Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

St. Petersburg Lures Holiday Inn

ST. PETERSBURG -- Holiday Inn Worldwide, the world's largest hotel chain, will take over two of St. Petersburg's most famous pieces of property -- the Astoria and the Oktyabrskaya hotels.

The Oktyabrskaya, an 800-room hotel opposite the Moscow railway station on Ploshchad Vostaniya, will be completely rebuilt and renamed Holiday Inn St. Petersburg. Construction, to be overseen by the Parkwood Group of Atlanta, Georgia, will take two years and cost $75 million, the mayor's office said.

The Astoria will keep its name, and will continue to belong to the city. But Crowne Plaza, the luxury division of Holiday Inn, will manage the hotel, said Richard Torrence, Mayor Anatoly Sob-chak's adviser for international affairs.

Torrence said a contract on the Astoria would be signed in late April, adding that the Parkwood Group, Holiday Inn and the mayor's office had already signed a preliminary agreement which he described as "very binding."

"St. Petersburg is a city worth waiting for," said Richard Patton, senior vice president of the Parkwood Group, which has spent three years laying the groundwork for Holiday Inn's first move into Russia.

He added that the group is also spearheading a program with Sobchak "to promote the city of St. Petersburg as the most exciting destination city in the world."