Philippine scion of budget hotel chain killed in helicopter crash, wife injured

Mr Archimedes King (pictured), chief executive of the Victoria Court motel chain, was killed together with his pilot when his private helicopter crashed on Sunday, July 5, 2015.
Mr Archimedes King (pictured), chief executive of the Victoria Court motel chain, was killed together with his pilot when his private helicopter crashed on Sunday, July 5, 2015. PHOTO: THE PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

MANILA - The owner of a chain of budget hotels in the Philippines was killed on Sunday when his private helicopter crashed in a forest 100km south of the capital Manila.

Mr Archimedes King, 63, chief executive of the Victoria Court motel chain, and his pilot, Mr Jun Taborlupa, died in the crash, the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported, citing Philippine Red Cross chairman Richard Gordon.

Mr King's wife Ling-ling and five others were injured and taken to a hospital in Manila, according to Mr Gordon.

The Augusta 109E helicopter crashed at around noon near Mount Maculot in Cuenca town, Batangas province, as tropical storm Linfa buffeted the main Philippine island of Luzon with heavy rains.

It was headed for Manila from the resort island of Puerto Galera.

Mr King is the son of Filipino-Chinese billionaire Angelo King, who made his fortune with the Anito Lodge chain of budget hotels, the largest in the Philippines.

He took over the business in 1986, when his father retired to devote time to philanthropy.

Mr King then spun off Victoria Court and made it one of the most recognisable brands in the Philippines with its logo of a girl holding an index finger to her pouting lips in a sign of discretion.

In a 1997 article, the South China Morning Post said Mr King "(elevated) the status of the Philippine love motel from sleazy, germ-infested retreat for illicit sexual trysts and dodgy business deals, to classy, fantastic and sanitised getaways for legitimate lovers".

Mr King's brother Wyden, meanwhile, has been diversifying the main business into full-service hotels and resorts.

rdancel@sph.com.sg