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The 654 room Hyatt Orange County Acquired by
Ashford Hospitality Trust for  $81 million in Cash

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DALLAS - Sept. 29, 2004-- Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AHT):

Transaction Highlights:

  • Hyatt Orange County increases direct hotel portfolio to 33 assets totaling 5,095 rooms
  • Asset being delivered with $6 million renovation in progress to be completed November 2004
  • After renovation, projected first year un-leveraged EBITDA yield of 9.8% and NOI cap rate of 8.2%
  • Expected to benefit from value-added positioning and strong market RevPAR growth
Ashford Hospitality Trust, Inc. (NYSE: AHT) today announced it has definitively agreed to acquire the Hyatt Orange County in Anaheim, California, for $81 million in cash, inclusive of the seller's commitment to fund a $6 million renovation which will be completed in November 2004. This renovation, including rooms and common areas, will complete the upgrade and position the hotel for significant improvement in operating performance. Based on pro forma projections in the first year after renovation, the hotel is expected to generate an un-leveraged EBITDA yield of 9.8% and an NOI capitalization rate of 8.2%. The pre-renovation trailing twelve month unleveraged EBITDA yield is 8.0% and the net operating income capitalization rate is 6.5%. The Hyatt Orange County produced gross revenues of approximately $27.8 million in the last twelve months. The acquisition is expected to close in October 2004. The seller was represented by Molinaro Koger.

The Hyatt Orange County has 654 rooms in two towers connected with a 17-story atrium, 65,000 square feet of meeting space, an exercise facility, restaurant, Starbucks and Pizza Hut outlets, two swimming pools, a business center and a gift shop. The hotel is located approximately one mile south of the entrance to Disneyland Park, the Anaheim Convention Center, Downtown Disney District and California Adventure. The property will continue to be managed by Hyatt under a long-term management agreement at a fee of 3% of gross revenues.

In 2001, the seller converted an adjacent office building to a 258-guestroom north tower and an additional 40,000 square feet of meeting space. The $6 million renovation of the hotel's original south tower, which features 396 guestrooms and 24,300 square feet of meeting space, will include complete renovation of all guestrooms and bathrooms. The renovation is expected to be completed in November 2004 with no additional Hyatt brand requirements necessary.

Monty J. Bennett, President and CEO of Ashford Hospitality Trust, said, "We are very excited about the compelling immediate and future growth opportunities this acquisition provides. With the renovation complete in two months, the Hyatt will be positioned for what we believe to be the first time to take full advantage of its excellent meeting space, refreshed rooms product and an accelerating local market. By aggressively focusing on shifting the business mix to self-contained group business, implementing yield management strategies and improving its market positioning relative to the competitive set, we expect to achieve significant increases in operating performance at this property. Based on our detailed analysis of the Anaheim market, we also expect to benefit from the considerable year-to-date growth in this market area as well as Disney's 50th anniversary celebration."

Ashford Hospitality Trust is a self-administered real estate investment trust focused on investing in the hospitality industry across all segments and at all levels of the capital structure, including direct hotel investments, first mortgages, mezzanine loans and sale-leaseback transactions. Additional information can be found on the Company's web site at www.ahtreit.com.

Certain statements and assumptions in this press release contain or are based upon "forward-looking" information and are being made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. 


 
Contact:
Ashford Hospitality Trust
www.ahtreit.com
Also See: Orange County’s 50 Largest Hotels with Meeting Rooms Report 3% Jump in Space in 2003 / Sandi Cain / January 2004
New Hotels, Remodelings Spur Growth in Orange County Meeting Space Amid Slow Recovery / Sandi Cain / January 2003


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