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City of San Marcos and John Q. Hammons Move Site
of Proposed $40 million Embassy Suites; Economics
Behind the Change in Location

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SAN MARCOS, Texas - March 10, 2005 -- The luxury hotel and city conference center proposed last summer by John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. (AMEX:JQH) will break ground by the end of 2005 at a new location -- Interstate 35 and McCarty Lane, San Marcos Mayor Susan Narvaiz announced today.

The 11-story, 250-room Embassy Suites Hotel, a $40-$50 million project, and a $15 million city conference center will be built on a 203 acre tract owned by San Marcos businessman Terry Gilmore.

Economics are behind the change in location. "The change became economically compelling with recent expansion announcements and some exciting business prospects along I-35 in San Marcos," Mayor Narvaiz said.

"Recent developments along I-35 in San Marcos have made the McCarty Lane property the best location for this project," the Missouri-based Hammons said. "With the considerable commercial expansion going on in this area, McCarty Lane makes good economic sense."

The I-35 site for the hotel and conference center will help leverage additional commercial and retail projects that are on the horizon, Mayor Narvaiz added.

Last September, Prime Outlets-San Marcos announced a $26 million expansion, adding anchor stores like Neiman Marcus Last Call. Prime is one mile south of the hotel site on I-35. Texas High School Coaches Association recently announced its relocation to San Marcos a half-mile north of the site.

"San Marcos has pursued meeting space for many years, and we are delighted that we will be able to host a variety of conferences in the new facilities," said San Marcos Chamber of Commerce President Phil Neighbors.

"Business meetings, regional and statewide non-profit organizations, local events, and functions and conferences hosted by Texas State will all use the meeting space. Overnight visitors will help fill existing rooms in the twenty lodging properties in the San Marcos area year-round," he added.

"This is a win-win for everyone interested in this project," the Mayor said. "Changing the site was a collective decision by all the partners involved in the project -- Mr. Hammons, Mr. Gilmore and the City."

Gilmore, who also owns the Spring Lake tract originally proposed for the hotel/conference center, said he was "elated" with the new proposal.

"The mayor's enthusiasm for the overall economic benefits to San Marcos and my confidence in the City Council's dedicated work in economic development sold me on this change in location," Gilmore said.

He said there were "multiple interested parties" looking at the Spring Lake property.

In November, the City Council approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with J.Q. Hammons for the hotel-conference center project.

The MOU provides that Hammons will build a $40-$50 million upscale hotel and the city will finance a $15 million, 75,000 square foot adjacent conference center. Hammons will operate the conference center in conjunction with his hotel and pay 30% of the debt.

"As we move forward with this wonderful project, we will need to refine our agreements with Mr. Hammons to reflect the change in location," said Mayor Narvaiz.

The hotel conference center project is expected to produce 200 to 250 new jobs, along with the estimated $55 -65 million investment by Hammons and the City.

Publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange (AMEX:JQH), Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. is the nation's leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale, full-service hotels, resorts and suites, including: Embassy Suites Hotels, Renaissance, Marriott, Radisson, Residence Inn, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Holiday Inn and Courtyard by Marriott brands. With 58 hotels strategically located near demand generators, such as state capitals, universities, airports, corporate headquarters or office parks in secondary and tertiary markets, John Q. Hammons Hotels' properties are dominant in their markets. 

Contact:

John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc., Springfield
Scott Tarwater
417-864-4300

T.P. Gilmore Companies
Bill Cunningham
512-396-2450

City of San Marcos
Melissa Millecam, 512-393-8105
cityhall@ci.san-marcos.tx.us
 

Also See: John Q. Hammons Planning a 275-room, $40 million Renaissance Hotel Overlooking San Marcos, Texas / September 2004

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