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Regent International Hotels Signs Agreement to
Operate the USD $60.5 million Regent Ningbo
to Open 2005 in China

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NINGBO, People's Republic of China - February 17, 2004 - Regent International Hotels today announced plans to build a new luxury hotel at Ningbo in the Yangtze River Delta.  The Regent Ningbo will be the first international luxury hotel in this fast growing area of east China, 160kms (100 mi.) south of Shanghai.  Regent International Hotels is part of Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide. 

Scheduled to open in October 2005, the hotel will be managed by Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific, Carlson's regional headquarters for the Asia-Pacific region. 

Ningbo-based Yuan Wang Huaxia Real Estate Development Company is developing the new Regent Ningbo.  Founded in 1996, the privately held company has developed a reputation for quality residential, retail, educational and commercial developments.  This development is being designed by US-based architects, BBG and project managed by Scott Wilson Ltd.

The 325-room Regent Ningbo will be the centrepiece of major redevelopment currently underway to transform the downtown area of the Ningbo Economic and Technical Development Zone, also known as Beilun.  The 110,000 square metre (1.2 million sq. ft.) project will also feature a mid-tier hotel, offices and a retail and entertainment centre.

A signing ceremony in Ningbo attended by Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific president and managing director, Paul Kirwin, Yuan Wang Huaxia Real Estate Development Company (YWHX) managing director, Ting-Yuan Lee, and Vice-Mayor of Ningbo City, Li Yao, marks a further step forward in Carlson's China expansion. 

"We are aggressively promoting the development of The Regent brand in China," Mr. Kirwin said.  "Besides The Regent Ningbo we are currently finalising negotiations or designs for other Regent hotel projects in Beijing and Shanghai "We expect to open as many as seven Regent hotels over the next 10 years." 

"We are delighted to be working with Yuan Wang Huaxia Real Estate Development Company and authorities from the Ningbo Economic and Technical Development Zone to bring one of the world's most prestigious luxury hotel brands to one of China's fastest growing regions," Kirwin added.

Mr. Kirwin said the hotel would reflect the 'grand and elegant, yet refined and subtle style' that has become a worldwide.

"The Regent Ningbo will serve business travellers and local residents, providing superb service, accommodation and food and beverage," Mr. Lee said.  "We see this project as a key part of the development of downtown Beilun, and intend to invest over RMB 500,000,000 (USD $60.5 million) on the hotel.  We are very pleased to have Carlson as a partner in this exciting project, and look forward to a long-lasting and productive relationship," he added.

The Regent Ningbo will feature a mix of 270 guestrooms and 55 suites.  It will have two Chinese signature restaurants, a Japanese restaurant, a bar and grill, international cuisine restaurant, and lobby and poolside bars.  It will also feature a 1,000 square metre (11,000 sq. ft.) ballroom, function and meeting rooms, business centre and a Regent executive lounge. 

Research undertaken by YWHX's advisor and representative, TZG Partners, indicates the hotel will attract more than 50 percent of its business from the rapidly expanding local business community with the remainder being international business travellers, mainly from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and the United States.

Ningbo is the fourth wealthiest city in China and one of five Chinese cities afforded special economic development zone status under direct jurisdiction of the State Council.  Beilun and the Ningbo Economic and Technical Development Zone is situated on Hangzhou Bay and is the deep-water port for the Yangtze River Delta and the second largest port in China. 

With a population of six million, Ningbo is one of the most vibrant economies in China. It has more than 54,000 local private and 7,000 foreign invested enterprises engaging mainly in clothing and textile manufacturing, electronics, industrial machinery and the import /export trade.

Bordering Shanghai to the north and Hangzhou to the west, Ningbo has a long and important history dating back 7,000 years to the Neolithic Hemudu Culture. 

Regent International Hotels was born in Asia more than 30 years ago.  It is now the luxury flagship brand among Carlson's suite of five hotel brands: Regent International Hotels, Radisson Hotels & Resorts, Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn.

Regent International Hotels has embarked on selective global growth program for the luxury hotel company.  Additional new properties under development include: The Regent Boston at Battery Wharf Hotel and Residences near Boston, The Regent South Beach in Miami, and The Regent Winter Park near Orlando. 

Singapore-based Carlson Hotels Asia Pacific is the regional headquarters for Carlson Hotels Worldwide in the Asia-Pacific region and is supported by reservations, sales and development offices in Tokyo, Hong Kong and Sydney. 


 
Contact:
Kristi Arndt
Corporate PR Director
Regent International Hotels/Carlson Hotels Worldwide
Telephone: 763-212-5626
E-mail: karndt@carlson.com
Also See: After Ten Years of Successful Four Seasons Management, Regent Properties Become Four Seasons Hotel Bangkok and Four Seasons Resort Chiang Mai / December 2003
Hong Kong Based Junefield Group Appoints Regent International Hotels as Manager of 377-room Hotel Under Development in Beijing / Nov 2002
Hong Kong Based Park Lane Hotels International Group to Manage the 500 room Golden Tulip Grand Ningbo Hotel / February 2004


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