Ronald S. Lauder and Moscow City Hall create a new hotel chain Vashotel

13 July 2010

Vedomosti

Gostinichnaya Kompania, or GK, owned by billionaire Ronald Lauder and City Hall, is creating a new hotel chain called Vashotel.

The chain will operate two- to three-star hotels, including GK’s Vladykino, Tsaritsyno, Zolotoi Kolos, Ostankino, Voskhod, Orekhovo, Sayany, Kuzminki, Altai, Turist, and Uchyobo-Treningovaya, the company said.

This is a predictable decision because GK’s current portfolio of hotels is so diverse — from the five-star Rossiya and Moskva (which is still under construction) to the peripheral Kuzminki and Altai — that it is necessary to split them up, said Marina Smirnova, senior vice president at Jones Lang LaSalle.

A common chain will allow the hotels to optimize expenses by creating a unified room booking service as well as cutting down on personnel. In practice, moving to a single chain has increased the profitability of world brands by 30 percent to 40 percent. “It’s hard to say what this situation will be like,” Smirnova said.

GK was created last year by City Hall, which passed over the 18 hotel stakes it owned. At the end of 2009, 51 percent of the company was transferred to the Russia Real Estate Fund, which Lauder owns, in exchange for the promise to invest about $1 billion.

http://www.themoscowtimes.com/business/article/city-hall-opens-new-hotel-chain-with-billionaire/410225.html

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