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 Benchmark Appointed Operator of the 265 room
Hotel Contessa, San Antonio; Appoints
David G. Lagarce General Manager

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THE WOODLANDS (HOUSTON), TEXAS, November 10, 2004 - Benchmark Hospitality International has announced the Hotel Contessa, a luxurious property to be located on the famed Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio, Texas. 

Burt Cabanas, Chairman & CEO of Benchmark, made the announcement saying, "San Antonio is a great destination with an exceptional history.  Much of this history originates on the banks of the San Antonio River, which is the backdrop to the successful San Antonio Riverwalk.  It's an honor to join in the success of the Riverwalk with this exceptional new property, Hotel Contessa."

Upon completion in November of 2005, the new 240,000-square-foot hotel will feature a 12-story tower with 265 luxuriously appointed suites, decorated by the noted interior designer, Vivian Nichols.  The property will include an upscale spa offering the most current treatment services for guests, a comprehensive fitness center and rooftop swimming pool.  A unique gourmet restaurant and lounge will be at the river level, featuring scenic views of the lushly landscaped Riverwalk with its quaint pedestrian bridges and colorful riverboats.

Hotel Contessa will provide 13,500 square feet of elegant meeting, event and pre-function space, including a ballroom, Executive Boardroom, and several smaller conference rooms, which will offer state-of-the-art information and presentation technology.  The pre-function space will be ideal for receptions and gatherings by social and corporate groups. The property is expected to receive accreditation by the prestigious International Association of Conference Centers.

Co-developers for Hotel Contessa are Hixon Properties Incorporated, of San Antonio, and Hines Interests (www.Hines.com) of Houston.  Hines is one of the premier developers in the United States and has extensive experience with luxury properties, including the Westin Riverwalk and Westin Galleria Hotels in San Antonio and Houston, respectively.

Ideally located on the San Antonio Riverwalk, Hotel Contessa is situated one block from San Antonio's convention center, three blocks from the nationally renowned historic site - The Alamo, and within easy walking distance to many of the city's restaurants and nightlife activities.  

David G. Lagarce Appointed General Manager

A distinguished hotelier, David Lagarce brings to Hotel Contessa extensive experience in the role of general manager and with opening new hotels.  Most recently he was the opening general manager for The Chattanoogan, a 202-guestroom property managed by Benchmark Hospitality International and located in the heart of Chattanooga, Tennessee.  Lagarce lead the property's successful launch and positioned the hotel as an urban resort, and as a vital component of the revitalization of downtown Chattanooga. 

Lagarce was also opening general manager for the upscale Renaissance Resort World Golf Village in St. Augustine, Florida, and for the University Plaza Hotel in Bowling Green, Kentucky. 

Dave Lagarce served as general manager of several additional properties early in his hospitality career.  He is a graduate of the State University of New York with a degree in Hotel Administration.  He is the past President of the Memphis Hotel / Motel Association and the Tennessee Hotel / Motel Association.  Lagarce was designated "Hotelier of the Year" in 2003 by the Tennessee Hotel & Lodging Association.  He and his wife Linda have relocated to San Antonio.

Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, operates resorts, conference centers and hotels both domestically and internationally.  


 
Contact:

Benchmark Hospitality
www.benchmarkhospitality.com

Ken Ellens
KEN ELLENS COMMUNICATIONS
201-758-2864 / 2O1-758-2865-Fax
KenEllens@aol.com

Also See: The 324-room Four Points by Sheraton Rebranded Clarion Hotel Riverwalk, San Antonio / July 2004
The 146-suite Homewood Suites on San Antonio’s Riverwalk Acquired by Innkeepers USA Trust for $21 million / May 2004


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