IHG Defies Economy with Plans to Build World’s Biggest Holiday Inn in Moscow

In spite of stumbling economies around the world, IHG is continuing its expansion across Russia and has signed a deal with Crocus Group to build the world’s biggest Holiday Inn in Moscow, with an investment of more than $100 million from Crocus. There are already seven IHG branded hotels open in Russia and a further 13 in the pipeline, making IHG the largest international hotel operator in the country.Located in Crocus City in the Krasnogorsk area of Moscow, the eighth Holiday Inn will offer meeting facilities occupying 26,900 square feet, three restaurants and a 12,900-square-foot health club. Construction is scheduled to start in 2011 with the hotel set to open in 2014.   “It’s rewarding for us to be able to sign such significant long-term deals with our investment partners in the current economic climate and shows our partners understand the benefits of building IHG branded hotels.” said Kirk Kinsell, president of IHG Europe, Middle East and Africa. On related note, the global $1 billion Holiday Inn relaunch is on track for completion by the end of 2010.  Close to 600 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels will be operating under the new standards by the end of March. The Russian hotel market has seen a good deal of activity as of late. In late 2008, Interstate Hotels & Resorts signed a contract to manage the hotel component of a 3 million-square-foot indoor resort to be built outside Moscow. The project is being developed by MT Development, with a 205,000-square-foot hotel component expected to open in 2011. It is Interstate’s tenth hotel management contract in Europe, eight of which are open and operating.The Rezidor Hotel Group is also planning to develop what will be its 30th property in Russian and the Commonwealth of Independent States. The new project, Park Inn Kazan, will include 174 rooms, and is set to open in Kazan, Russia, in the second quarter of 2011. Despite challenging times around the globe, hotel developers still see opportunities for growth outside the United States. On March 5, CPN reported that Philadelphia-based AMResorts announced plans to develop two new luxury resorts at Cap Cana in Dominican Republic at a cost of $200 million. Also, in January Carlson Hotels Worldwide said that it is continuing its expansion across the globe, with plans to debut 300 new properties between this year and 2013. On both the international and domestic fronts, Carlson signed 151 new agreements last year for projects involving its five brands.