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Philippe Bone

Head of Development Russia, Ukraine, Georgia & CIS, AccorHotels

Michael Collini

Vice President Development – Turkey, Russia and Eastern Europe, Hilton Worldwide

Michael Johnston

Chief Executive Officer, Regional Hotel Chain LLC

Michael O'Hare

Managing Director, Horwath HTL Hungary & Russia

Alexander Skoblo

Partner, Head of European Hotel & Leisure Practice, Dentons

Andrey Yakunin

Co-Founding Partner, VIY Management LLP

David Jenkins

Vice President Business Development Russia, CIS & Baltics, The Rezidor Hotel Group

Scott Antel

Hospitality and Leisure Partner, Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP

Vladimir Poddubko

Head of Hospitality Department, A.N.D. Corporation

Vadim Prasov

Managing Partner, Alliance Hotel Management

Anatoly Kondratenko

Senior Director, Acquisitions & Development, Russia, CIS & Baltics, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc.

Cuneyt Baltaoglu

Managing Director, Akfen REIT

Tatiana Veller

National Director, Head of Hotel & Hospitality Group Russia & CIS, JLL

Imad Barrakad

Chairman & CEO, Moroccan Agency for Tourism Development (SMIT)

Alexander Kaltykov

Chief Executive Officer, Osnova Group

Marina Usenko

Independent Hotel Advisor

Aron Libinson

Associate Vice President Operations and Development Russia & CIS, IHG

Dimitry Tetiouchev

Partner, Hospitality Industry Leader in the CIS, EY

Vladimir Ilichev

Development Director - Russia & CIS, Hilton Worldwide

Thomas Emanuel

Director of Business Development, STR

Petr Chitipakhovyan

President, CH-Group

Daniel Thorniley

President, DT-Global Business Consulting GmbH

Jonathan Worsley

Chairman, Bench Events, Board Director, STR

Press Release

13 Nov 2009

Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference Reports Strong Attendee Showing and Future Investment Opportunities

Over 350 delegates from 30 countries were in attendance during the three-day annual Russia & CIS Hotel Investment Conference (RHIC) this past October 25-27 2009. Represented by both Russian and global attendees, the conference attracted hotel investors, operators, specialists and professionals to discuss current challenges facing the hotel industry while exploring growth opportunities in the future.

Patron HSH Prince George Yourievsky was on hand during RHIC to present the Lifetime Achievement award to co-winners Hank Ciaffone, International President of Interstate Hotels & Resorts and Boris Guretsky, General Director of Mospromstroi for pioneering foreign development and management in Russia. Maxim Sokolov, Chairman of the committee for economic development, industrial policy and trade, appeared to represent the Governor of St. Petersburg and shared with delegates that 2009 represents the third year in a row where his city has added 1,300 rooms and has 150 new hotels in the pipeline. He further added the hospitality industry has been recognized as crucial to his overall strategic project.

A new and well-received addition to RHIC 2009 was the Investment Den where four potential project opportunities were presented to a small group of judges acting as investors. The projects included:

  • Absolute Group’s already-built 7-floor, 128 room St. Petersburg Ostrovskogo Square project;
  • The adaptation/development of Nevskij One into a luxury hotel or apartments;
  • A luxury hotel & office development facing the Dnieper River in Kiev;
  • A conversion of an existing 1789 merchant-shop building in St. Petersburg old town to a new mixed-use hotel development.

Each judge was given a simulated amount of $40 million dollars to allocate to one or more of their chosen development projects at the conclusion of the session.  The development of Nevskij One as a luxury hotel presented by Yuri Ilyin, Chief Executive Officer at A-Plus Estate Company emerged as the winner with 59 million euros invested in his project.

The Investment Den was a fantastic opportunity for developers to present their projects to the industry in a formal yet interesting question and answer session. It led to valuable feedback from investors and positive reinforcement for the presenters. Based on the success of this year, we are eagerly anticipating what next year will bring and what projects will be in the works," said Jonathan Worsley, co-organiser of RHIC.

In the evenings of RHIC, attendees were treated to a number of networking receptions. The first reception was held at the Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg with a Vegas-type extravaganza complete with a laser show, special appearances by Bond girl lookalikes and piano music artfully played on a white Steinway. The following evening, the Grand Hotel Europe hosted a reception with a specialty caviar room, buffets and full orchestra.

"RHIC was a resounding success in terms of the turnout of quality attendees even in this difficult economy. We saw that everyone was ready to embrace the very real situation facing Russia and its outlying regions with a renewed commitment to find ways to keep investing and get a good return on their existing properties and any in the pipeline," stated Jon Leibowitz, EVP of Questex Media Group, co-organisers of RHIC. "It’s a strong statement for the future of the region and we look forward to an even more positive message in 2010."