Good idea by the government in theory, but according to many, the project has failed due to terrible planning, direction, and execution. It's a long story, but essentially the critics think the project is a waste of money and has more to do with politics than stimulating the pulse of the city (if you're interested, you can read more details about the current debate and see some new photos of the project here).
With all that doubt and uncertainty surrounding the city's growth and direction in recent years, Hilton's arrival sure makes things interesting. People may disagree about the monuments and other projects being built along the Vardar River in the town's center, but the infrastructure to attract and support business and leisure travelers is something we think will actually pay dividends and please all parties. Did the work of the Skopje 2014 project play a role in attracting Hilton to the city? For now, that's up for debate. Though it is obviously not going to fix everything overnight, it is, at the very least, a start in terms of turning the corner.
The DoubleTree is scheduled to open in 2016 with 172 rooms, including 20 suites, 15,000 square feet of events space, and a health club and spa. We look forward to following the fallout from this move and wish Skopje the best of luck in its efforts. It seems that, given the situation, Hilton's decision to build could instill some confidence in other investors who might currently be a bit skeptical, standing on the outskirts, testing the waters with the tip of their toe. Stay tuned to see if they jump in!