Amsterdam-based hotel group Zoku International appointed Christoph Hager as its new rollout lead for Europe. Hager, who will be based in Amsterdam, will spearhead the growth of the company's presence in Europe through leases, management agreements and select joint ventures.
Hager has more than 12 years of experience in hospitality real estate and hotel operations. He has held deal making and key underwriting roles in Europe, the Middle East and Africa with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. Hager established and led a Starwood team based in Dubai for the Middle East and Africa in his most recent role at the company. He received a tourism diploma from Cesar Ritz Colleges Switzerland, and a bachelor's degree in hospitality business management from Washington State University.
Zoku International set plans in 2017 to open more than 50 hotels over the next 10 years, according to CPH Post. The group is eyeing development opportunities in Copenhagen, Vienna, Paris, Berlin, Manchester and Hamburg. These will join the company's first and only hotel in Europe, the Zoku Amsterdam, which opened in May 2016.
Zoku International faced a setback in early February 2018 when the Manchester City Council planning committee refused to approve a proposal to develop a 13-story Zoku hotel in Shudehill, Manchester's Northern Quarter, according to a report from Place North West. Place North West previously reported in November 2017 that the committee deferred the project due to the lack of parking and to schedule a site visit. The committee vetoed the project for a second time in December 2017 due to concerns over the building's height, waste disposal strategy, impact on the surrounding neighbors and the loss of the site's existing buildings. The council ultimately refused the proposals, despite recommendations from the committee's planning offices.