Kempinski backs out from North Korea’s Ryugyong hotel project

Ryugyong Hotel suffers yet another setback as the Hotel of Doom loses its international partner, the German luxury hotelier, Kempinski. The 105 story hotel often referred to as a symbol of North Korea’s economic problems was set to open at least 100 rooms by the end of 2013. However, this week due to growing tensions on the Koran Peninsula, Kempinski revealed its latest decision to withdraw from the project.

The decision came about due to the ongoing thermo-nuclear war threat between South Korea and the United States. On Tuesday, Pyongyang warned foreigners based in South Korea to evacuate, and by Wednesday, North Korea’s main border with China was closed to non-essential travel.

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Last November, Kempinski branded Pyongyang’s largest building as a five-star which would absolutely meet international standards and said it would include five revolving restaurants, a spa, business center, ballroom, shops, and also an artistic center with a theatre and cinema. Further referring to the hotel as a “money -printing machine” can monopolize all the business of the city. Reto Witter, CEO of Kempinski Hotels, now claims that – “no agreement has been signed since market entry is not currently possible.” Blaming the current tensions as the reason for the falling out of the deal. Though the hotelier didn’t have any financial investment in the project, he had high hopes for the project and was set to manage it.

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On the other hand, Orascom Telecom, an Egyptian company, reported spent upward of $180 million on finishing the hotel’s facade. What is yet to be seen is whether Pyongyang will go ahead with the project and open it by the end of the year without an international partner.

[Via – Ibtimes]

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