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John Q. Hammons Developing $50-million, 300-suite Embassy Suites
and Convention Center in La Vista, Nebraska; The $30 million,
225-room Courtyard® by Marriott® Oklahoma City
Downtown/Bricktown Opens
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. - March 9, 2004 – Mr. John Q. Hammons today announced his plans to develop a new $50-million, 300-suite Embassy Suites Hotel and a 100,000-square-foot convention center in La Vista, Neb.  The new hotel and convention center are owned by Mr. Hammons and the city of La Vista, and will be managed by Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. (AMEX: JQH), the leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale, full-service hotels, resorts and suites. 

Construction on the 10-story Embassy Suites Hotel – La Vista and the convention center is expected to begin in Q4 2004, followed by a grand opening in the first quarter of 2006.  Strategically located southwest of the thriving metropolitan area of Omaha, Neb., at I-80 and I-680 and minutes away from Eppley Airfield, the convention center and hotel will be a part of La Vista’s rapid commercial, industrial and residential development. 

As the third Embassy Suites Hotel to be built by Mr. Hammons in Nebraska, the new development will contribute to the success already established by the company’s Embassy Suites Hotel – Lincoln in Lincoln, Neb., and the Embassy Suites Hotel – Downtown/Old Market in Omaha, Neb.

“La Vista’s ongoing commitment to developing its prosperous community makes it a perfect fit for a full-service, upscale hotel and convention center that can accommodate large meetings,” said Mr. John Q. Hammons, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc.  “As the city of Omaha’s western boundary continues to expand, the La Vista market will flourish.  I am confident the Embassy Suites Hotel’s unparalleled accommodations, the convention center’s meeting space and our strong relationship with the city of La Vista will contribute to the continued growth of the area.”

To be fashioned with the signature atrium style of John Q. Hammons Hotels, the Embassy Suites Hotel – La Vista’s décor will have a contemporary flair that invites guests to enjoy the exceptional appointments and outstanding customer service that defines the John Q. Hammons Hotels and the Embassy Suites Hotel brands.

Also, Mr. John Q. Hammons celebrates the milestone of building his 150th property with the recent grand opening of the $30 million, 225-room Courtyard® by Marriott® Oklahoma City Downtown/Bricktown Hotel and Arena Parking.  Located in Oklahoma City’s Bricktown, one of the fastest growing entertainment districts in the Southwest, the new eight-story property and more than 600-space parking garage are owned by Mr. John Q. Hammons and managed by John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. 

“Marriott International would like to congratulate Mr. John Q. Hammons on reaching his 150th development milestone,” said Ted Coleman, vice president of owner and franchise services for Marriott International.  “He is one of the most respected and successful individuals in the lodging industry, and Marriott is proud to be a part of his elite group of properties.  We applaud him on this significant accomplishment.”

Operations of the new hotel are led by General Manager Jim Rickards. Rickards entered the hospitality industry with John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. in 1995 and has held several management positions within the company.  In his most recent position as General Manager of the Hampton Inn & Suites® in Springdale, Ark., Rickards was responsible for overall operations at the hotel, marketing, and hiring management and staff.  During his tenure, Rickards successfully increased gross revenues and led the hotel to a top ranking among all Hampton Inn & Suites properties nationwide.

“Amidst the variety of businesses, convention-goers and visitors, the Courtyard by Marriott will greatly contribute to the growth Bricktown is realizing,” Rickards said.  “Our seasoned executive staff works to ensure we are maintaining the high standards that make all John Q. Hammons Hotels unique and well regarded in the industry.  We are honored to be Mr. Hammons’ 150th property to be built and look forward to being one of the premier hotels in downtown Oklahoma City.” 

Executive Staff

The executive staff at the Courtyard by Marriott Oklahoma City Downtown/Bricktown Hotel brings several years of hospitality experience and knowledge to the property.  In addition to Rickards, members of the executive staff include:  Mireida de Cam, assistant general manager; Shannon Nance, director of sales and marketing; Tammy Johnson, revenue manager; Chris Januszewski, food and beverage manager; Leoatis Hill, chief engineer; Nancy Arenas, executive housekeeper; Shawn Patel, front office manager; Mike Harvell, chef; Diana Blakeney, human resources manager and bookkeeper; Isis Pena, human resources and bookkeeping assistant; David Perry, dining room supervisor; and Jessica Painter, sales coordinator.

About the Bricktown Area

Bricktown is an old warehouse district converted into the city’s hot spot for entertainment.  It offers turn-of-the-century charm and a wide array of restaurants, clubs, boutiques and galleries.  The Courtyard by Marriott Oklahoma City Downtown/Bricktown Hotel is strategically located at 2 West Reno Ave., across the street from the recently renovated Cox Business Services Convention Center, which features a 15,000-seat arena, several meeting rooms, a 25,000-square-foot ballroom, and 100,000-square-foot exhibit hall. 

Company Information

Privately owned by Mr. John Q. Hammons, the Courtyard by Marriott Oklahoma City Downtown/Bricktown Hotel is managed under contract by John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc.  Publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX: JQH), Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels is the nation’s leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale, full-service hotels, resorts and suites, including: Embassy Suites Hotel, Renaissance, Marriott, Radisson, Residence Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Holiday Inn and Courtyard by Marriott brands.  With 60 hotels strategically located near demand generators, such as state capitals, universities, airports, corporate headquarters or office parks in secondary and tertiary markets, John Q. Hammons Hotels’ properties are dominant in their markets.  The company’s focus is capitalizing on positive operating fundamentals in the upscale, full-service sector, converting existing hotels to franchise brands and selling mature assets, while reinvesting the proceeds and reducing debt.  Over the course of his impressive career in the hotel business, Mr. Hammons has developed 150 hotels.

Contact:
Scott Tarwater
John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc.
(417) 873-3591
scott.tarwater@jqh.com

 
Also See: John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. Reports Net loss for Year Ending 2002 of $2.8 million, Compared to a Loss of $3.1 million In 2001 / Feb 2003
John Q. Hammons Hotels Reports Full Year Loss of ($0.61) Per Share; More than Half of Loss Attributed to Defective Windows at Nine Hotels / Hotel Operating Data / Feb 2002


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