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 Carlson Hotels Worldwide Inititates
New Brand Building Strategies

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ARUBA (May 24, 2004) --- Carlson Hotels Worldwide announced a variety of new business building and brand defining strategies here this week during its four-day, 2004 Annual Business Conference as nearly 900 participants and guests gathered for the event from around the world. Focusing on the creation of a "Brand New World" of opportunity in the travel industry, the conference included hotel owners, franchisees, partners, managers, vendors and employees from the Carlson organization and its five hotel brands: Regent International Hotels; Radisson Hotels & Resorts; Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts; Country Inns & Suites By Carlson and Park Inn hotels.

Following are news highlights which were announced at the conference:

  • Radisson Hotels & Resorts announces new brand defining bed --- Radisson Sleep Number Bed -- -in exclusive agreement with Select Comfort
  • Carlson Hotels Worldwide announces new global charity partner, the World  Childhood Foundation
  • Carlson Hotels Worldwide pursues diversity strategy in its hotel development
  • Carlson Hotels Worldwide announces innovative new "e-consulting" service for hotel properties to master the complexities of web-based business delivery
  • Radisson Hotels & Resorts launches new "Express Yourself" service, enabling new guest choices
  • Country Inns & Suites By Carlson partners with nationally acclaimed children's book, A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket, in comprehensive family travel promotion
  • Radisson Hotels & Resorts managed hotels launches new low-carb dining options in partnership with Mission Foods
  • Carlson Hotels Worldwide improves customer opt guest program, Gold Points, by allowing expanded redemption for airline miles
Carlson Hotels Worldwide experiences substantial unit growth around the world:

Regent International Hotels plans to open three new hotels in the United States between 2005 and 2007. The hotels will be on Miami's famous South Beach, in Winter Park, Fla. (near Orlando); and in Boston on Battery Wharf. Additional hotels are being developed in Zagreb, Croatia and Ningbo, China as the hotel company gears up for global expansion.

The Regent South Beach (Miami). Construction is underway for The Regent South Beach, an 80-unit, five-story luxury condominium hotel that will be the focal point of a USD $67 million development offering breath-taking views of the Atlantic Ocean and South Beach. Planned to open in Spring 2005, the development will also include upscale retail and restaurant space in the heart of Miami's world-famous South Beach.

The Regent Winter Park Hotel, Spa & Residences. The Regent Winter Park Hotel, Spa & Residences will include a 158-room boutique condominium hotel and an adjacent building that will house 23 luxury condominium residences. The hotel is set on four acres in fashionable Winter Park, just blocks from Rollins College and the museums, galleries and shops of Park Avenue. The development will also include a gourmet restaurant/lounge, 1,858 sq. meter spa (20,000 sq. ft.) world class spa and the area¿s finest banquet facilities, all with the backdrop of breathtaking gardens and romantic waterscapes. The world-class spa designed by Hirsch Bedner in consultation with Cary Collier will be the showpiece of this elegant hotel. The spa will offer customized treatments, private cabanas, couples suites, a rooftop pool, state-of-the-art fitness center and a full-service salon and boutique. The development is expected to open in mid-2005.

The Regent Boston at Battery Wharf Hotel, Club and Residences. The Regent Boston at Battery Wharf Hotel, Club and Residences is a spectacular four-building complex consisting of a 150-room luxury hotel and 103 exclusive condominiums. Boston-based Development Management Corporation is developing the luxury hotel in the Boston's historic North End with an expected opening of 2007.

The Regent Esplanade Hotel in Zagreb, Croatia. Expected to open during Second Quarter 2004, The Regent Esplanade Hotel is a magnificent landmark building that offers all modern comforts, while retaining the charm of its original 1925 Art Nouveau architecture. The hotel has 207 individually designed guest rooms, a grand restaurant in a modern style, a classic contemporary cocktail bar and a simple but elegant French bistro, complete with glazed conservatory and outdoor terrace extending on to one of Zagreb's elegant piazzas. A grand ballroom, well-equipped conference rooms, business facilities and parking, complete the hotel's impressive list of facilities. The hotel is superbly situated in the city center, a five-minute walk from the main business and shopping area. International rail links are within easy access and Zagreb Airport is only 16kms (10 mi.) from the hotel.

