WASHINGTON–Marriott International has been named to manage the existing 380-room Hotel Armenia in Yerevan–the capital city of Armenia–effective immediately. It is widely regarded as the best hotel in Armenia in terms of product and location.
Following completion of an extensive renovation program in 2001–the property will have 222 rooms and will be renamed the Marriott Hotel Armenia. It will be the first internationally managed and branded hotel in Armenia and is owned by AK Development–East-West Financial Services–Ltd. and an American investment group.
Hotel Armenia is located directly on Republic Square–the focal point of Yerevan–and consists of two separate buildings that are connected by an elevated–enclosed walkway. Close by are key government ministries–the Office of the Prime Minister–the History Museum and the Art Gallery of Armenia. In addition–the major Armenian banks–the Central Post Office–a small concert hall and a metro station are in close proximity to the hotel. Zvartnots International Airport–which is served by a number of international carriers– is approximately a 20-minute drive away.
"Marriott International is delighted to have been selected as the manager of the Hotel Armenia and to be able to participate in the economic redevelopment of Armenia," said Ed Fuller–president and managing director of Marriott’s international operations. "We are also pleased to be working with the hotel’s owning group with whom we have worked in the development of other Marriott properties."
Speaking for the ownership group–Nishan Atinizian–said: "AK Development and East-West Financial Services Ltd. are very pleased to have Marriott International secured as its partner in managing this property."
The ownership group also consists of prominent Armenian Americans who recognize the importance of tourism to Armenia’s economic development.
Charles Talanian of Talanian Realty Co.–Inc. said–"As an American Armenian–I am proud to be a part of the first major American financial investment in Armenia. I hope it is only the beginning of American investmen’s in the country. This is a unique opportunity to assure the long term prosperity of an independent Armenia."
Gail Talanian O’Reilly reaffirmed their commitment by stating: "I am thrilled to be assisting Armenia–a growing democracy and liberal economy to reach its full potential in this way. It is my family’s way of helping our Homeland by investing tourism which historically is Armenia’s comparative advantage.
Deborah Ciolfi–an investment advisor–asserted that the Marriott Hotel Armenia "with its state of the art conference and business meeting facilities–will be a major component of Armenia’s international trade and investment strategy by showcasing the nation’s products and services and attracting major conferences."
"The combination of Marriott’s management coupled with the professionalism and cooperation exhibited by the Government of Armenia will undoubtedly make this hotel privatization very successful," added Carl Bazarian of East-West Financial Services–investment advisor to the ownership group–
The renovation program is scheduled to begin in March–1999 and to extend over a two-year period during which time various services and amenities synonymous with Marriott International will be introduced.
For dining and entertainment–the Marriott Hotel Armenia will include a casual restaurant–a lobby bar and lounge–and a wine cellar. Recreational amenities will include a fitness/health club. Business services will include an executive floor and lounge and business center.
For conferences and social events–the Marriott Hotel Armenia will have 13,885 square feet of space including a 5,166-square-foot ballroom and eight separate meeting rooms providing an additional 8,719 square feet of space.
The Marriott Hotel Armenia will be included in Marriott International’s flagship brand of upscale–full service hotels and resorts–called Marriott Hotels–Resorts & Suites. All hotels in this brand feature multiple restauran’s and lounges–a health club–swimming pool–gift shop–executive level–business center and meeting facilities and are designed for people who want to make the most of their lives away from home. As of September 30–1998–there were 347 hotels represented in this brand–offering 131,800 rooms worldwide.
The Marriott International lodging system consists of more than 1,600 hotels–spanning 10 bran’s in 53 countries and territories.