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Brazil-based Atlantica Hotels International Opens
the 308-room Park Suites ITC São Paulo
Conversion Project First Park Plaza in South America

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MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (Feb. 1, 2005) -- Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts, the midscale, full-service brand of Minneapolis-based Carlson Hotels Worldwide, today announced that it has opened its first South American property in São Paulo, Brazil.  The 308-room Park Suites ITC São Paulo is a conversion project made possible through a strategic relationship with Brazil-based Atlantica Hotels International.  Atlantica Hotels is the largest multi-brand hotel operator in Latin America, the largest independent management company in Brazil, and is the pioneer for introducing the brand to the Brazilian market.
 
"Over the past year, we've seen a rebound in Latin American economies, an upward trend in the hotel business, and a renewed confidence both in local governments and business leaders about the future state of the continent," said Sam Winterbottom, executive vice president of development for Carlson Hotels Worldwide.  "This new addition to the Park Plaza portfolio of global properties indicates that the pendulum is swinging in a positive direction for the region, and that we are leveraging these positive business trends to grow our business and providing a new and exciting option for our guests traveling to Brazil."

"This is an ideal property to launch the Park Plaza product in Brazil, since its


Park Suites ITC
( formerly Melia Itc Nova Faria Lima )
Rua Fidencio Ramos 420 
Vila Olimpia
São Paulo, Brasil
 services and amenities represent the brand's standards and is located in one of the most desired addresses," says Paul Sistare, president and CEO of Atlantica Hotels International.  "The Vila Olímpia neighborhood, the city's newest commercial center, is a concentration of new office buildings and offers a wide variety of nightlife entertainment options   including fashionable restaurants, bars and nightclubs," he added.

Winterbottom added that São Paulo is one of the most important business capitals in Latin America, evidenced by data from the city's Convention & Visitors Bureau, São Paulo indicating that it receives nearly 7 million visitors annually   the vast majority being business travelers. 

About the Park Suites ITC São Paulo

The new Park Suites ITC São Paulo offers 308 well-appointed guestrooms with full bathrooms, cable television, Internet access, over-sized work stations, business center, three flexible meeting rooms with a capacity for up to 150 people, a conference center that accommodates up to 250 people, 24-hour room service, parking for 350 vehicles and an international cuisine restaurant.  The hotel also has a heliport to help business travelers get quickly to and from both the international and domestic airports or around the city.  São Paulo ranks second to New York for its frequency of private helicopter travel. 

The property also offers guestrooms especially adapted for disabled guests and an exclusive women's floor, designed to welcome businesswomen with customized facilities, amenities and security. The Park Suites ITC São Paulo includes a leisure area equipped with an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, sauna and fitness center.  Two restaurants serve the hotel including the regionally known Vienna Restaurant. 

The Park Suites ITC São Paulo represents the third Carlson brand being developed by Atlantica Hotels in Brazil.  In December 2001, the company launched the Radisson Faria Lima, located in one of São Paulo's most sophisticated neighborhoods.  Its management has brought excellent results and, recently, joined the select group of President's Award winners.  Atlantica Hotels has also announced, in partnership with the construction company Metacom, the opening of the first Park Inn in South America.  The hotel is scheduled to open in 2006 in Campinas, a city with a population of 1.6 million people in the state of São Paulo.

Reservations for Park Plaza hotels can be made through the brand's Web site at http://www.parkplaza.com, through your travel consultant or by calling the toll-free reservation line in North America at 800-814-7000.

Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts is part of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, a global hotel industry leader encompassing nearly 900 hotel and resort operations in 70 countries. Carlson Hotels Worldwide is one of the major operating groups of Carlson, a global leader in providing corporate solutions and consumer services in the marketing, travel and hospitality industries. Other names in the Carlson family of brands and services are: T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants, Radisson Seven Seas Cruises®, Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, and Carlson Marketing Group®, the largest relationship marketing services company in the United States. Corporate headquarters are in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  There are currently 35 Park Plaza locations worldwide in 11 countries, with 11 in North America.

Established in 1998, Atlantica Hotels currently has more than 80 projects contracted, with 48 already in operation. Total investment in these projects exceeds $ 800 million USD, including projects operated in conjunction with partners.  Atlantica Hotels is the first multi-brand hotel administrator in South America, and the only multinational hotel to focus on the region, with special emphasis in Brazil. The company maintains exclusive partnerships with some of the largest hotel chains in the world, including Choice Hotels International, Carlson Hotels Worldwide, and Starwood. 

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Contact:
 Kristi Arndt, Director of Public Relations 
Park Inn/Carlson Hotels Worldwide 
Tel: (763) 212-5626 
Email: karndt@carlson.com
Also See: Radisson Hotels and Atlantica Hotels Create Partnership to Develop the Radisson Brand Throughout Brazil / Expects to Add 10 Properties in Next 36 months / June 2001
Carlson Hotels Reclaims Master Franchise Agreement Held by AFM Hospitality for the Development of Park Plaza and Park Inns in Canada / October 2004


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