Russia's Caucasus 'to get Armani hotel'

28th January 2011, Comments 0 comments

Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani's luxury hotel brand is planning to develop a hotel in Russia's Caucasus region, a report said Friday.

Armani Hotels and Resorts, which opened its first development in Dubai last year, will launch another one in the Stavropol region's mineral springs resort area, together with other investors, Kommersant daily reported, citing sources in the hotel industry.

Investment in the project, which is to be unveiled at the upscale MIPIM real estate show in Cannes in March, could surpass 150 million dollars, the report said.

Armani would be a welcome newcomer as the Russian government is showcasing the region to foreign investors.

The mineral springs area, which includes the towns of Pyatigorsk and Kislovodsk, sits just north of the Caucasus mountain range and its turbulent republics.

The spa resort's mass popularity has dwindled since Soviet times as the infrastructure has fallen into disrepair.

The government plans to develop the mineral springs resort together with the ski resorts in the mountains, the president's envoy to the region Alexander Khloponin said this week on the sidelines of the economic forum in Davos, where he showed the projects to investors.

However, Russia faces an uphill struggle in bringing foreign investment to the area where a deadly Islamist insurgency is claiming lives nearly every day.

© 2011 AFP

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