel magnate Sol Kerznet as part of his Sun International group of properties. It was officially opened on 7 December 1979; at the time it was located in the Bantustan of Bophuthatswana. Sun City featured a large auditorium which seated 6,230.

As Bophuthatswana had been declared an independent state by South Africa's apartheid government (although unrecognized as such by any other country), it could provide entertainment such as gambling and topless revue shows which were banned in South Africa. These factors, as well as its relatively close location to the large metropolitan areas of Pretoria and Johannesburg, ensured that Sun City soon became a popular holiday and weekend destination. The UN imposed a cultural boycott on South Africa in condemnation of apartheid. Despite this, many famous performers chose to flout the boycott and perform at the venue, such as Frank Sinatra(1981), Paul Anka, Status Quo, Rod Stewart(July 1983), and Elton John (October 1983). British rock band Queen's series of performances at the venue in October 1984 in transgression of the boycott caused considerable controversy, prompting criticism in the British music press, a fine from the Musicians' Union and their inclusion on the United Nations' blacklisted artists. Following the criticism, Queen strongly defended their decision but donated to a school for the deaf and blind to prove their philanthropic values.

In 1985, E Street Band guitarist Steven Van Zandt made the venue the focus of his music-industry activist group, Artists United Against Apartheid. Forty-nine top recording artists collaborated on a song called "Sun City", in which they pledged they would never perform at the resort because of their opposition to apartheid. Additionally, Simple Minds included the song as part of a live medley on their Live in the City of Light double album in 1987.
Post-apartheid Sun City has continued to flourish since Bophutatswana was re-incorporated in the new South Africa in 1994.

The resort has four hotels, namely, Sun City Hotel, Cascades Hotel, The Cabanas and the Palace of the Lost City. In addition to the four hotels, the complex includes time-share facilities called "The Sun City Vacation Club" which is a popular self-catering facility.
Sun City also has two international-standard 18-hole golf courses, the Gary Player Country Club and the Lost City Golf Course, both designed by Gary Player. The Gary Player Country Club is home to the prestigious Nedbank Golf Challenge (formerly the Nedbank Million Dollar Golf Challenge) that is held annually and sees some of the best golfing talent from all over the world competing for the title. The Lost City Golf Course is noted for the 38 crocodiles in the water feature of the 13th hole.

The Sun City resort has hosted various concerts and events, including the Miss South Africa and Miss South Africa Teen Pageant. It also hosted Miss World pageant for five times, from 1992-1995 and 2001. These pageants take place annually in Sun City’s Super Bowl Arena and the Valley of Waves. Also held in the Valley of Waves is the Spring break summer festival which sees flocks of holiday-making students from all over the country gather for up to 5 days of fun in the sun. The resort was also the site of the Sun City Agreement. In 2001, Sun City was the site of the 2nd IIFA Awards. Held at the Superbowl Arena, it honoured both artistic and technical excellence of professionals in Bollywood, for that year.

The four stamps show the facilities available at the Sun City Resort. The 5c stamp shows the Sun City Hotel and Casino, the 10c stamp shows a golfer at the Gary Player Country Club, the 15c stamp shows the Casino and the 20c stamp shows the City Extravaganza at the night Club.

Thank you Maria for this lovely card. I’d love to visit Su City some day.

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