The Regent Ningbo, China. The Regent Ningbo will be the first international luxury hotel in this fast-growing area of east China, 160kms (100 mi.) south of Shanghai. Scheduled to open in October 2005, the 325-room Regent Ningbo will be the centerpiece 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 meter (1.2 million sq. ft.) project will also feature a mid-tier hotel, offices and a retail and entertainment center. 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 meter (11,000 sq. ft.) ballroom, function and meeting rooms, business center and a Regent executive lounge.

Park Inn, the economy hotel brand of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, today announced that nine hotels were added to its European system during the first five months of 2004, including a 889-room flagship hotel at London's Heathrow Airport. The new properties added so far in 2004 bring the total number of Park Inn hotels to 69 in ten countries. Park Inn also plans to develop the brand in Latin America. Earlier this year the brand unveiled a new concept in North America designed to fuel growth in that region of the world.

"We are please with our initial success with this brand so far in 2004 and look forward to having Park Inn become the newest growth brand in every region of the world," said Nancy Johnson, brand leader for Park Inn and executive vice president of select-service hotels for Carlson Hotels Worldwide. "Globally, our objective for Park Inn is to find and build quality hotels that are able to serve customer needs and expectations. We predict that our momentum will remain strong in the months and years ahead."

Rezidor SAS Hospitality, the master franchisor for the Park Inn brand throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa, has had great success in early 2004 with the addition of nine new Park Inn hotels in Europe.

Last week Rezidor announced the addition of the flagship property, Park Inn Heathrow, the brand's first foray into the United Kingdom. The Park Inn Heathrow, formerly Le Meridien Heathrow, features 880 rooms and nine suites. The property has recently undergone a renovation in 415 rooms that typify the Park Inn concept and offer guests the essential in-transit business facilities. The hotel's well-equipped conference center can host up to 220 delegates and is a key focus for the hotel's operation.

In January, the company welcomed four new Park Inn hotels in Germany, including the 167-room Park Inn Munich-East, and the 81-room Park Inn Munich, located near the renowned Munich trade fair and about 30 minutes from Munich international airport. The Park Inn Erfurt-Apfelstadt features 97 guest rooms, a full-service restaurant and a fitness center; and in north Chemnitz, the Park Inn Chemnitz-Hartmannsdorf is within a short drive to the Erzgebirge Mountains, as well as the cities of Dresden and Leipzig. Another German property opened in March as the newly refurbished Park Inn Bamberg-Hallstadt. This 55-room hotel offers modern conveniences in a quaint, historic building originally constructed as a brewery in 1793.

Also added to the Park Inn portfolio in January was the 160-room Park Inn Highland in Geilo, Norway, a warm and friendly hotel with an easy, relaxed atmosphere and ideal for both conferences and leisure stays. In April, two other Scandinavian hotels came online -- the 200-room Park Inn Tott in Are, Sweden, and the Park Inn Vejle in Denmark, a modern business, conference, and family hotel offering 137 guestrooms surrounded by scenic countryside.

Rezidor SAS also announced plans to open five additional Park Inn hotels in France in June 2004 in the cities of Orange, Arcachon, La Tour de Salvagny, Macon and Nancy.

To spark development of the Park Inn brand in Latin America, Carlson Hotels is working with São Paulo, Brazil-based Atlantica Hotels International to introduce the brand in Brazil. Atlantica is the first multi-brand hotel administrator in South America, and the largest independent management company in Brazil.

Atlantica Hotels plans to construct the first Park Inn hotel in the city of Campinas, Brazil. It is estimated to cost USD $3.4 million, and is scheduled to open in 2006.

Earlier this year, Park Inn unveiled a new hotel concept for North America that sets the stage for the economy hotel chain to emerge as Carlson's newest growth brand. Carlson plans to begin construction on the first prototype Park Inn in late 2004. The new concept was designed to be easily adaptable for conversions, as well as for new-build hotels. Architectural plans are currently being developed for both new-build and conversion opportunities and several potential franchisees have expressed interest in developing new-build Park Inn properties. The cost of the new concept is expected to run between $38,000 and $42,000 per guestroom. The signature touch points of the new Park Inn concept are the bed, shower and lighting design.


 
 
Contact:
 Joan Cronson
Director, Public Relations & Communications
Carlson Hotels Worldwide
Phone: 763-212-1418
e-mail: jcronson@carlson.com
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Also See: Regent International Hotels Signs Agreement to Operate the USD $60.5 million Regent Ningbo to Open 2005 in China / February 2004
Carlson Hotels Creates New Prototype for Park Inn; Estimated Per Room Construction Cost to be $38,000 to $42,000 / January 2004


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