Armenia Marriott Hotel in Yerevan, Armenia
BOSTON, Sept. 21, 2004 - Representing the largest
US direct investment ever in the Republic of Armenia, the historic Hotel
Armenia, located in the republic's capital, Yerevan, has opened as a 5-star,
world-class Marriott hotel following a multi-million dollar restoration.
AK Development, the Boston-based investor group of American and other "Diaspora"
Armenians, defied all odds to manage the privatization process, luring
critical investment dollars and instituting "best of" practices previously
unknown in this Caucasus-region nation, once a part of the Soviet Union.
"The Armenia Marriott Hotel, Yerevan, will have a strong demonstration effect and promote investor confidence in the wake of Armenia's transition to a market economy," said Mr. Edward Nassim, Director of IFC's Central and Eastern Europe Department.
With Armenia's independence in 1991, and its difficult transition in the following decade away from obsolete, unproductive Soviet-era practices, a group of Armenian Diaspora sought a permanent investment that would stimulate their ethnic homeland's emerging market economy and serve as a model for future foreign investment there. Recognizing tourism as a powerful engine for economic change, a hotel investment fit their investment criteria.
In 1997, the Hotel Armenia was offered for sale through a privatization tender offer process conducted by Merrill Lynch International with a key stipulation that the winning bidder partner with an internationally recognized hotel brand. AK Development was formed to acquire and restore the hotel and was represented by East-West Financial Services of Washington, D.C., a specialist in project financing in emerging markets with extensive business dealings with Marriott International. Investors closed on the property in August 1998, with additional financing secured by early 2000 and renovations begun in 2001.
The Armenia Marriott Hotel is nearby historic attractions and boasts 225 guestrooms, approximately 14,000 sq. ft. of meeting space; five restaurants; fitness center; retail shops; and modern services previously unavailable to travelers to Armenia.
Armenia is located in the Caucasus region and bordered by Turkey, Iran, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
The Armenia Marriott Hotel is located in Yerevan on Republic Square, 375010 Armenia. For hotel information call 374 1-599000.
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