Piata Presei Libere to become Bucharest's second hotel pole

Autor: Roxana Grigorean 05.02.2008
Parc Hotel group, controlled by businessman Gabriel Popoviciu, will consolidate its presence in the area of Piata Presei Libere after it opens Ramada Plaza hotel and brings neighbouring hotel, Best Western Parc, under the Ramada umbrella.
Other hotels on the 4 and 5-star segment in the same area are Crowne Plaza and Sofitel. "The former Turist hotel has been completely refurbished and will be opened in March under the Ramada brand - in the 4-star plus category, whilst at the beginning of next year the current Best Western Parc will be affiliated to the same chain. Overall, there will be a Ramada complex that has a 600-room capacity," said Daniel Ben-Yehuda, manager of Ramada Plaza and Best Western Parc.
The Ramada complex will be the second biggest hotel on Bucharest's 4-star segment, after Rin Grand hotel owned by Negoita brothers, which has a capacity of 1,500 rooms.
The conversion of Turist hotel into Ramada Plaza required investments worth more than 12m euros (the hotel will officially open in April), while the transformation of Best Western Parc into Ramada is expected to cost between 1 and 2m euros.
"I believe this area will see significant development, considering it is equidistant between the airport and the city centre. Last year, Best Western Parc registered an occupancy rate of above 70% and we expect a 65%-70% rate this year, due to the fact that the capacity has doubled against last year," said Yehuda.
Parc Hotels also part of Altrom group of firms controlled by businessman Gabriel Popoviciu and also manages Casa Doina and Parc Health Club, which derived turnover worth around 10m euros last year.
This year, turnover is forecast to exceed 10m euros and could reach 20m euros after Ramada Plaza, estimated to generate 8m-euro revenues in its first year, also opens.
At the same time, Parc Health Club will undergo renovation and could become affiliated to an international chain.
As 85% of turnover is derived from corporate contracts, Parc Hotel will invest around 5m euros in a conference hall with a 3,000-seat capacity. "The conference hall will create a link between the two hotels and will be Bucharest's biggest conference hall," said Yehuda, who believes tourism will also witness an upward trend.
According to the hotel's representatives, Ramada will tackle the 4-star market with lower prices.
Bucharest's 4 and 5-star market's capacity will increase by 50% this year after the Rin Grand Hotel and the former Bucharest hotel (operated under Radisson SAS brand belonging to Rezidor hotel group) fully open.