By Ruzanna Stepanian
A luxury hotel belonging to a wealthy businessman was inaugurated in the resort town of Tsaghkadzor on Thursday, with President Robert Kocharian and several other government and parliament members attending the ceremony.
Multirest House, a newly built 42-room hotel complex, is the latest investment by Gagik Tsarukian, arguably the most influential oligarch who leads the ambitious Prosperous Armenia party believed to enjoy Kocharian’s backing ahead of next year’s parliamentary elections.
Kocharian personally performed the ribbon-cutting ritual in the presence of Local Government Minister Hovik Abrahamian, Yerevan Mayor Yervand Zakharian, as well as wealthy businessmen, MPs Samvel Aleksanian, Hakob Hakobian, and others.
After being shown around the hotel area Kocharian shared his impressions with the media, saying that such an investment had long been expected in Tsaghkadzor.
“Business responded to what we expected and I am glad that today Tsaghkadzor has the first such powerful structure both by its scales and quality,” the president emphasized.
Rooms at the hotel are available from 40,000 drams (about $105) per night; some rooms can be as expensive as 120,000 drams (about $315) per night. Hotel managers say it is the first hotel of this class made available in Tsaghkadzor, a winter resort town situated about 55 kilometers to the north of Armenia’s capital Yerevan.
Tsarukian avoided answering questions about how much money he had invested in his new business. “I don’t count how much I invest. I spent as much as was necessary,” he said.
Kocharian brushed aside media speculations that his visit was the sign of political endorsement of Tsarukian’s party. He said he attended the event primarily to encourage more investment in the sphere.
The president steered clear of questions about his possible support for Prosperous Armenia in the upcoming elections. He only promised to have a special meeting with media dealing with all sorts of political questions before the end of this year.
Tsarukian also denied any link between the event and politics.