It cost an estimated 40 million euros to build and was one of the most important hotel and catering training centres of the Junta de Andalucía. However it was open for barely a decade and has been closed for nearly two years.
The CIO Mijas centre, by the A-7 in La Cala de Mijas, has a training school with state-of the-art equipment, student accommodation and a four-star hotel where students can practise what they learn. The building is owned by the Junta de Andalucía, the land by Mijas town hall and the consortium that ran the complex is made up 80 per cent by the Junta and 20 per cent by Mijas.
The dissolution of this consortium is what is taking time, as the process is locked in a bureaucratic knot that means offers to buy the building cannot be accepted and five workers continue to go to work every day, despite having no work to do and not having being paid since the end of 2014.
On a recent visit to the deserted 40,000-square-metre site, SURwas able to see for itself the state of neglect of what was, until recently, a virtually new, flagship training centre.
The sorriest sight is the previously pristine swimming pools, now turned into green ponds. The grass is overgrown as the Junta has stopped sending money for fuel for the mowers to cut the grass.
Inside, the reception area of the hotel looks like time has stood still, as if everything was ready for the next day’s guests that never checked in.
The bedrooms are closed up, although a squatter did get in last Christmas before he was persuaded to leave by the remaining few employees.
The brand-new 100,000-euro wine laboratory is mothballed and the store room for the previously white sheets and tablecloths has a rancid smell from the yellowing fabrics.
Mijas council has offered to buy the buildings outright for nine million euros and reopen them, however legal problems with the windup of the old management consortium and the fact the town hall is not allowed to operate educational establishments like this, mean the CIO Mijas saga could still run a lot longer.