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Hilton Recognizes Top Development Projects of 2003; 
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RLJ Development, LLC, Highgate Holdings and Whiteco Industries &
WPM Construction LLC Presented Awards for the Deal of the Year
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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. March 19, 2004 – Hilton, Doubletree® and Embassy Suites Hotels® brands recognized the top hotel development projects of 2003 during the Hilton Hotels Corporation Full-Service Conference held March 2-4 in Chicago.  Hotel development awards across the three brands were presented in three distinct categories:  Developer of the Year, Deal of the Year, and Outstanding Achievement. In addition, a Multi-brand Developer of the Year also was recognized. 

“We are delighted to present our Full-Service Hotel Development Awards as a way to recognize owner commitment to maintaining and building top-quality hotels for our Hilton Family of Hotels,” said Bill Fortier, senior vice president – franchise development, Hilton Hotels Corporation.  “Each of our three full-service brands is thrilled to recognize their respective award recipients as a way to express appreciation for the owners’ brand loyalty and overall dedication to excellence, from the design stage to post-opening.”

MULTI-BRAND DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR:

Buccini/Pollin Group
The full-service brands collectively awarded the Buccini/Pollin Group as the Hilton Family full-service Multi-Brand Developer of the Year for that developer’s commitment to developing cross-brand.  Their leadership, commitment to excellence and their ability to overcome obstacles have resulted in a portfolio of hotels that perform at the top of their markets.  The Buccini/Pollin Group currently has three Hilton Family hotels under construction: the Homewood Suites by Hilton® Newark, Del.; the Homewood Suites by Hilton Dulles Airport, Va.; and the Embassy Suites Hotel Dulles Airport, Va.  The group also recently received approval for a full-service Hilton BWI Airport, Md.  Existing hotels in the Hilton Family include: the Embassy Suites Hotel Boston at Logan Airport, Mass. and Embassy Suites Hotel Newark, Del.

DEVELOPER OF THE YEAR

Each brand recognized a Developer of the Year for the owner who developed one or more unique hotels that helped enhance a brand’s image in 2003.  To be considered, all hotels in the candidates’ Hilton Family portfolio had to be rated high-quality and in good status, and could represent a combination of new projects, renovations and conversions. 

The recipients of the Developer of the Year award were:

HILTON – The Pueblo of Pojoaque
The Pueblo of Pojoaque and Hilton Hotels Corporation broke ground this week in Northern New Mexico on a $250 million mixed-use destination resort development that will feature the luxurious, 387-room Hilton Santa Fe/North, as well as an 84-room Homewood Suites by Hilton® property.  Target date for the opening of the Hilton and a variety of additional lodging and resort offerings is projected to occur in several phases between late 2004 and 2006.  The Hilton Santa Fe/North will be comprised of 386 rooms and a 2-level Presidential Suite with a private outdoor "observatory".  Every guestroom features Native American adobe style architecture, artwork and interior designs and includes a fireplace, balcony, a flat-screen plasma television and wireless high-speed Internet access.  Additional facilities include 50,000 sq. ft of meeting space for exhibits and special events; a 20,000 sq. ft full-service spa; a 6,000 sq. ft children’s recreation area; an 18-hole, professional golf course designed by Hale Irwin and clubhouse; and a full-service tennis club.
 

DOUBLETREE – MeriStar Hospitality Corporation
The Doubletree Hotel Dallas North, which just joined the Doubletree family this week, is conveniently located within a 15-mile radius of all major business centers in the Dallas area as well as such attractions as Texas Stadium, American Airlines Center, The Ballpark in Arlington, Six Flags Over Texas and Grapevine Lake. The hotel is fully equipped to meet the needs of today’s sophisticated traveler with 289 elegantly appointed guest rooms; high-speed Internet access; a full-service business center; two restaurants and much more.  The Doubletree Hotel Dallas North’s 25,000 square feet of expansive meeting and event space includes a spacious 7,300 square foot grand ballroom, which provides the perfect Dallas gathering place for groups up to 1,000 people.

Another MeriStar property will be joining the Doubletree family in April.  Currently the Radisson Hotel Orlando, the 742-room Doubletree Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando, is one of Orlando's largest meeting venues, with a convention center that features 60,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 23,000-square-foot exhibit hall and a 15,000-square-foot ballroom.  The hotel will soon begin work on a $14 million exterior and interior renovation that should be completed by the end of 2006. The hotel plans to remodel guest rooms, upgrade meeting facilities and develop a full-service spa. Located across the street from Universal Studios®, CityWalk® and Islands of Adventure®, the Doubletree Hotel at the Entrance to Universal Orlando is a favorite destination for meetings and conventions, business travelers and vacationers, especially families and groups touring nearby attractions.

EMBASSY SUITES HOTELS --  John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts 
With nearly 20 Embassy Suites Hotels currently open, John Q. Hammons (JQH) is constructing its latest hotel the Embassy Suites Hotel St. Charles in Missouri.  Featuring 300 suites and 6,000 square feet of meeting space, the hotel is being built in conjunction with the City of St. Charles new Convention Center, which will feature 130,000 square feet of meeting and convention space.  The hotel is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2005.

DEAL OF THE YEAR

Three Hilton, Doubletree and Embassy Suites Hotels owners were presented awards for the Deal of the Year which recognizes the tremendous commitment of time and effort many owners devoted to building a hotel.

