Hotelier Hints at High-End Hotel in Tel Aviv

As one destination after another posts dire tourism forecasts due to the economic downturn, it’s refreshing to hear that there are still entrepreneur’s out there who see opportunity in crisis. The Jerusalem Post reports that Iranian-Jewish hotelier Sam Nazarian sees the worst recession in decades as a good opportunity to bring a new high-end hotel to Tel Aviv.
"Tel Aviv was always a target city for me as a basic business proposition and because of my emotional attachment to the place," Nazarian told the Jerusalem Post in Tel Aviv this week. "To me, opening a new hotel in Tel Aviv is like a self-fulfilling prophecy. Tel Aviv is a metropolitan resort city and one of the very few places in the world which are underserved or not oversaturated with high-end, quality-service hotels."
Nazarian notes that he doesn’t see a project before 2011, but he’s interested in either an existing property or a joint venture.
Nazarian's latest project is a new brand of luxury hotels, SLS Hotels, embracing the motto: "It's not your father's luxury hotel." SBE has an exclusive 15-year deal with international designer Philippe Starck and has acquired interests in hotels in Los Angeles and Miami. SBE owns the Ritz Hotel in Miami's South Beach and acquired the Le Meridien Hotel in Beverly Hills, the first hotel in the SLS chain, which is managed by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. In 2007, SBE acquired the Sahara Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
“I believe that 2009 is a year of opportunities,” says Nazarian.


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