The FINANCIAL -- Lopota Resort, which joined the exclusive club of Golden Brand winners this year, is planning to open two new hotels soon. The group is going to offer 30 premium class rooms, the largest size of swimming-pool and a new restaurant able to accommodate 300 guests. The total cost of the upcoming projects is over USD 2 million. “Having confidence in the success of your business” is the main advice of the founder of the complex that brought to fruition a pioneer business plan, which has since been followed by others.
Lopota Resort is a hotel complex located in the Kakheti region of eastern Georgia, 100 km from the capital Tbilisi and 26 km from the city of Telavi. Situated in the beautiful Lopota Valley, the Resort offers a recreation zone spread over one million square meters. The Resort boasts a lake surrounded by hotels, two tennis courts, a mini golf court, 3 swimming pools, a jacuzzi, entertainment room, 2 bars, 3 restaurants, a stable, as well as a fully-equipped large and small conference hall. Lopota’s lake, inspirational nature and European comfort all come together to provide guests with a magical environment in which they can relax and enjoy their holiday.
With everything it combines Lopota Resort was the first proper complex to open in the region of Georgia, and today it has proven its success. Other resorts have opened in Georgia since. The concept of the project was created in close accordance with the landscape of Lopota as well as popular customer demands. The starting sum of investments amounted to USD 250,000.
“Have confidence in the success of your project. Have the willpower to gain success - this is the basic approach that is necessary for an entrepreneur when launching a pioneer project,” revealed Goga Maisuradze, founder of Lopota Resort.
Nowadays we are seeing new resorts appearing in the different regions of Georgia that offer similar services to Lopota Resort. However, Lopota Resort still has various competitive advantages. “Since its establishment we have been offering a high level, multi-profile service. We have a cosy, quiet, pleasant environment, which is essential for the segment of our guests. Meanwhile, Lopota is constantly updating and evolving. The constructions of new buildings are underway even now. The list of entertainment activities has been increasing every year. Lopota Resort is the place where people escaping from the noisy city can go to relax in a comfortable environment,” said Maisuradze.
2013 was quite a stable year for Lopota Resort. The complex had 5% growth. Maisuradze is optimistic that 2014 will be even more efficient.
Maisuradze named the main problems that businessmen involved in the HoReCa sector have to face in Georgia. “Lack of sophistication of the tax system in terms of tourism, the attraction of financial resources for long-term projects, and a shortage of qualified staff in the sector are the main difficulties.”
From April to October is the top season in terms of hotel capacity. “However, Lopota is the best place for leisure at any time of the year. Our guests, looking either for active leisure or complete relaxation are offered an original and comfortable vacation regardless of the season,” said Maisuradze.
Maisuradze has another business plan, to cultivate a rose plantation on the territory of Lopota. “This project is currently under development. The absence of specialists in this field is the main obstacle for us. The approximate volume of investment for the project is USD 500,000,” he said.
Over 30% of guests at Lopota Resort are foreigners. The majority of them are Europeans, followed by Ukrainians and Russians.
There are some distinguishing features of our foreign and local customers. According to Maisuradze, Georgian vacationers are more complex and demanding in terms of service and activities.
Our main segment of guests is people aged 25 and over. “They are used to comfort and a good environment, lead an active life, want to escape the noisy city for a while and unwind in nature yet maintain their comfortable lifestyles,” Maisuradze described.
“We are oriented on a segment that wants to get the maximum out of being in a quiet, comfortable atmosphere. Our guests have the opportunity to ride horses, use both water and terrestrial bikes, enjoy and take part in local traditions such as wine tasting, making churchkhela and bread baking,” he added.
“Two new hotels, with 30 premium class rooms, suites, family size, duplex and other types of rooms will be added to our complex. This will further add to the relaxation and comfort of our guests. The new restaurant which is able to accommodate 300 people is currently under the process of construction and will also open soon. Customers will be able to celebrate corporate parties, weddings and a variety of events at our new restaurant at any time of the year. The large, 60 meter-long pool will be officially available in May. As a response to our guests’ requests, especially foreigners, entertainment services will soon be added to our various excursion services,” said Maisuradze.
Currently Lopota Resort operates 6 hotels. In total the Resort can accommodate 120 guests.
There are several reasons why management decided to construct a new building in an existing place and not in a completely new location. “Lopota was the first proper resort complex in Georgia. We wanted to develop it so that it would become the first comprehensive multi-profile leisure complex. Therefore there are many upcoming projects on Lopota. The projects underway include a Chateau, spa and sauna complex. We will also launch an innovative Eco Vegetables project,” said Maisuradze.
Additional good news for customers is that while Lopota Resort continues to add new entertainment services, the prices will not increase.