The recipients of the Deal of the Year award were:

HILTON – RLJ Development, LLC
The 426-room Hilton Cancun is the only beachfront hotel in Cancun that features its own 18-hole professional-grade golf course on property.  A Hilton since the fall of 1999, the hotel was a franchised property until May 2003, when RLJ Development took ownership of this luxury hotel-resort through its hands-on, entrepreneurial approach to hotel acquisitions.  Since that time, RLJ Development has reinvigorated the operations of the hotel, once again positioning the Hilton Cancun as the leading meetings-oriented resort on the Yucatan Peninsula.
 
DOUBLETREE –  Highgate Holdings
Soon to become a Doubletree hotel later this summer, the Metropolitan Hotel is located at the corner of Lexington Avenue and 51st Street, in the heart of midtown Manhattan.  This central location, close to Manhattan’s primary business, commercial, cultural and shopping districts, has made it a popular hotel for visitors to New York since it opened in 1961. The Metropolitan is distinguished by its art deco, post-modern architectural style features, its curving façade and colorful exterior.  The 722-room full-service hotel is undergoing a dramatic aesthetic transformation designed to maintain the hotel’s prominence among New York guests and expand the Doubletree brand’s presence in Manhattan. 

EMBASSY SUITES HOTELS -- Whiteco Industries & WPM Construction LLC
Whiteco Industries & WPM Construction LLC are developing the 374-suite, 21-story Embassy Suites Tampa Convention Center Hotel, connected to the Tampa Convention Center via sky bridge in downtown Tampa, Fla.  Opening during the fourth quarter 2005, the elegant facade will complement the Tampa skyline and feature 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT

The brands also recognized developers with


Hilton Cancun Beach & Golf Resort
Blvd Kukukan Km. 17 
Zona Hotel 
Cancun, Mexico 77500 Mexico


Metropolitan Hotel
(Formerly Loews New York Hotel)
569 Lexington Ave.
New York, NY
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Opened in 1961 the Metropolitan Hotel –  then called The Summit – was the talk of the town for its ideal midtown location and tropical deco look. Designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus, the building’s curving façade coated in seafoam-colored brick was an extreme contrast to the somber hues and straight lines of the surrounding skyscrapers.


Outstanding Achievement awards for exceeding standards in order to achieve excellence and better blend into an environment.

Cooper Companies
Memphis-based Cooper Companies, which has enjoyed a 20-year relationship with the Hilton Family of Hotels, was an integral part of a unique multi-unit hotel deal, which led to five Tennessee hotels becoming members of the Doubletree hotel portfolio and the addition of another Hilton full-service hotel in the Memphis hotel market.  As part of the agreement, which was signed last Spring, Cooper re-branded its 265-room Hilton East Memphis to a Doubletree and converted four additional Tennessee properties in Jackson, Johnson City, Murfreesboro and Oak Ridge to Doubletree hotels.  With this Doubletree move, 11 of the 22 hotels in the Cooper Hotels portfolio are now affiliated with a Hilton Family brand.

Los Marlins Suites Hotel, S.A.
Situated on the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic and a 45-minute drive from historic Santo Domingo, the 126-suite Embassy Suites Hotel Los Marlins Golf Resort opened in March 2003.  Located in the secluded Metro Country Club, the resort overlooks the 18-hole, par 72 Los Marlins Golf Course, member of the Finest Courses of the World.  One mile away is the Guavaberry Golf Course, designed by the legendary Gary Player, featuring the only “island hole” on the island and representing one of the top 10 courses in the Caribbean.  The resort also sports two lighted tennis courts, a lagoon-shaped swimming pool with a swim-up bar, and two whirlpools.

North Point Hospitality Group, Inc.
North Point Hospitality is joining the Doubletree collection of hotels later this Summer, by converting their award-winning Radisson Hotel in the heart of the downtown Savannah Historic district.  The hotel is located at the corner of Bay Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard and adjacent to the popular Market Center entertainment district.  The hotel originally opened in February 2002 and quickly became one of the top performing hotels in the Historic District.  The hotel is decorated in traditional Savannah fashion with soft pastel colors and deep mahogany wood accents and furnishings throughout the public areas and guest rooms.  The guest rooms feature tall, four-poster beds and other furnishings reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century low-country home. 

Promotora Paseo de la Reforma
Representing the only Embassy Suites Hotel in Mexico, the 162-suite Embassy Suites Hotel Mexico City currently is under construction within an existing building, scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2005.  The hotel is located at Paseo de la Reforma, the main avenue that crosses Mexico City from east to west and the crossroads between the historic district and modern downtown.  The Embassy Suites Hotel Mexico City will have 19 floors (original building has 12 floors) and occupies one entire block at Reforma Avenue and Columbus Circle.  The hotel will represent the only upscale all-suite product in Mexico City proper.

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Hilton Hotels Corporation is recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company.  The company develops, owns, manages or franchises nearly 2,200 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties. 
 

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Contact:
Kendra Walker
Hilton Hotels Corporation
310-205-4545
kendra_walker@hilton.com

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Also See: New Owners of the 722-room Metropolitan Hotel in Midtown Manhattan Plan Renovation and Repositiong / July 2003
The Buccini/Pollin Group Breaks Ground On Two Adjacent Hotels in Dulles Corridor; Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites Will be Connected, Share Executive Management / September 2003
Top Developers and Top Hotels for Hilton's Focused-Service Brands Named; Stonebridge Companies Receives the Multi-Brand Top Developer of the Year Award / February 2004
The Best Developers, the Best Deals and the Best Conversions within Hilton Hotels Corporation's Full-Service Brands Named / April 2003


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