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December 9, 2008

Anatomy of the first year of a German hotel and venue launch

The Maritim Hotel Düsseldorf officially opened its doors one year ago on 3 December 2007 onto a world that was about to enter an economic crisis. So would it still be around to tell the tale 12 months later?

Launching a hotel in such uncertain economic times, was certainly a brave move on the part of Maritim Hotelgesellschaft, one of Germany's leading hotel groups. However, it was hoped that its strong appeal to business visitors and excellent events facilities would provide enough scope for success.

Off with a bang: Hotel director Jens Vogel (right) and colleagues at last year's launch

Located at Düsseldorf International Airport with a direct connection to the terminal, the first year’s positive figures back up Maritim's prognosis for the hotel's bright future. Aiding the result is the fact that the new addition to the Maritim portfolio is proving to be a regional magnet for meetings and congress organisers.

With facilities covering 6,000 square metres, the hotel and venue is able to host up to 5,000 participants simultaneously and caters for events of all kinds. Around 130,000 guests staying in Düsseldorf, North Rhine Westphalia's capital, chose to take advantage of the prime location and book in at the Maritim.

This translates to 55% average occupation for the first 12 months when spread over the 533 rooms, which generated a total revenue of more than €23 million. What’s more, at 86%, people travelling on business made up the bulk of those staying at the hotel, revealing that the strong events offering paid dividends.

The majority of guests were from Germany, followed by those from the United Arab Emirates and the UK. True to its purpose as a congress and meetings hotel, the facilities have already played host to no less than 2,457 organised events – the largest of which was the JEDICON 2008, which attracted around 2,000 Star Wars fans.

Among the total of 116,000 event participants were the 1,100 who took part in the SPD annual party convention, the 1,000 that attended the FDP New Year's reception and the 900 guests of the Prinzengarde Blau-Weiss. The list of famous faces gracing the hotel during its first operational year was also long: German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Franz Beckenbauer and the entire German football team among them.

"We're most pleased to announce that the annual result has exceeded our projections." said Jens Vogel, the hotel's director. "Substantial bookings for 2009 have already been taken, including the ADTV Ball with 1,300 guests, the Prinzengarde Blau-Weiss with 900 and various graduation balls for around 700 attendees each. We're extremely confident that the upcoming year will also prove very successful."

Having already sailed through a tough first 12 months, it looks like Vogel’s predictions might just come off.

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