Serbia's Delta Holding is looking to buy land in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia, in order to build an InterContinental hotel.
"We plan to build a hotel with 200 rooms, similar to the InterContinental hotel we recently opened in Ljubljana. Zagreb has been our target for some time," Zivorad Vasic, VP of Delta Holding and IHG regional manager, told local news source Poslovni.hr. The company expects to sign the deal by June, and will then begin construction and negotiating terms with the UK hotel company.
The first InterContinental hotel in Zagreb opened in 1964 when the city was part of the former Yugoslavia. The property remained open until the mid-1990's, when Ivica Todoric, owner of troubled Croatian concern Agrokor, bought it and rebranded the hotel. In 2002, Todoric sold the property to businessman Andjelko Leko.
Delta Holding President Miroslav Mišković reportedly expressed interest in buying Zagreb’s Westin hotel some time ago. A local paper noted the challenges facing investment in Croatia’s hotel sector: “The still relatively high reliance upon seasonality and complicated procedures, coupled with unresolved spatial plans and unclear land registers, are some of the main reasons why investments related to the renovation of old hotels tend to go sour, and that is with local investors who know and can deal with the system well.”
Other global brands are looking to open in the city. Earlier this week, Hilton and Zagreb City Hotels announced plans to open the Canopy by Hilton Zagreb later this year. The downtown Zagreb property will be the first Canopy in continental Europe.