10TBILISI206, OPIC FINANCING: BETSY’S HOTEL PROJECT

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
10TBILISI206 2010-02-18 14:29 2011-08-30 01:44 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy Tbilisi

VZCZCXRO6769
RR RUEHIK
DE RUEHSI #0206 0491429
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 181429Z FEB 10
FM AMEMBASSY TBILISI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2893
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TBILISI 000206 
 
DEPT FOR EUR/CARC, EEB 
 
SENSITIVE 
SIPDIS 
 
DEPARTMENT PASS TO KENNETH ANGEL 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: EINV EFIN GG
SUBJECT: OPIC FINANCING: BETSY'S HOTEL PROJECT 
 
REF:  STATE 09960 
 
1. Summary:  In response to reftel, Post's inquiry into Betsy's 
Hotel revealed no negative information that would impede issuance of 
OPIC credit to the company. End Summary. 
 
2.  Betsy's is a boutique hotel overlooking the center of Tbilisi. 
The hotel has been functioning successfully for about 15 years. A 
series of expansions and upgrades reflect the hotel's success. 
Betsy's hotel enjoys a good reputation and the efforts of its 
management have turned it into a preferred place of stay for 
visitors coming to Georgia, especially those who are looking for 
longer-term accommodations. 
 
3.  In general, the hotel business in Georgia has suffered from the 
consequences of 2008 August war with Russia and global economic 
crisis, resulting into a sharp decline into the number of tourists. 
However, any negative effect on Betsy's hotel has been minimal due 
to the fact that its clients are mostly visitors who arrive through 
donor-funded (US Embassy and AID contractors included) projects. 
The current occupancy rate at Betsy's has returned to a pre-war 
level of 65 percent, and the outlook for future operations is more 
positive. 
 
4.  Steven Johnson, the primary owner and General Manager of Betsy's 
hotel, is well known to the Embassy and a board member of the 
American Chamber of Commerce in Georgia.  Mr. Johnson also owns an 
English language bookstore - Prospero's Books.  Post is unaware of 
any negative information concerning the financial standing of 
Betsy's Hotel.  Additionally, Post has no negative information 
regarding terrorism, money laundering, corruption or other charges 
about the owners and managers of the hotel. 
 
BASS

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