Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:IHR) today announced that it has signed a contract to manage the hotel component of a 3,000,000 square-foot, futuristic indoor resort to be built outside Moscow. The mixed-used retail and entertainment complex to be named Freestyle Park will feature an indoor ski slope, apartments, bars, restaurants, movie theaters, an aqua park, a science museum, and a shopping center. The project is being developed by MT Development, with the hotel portion expected to open Spring 2011. It is Interstate’s tenth hotel management contract in Europe, eight of which are open and operating.
“The scale of this exciting new project surpasses anything being developed in Russia today,” said Thomas F. Hewitt, Interstate’s chief executive officer. “We have significant experience operating hotels in mixed-use developments and have built a proven track record in this specialised niche. In addition, we plan to take advantage of the operating synergies and economies of scale that result from our extensive knowledge of Russian hospitality.”
“MT Development is a well regarded, Moscow-based developer with seven successful years of commercial and recreational real estate project development experience in Russia, and we look forward to building a relationship with them,” said Henry L. Ciaffone, president of international operations and development at Interstate. “We have established a solid operating team in Moscow over the past 13 years, and have a substantial network of local contacts. We continue to focus on international growth through third-party management contracts, and our current pipeline is quite active.”
“Freestyle Park will become a dream destination in Russia with the highest level of service for its guests,” said Alexei Sidnev, managing partner, MT Development. “We selected Interstate because of their remarkable track record and quality of service, significant operating experience in Moscow and familiarity with the complexities of mixed-use developments. They have a well-established reputation here as an independent third-party operator and are one of only a handful of firms that could handle a project of this size and scope.”
The site of the proposed Freestyle Park is located in southwest Moscow, adjacent to the Moscow Ring Road, along the Kievskoe Highway, one of the key arteries entering the city. The property is within minutes of the Vnukovo Airport and 20 minutes from downtown Moscow.
The development plan includes a 420,000 square-foot ski arena, 2,300 feet in length with a vertical drop of 265 feet, a 312,000 square-foot entertainment zone, 162,000 square feet of retail, a 205,000 square-foot hotel component with approximately 300 rooms, and residential units on 250,000 square feet.
Among the upscale hotel’s amenities are a spa, restaurant and bars, and 10,800 square feet of conference facilities. Interstate also will provide hotel services in the adjoining residential wing. Residential owners will have the opportunity to participate in a hotel rental pool, which would be managed by Interstate.
Interstate Hotels & Resorts has ownership interests in 57 hotels and resorts, including seven wholly owned assets. Together with these properties, the company and its affiliates manage a total of 227 hospitality properties with approximately 46,500 rooms in 37 states, the District of Columbia, Russia, Mexico, Belgium, Canada and Ireland. Interstate Hotels & Resorts also has contracts to manage 17 to be built hospitality properties with approximately 4,300 rooms.