Hilton will manage its first two hotels in St Petersburg at the new ExpoForum convention centre being built by Russia’s Gazprom subsidiaries.
ExpoForum GM Anatoly Erkulov confirmed to CN the management agreement with Hilton under which hotels will be opened under the brands of Hilton (five-star) and Hampton by Hilton (a three-star brand), offering 241 rooms and 210 rooms respectively.
Erkulov told CN: “We negotiated with different hotel chains that already work in St Petersburg but finally came to the agreement with Hilton Worldwide which doesn’t yet have hotels in the city. We thank our partner for the trust. It is necessary to have enough courage to make a decision to build two hotels simultaneously outside the historical centre on a territory that now is just a large field. But that proves that our partner shares our belief in a great congress future of St Petersburg.”
The ExpoForum complex will be built near Pulkovo Airport in the Pushkinsky district of the city. In addition to the two hotels, the first stage of the project will include a congress centre with capacity of 3,000 people, 50,000sqm of exhibition space and two business centres occupying a total of 25,000 sqm, to be completed by 2013. A second stage of the $1bn project, to be completed by 2018, will include an additional 50,000 sqm of exhibition space.
“Many wanted to bring Hilton into the market, but the company agreed to partner with ExpoForum because it was confident that its hotels would be built in accordance with Hilton standards, and shared our assessment of the exciting prospects for the convention and exhibition business in St Petersburg,” said Erkulov.
The cost of investing in one Hilton room is $180,000 to $200,000, while a room in the Hampton is $120,000, according to the General Director of Cromwell Management, Alexei Musakin.
Erkulov also told CN ExpoForum signed an agreement with a general contractor LenSpetsSMU (a large Russian construction company) for 14 billion roubles (almost €350m).
“The general contractor is preparing the construction site: laying temporary roads, setting up the construction town, and driving the first test piles,” Erkulov said. “In addition, we have already cleared the area of the old utilities infrastructure, and we have built and connected the new utilities infrastructure.
“We look forward to obtaining the conclusion of state construction experts, and immediately after that we canstart the construction.
“Also we have started the integration with Lenexpo to create the united company for organising events at Lenexpo till 2013 and at ExpoForum after its opening.”
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