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 Bedford Resort Partners, Ltd. Begins $90 million Restoration of the Historic
Bedford Springs Hotel;  Benchmark Hospitality Will Manage the 218 room
Destination Resort and Conference Facility
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Was Summer White House for President James Buchanan

BEDFORD, PENNSYLVANIA, September 1, 2005 - The historic Bedford Springs Hotel will be comprehensively restored and expanded it was announced today.  Pennsylvania State Senator Bob Jubelirer joined in the announcement with a commitment from the State of Pennsylvania for $24.9 million in Redevelopment Capital Assistance Program grant monies to help restore and reopen the hotel.

In addition, Pennsylvania Congressman Bill Shuster has obtained $8.85 million in Federal funds for highway and county infrastructure improvements around the hotel.

The entire restoration and expansion project is projected at $90 million. Bedford Resort Partners, Ltd., is the owner and developer and Benchmark Hospitality International will manage the property.  The hotel is projected to reopen May 2007.

"This has always been a spectacular setting," said Senator Jubelirer.  "And now, at long last, the work begins that will produce a spectacular resort and spa to match.  I doubt that there has been more planning, more review, more revision, go into any project." 

The Bedford Springs Hotel, sections of which date to 1806, will be comprehensively renovated and expanded to create a 218-guestroom, Four Star quality destination resort and conference facility.  Many of the guestrooms will offer immediate access to elegant sun and breeze-filled porches, featuring rocking chairs and striking vistas of the Magnesia Springhouse across Shobers Creek, the lawns and gardens of the hotel, and the acreage beyond.  The property is expected to attract leisure and corporate business from Washington D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and neighboring states. 
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Bedford Springs Hotel Watercolor Rendering
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Restored Colonial section of Hotel to offer Grand Entrance, Ballroom, Library, Restaurant

The hotel's Colonial-style section (circa 1829) will be the location for a new Porte-cochere entrance to a Victorian-style anteroom on the ground floor.  The room will be decorated with portraits of some of the early important guests of the hotel such as Aaron Burr, Daniel Webster, and Presidents James K. Polk, William Henry Harrison and Zachary Taylor. This floor will also offer the fully restored Grand Lobby, where in 1857 the first transatlantic cable was received by President Buchanan from Queen Victoria. The lobby will include a small bar under the staircase that will provide cocktail service to guests and also serve afternoon tea. Guest Reception will be situated just past the lobby in the restored Evitt Building section of the hotel (circa 1885) where new guest elevators and a gift shop will be constructed. 

This floor will also include an elegant library where early guest ledgers will be encased in glass showing the signatures of important guests and dignitaries as well as other interesting and important artifacts from the early history of the hotel. Nearby will be the Crystal Room, the main restaurant that will seat 130 guests in two dining areas, served from an exhibition-style kitchen.

On the upper level approached by an elegant sweeping staircase will be the restored Grand Ballroom, a 5,500-square-feet space that was one of the first free span ballrooms built in America.  Across the grand stairwell (lit by impressive historic skylights) will be two restored conference rooms, one of which was the summer residence of President James Buchanan.

The restored hotel, upon opening, will provide over 19,000 square feet of meeting and event space with pre-function areas to accommodate a wide variety of groups.

Circa 1806 Stone Walls with Musket Slits, Historic Colonnaded Pool, Classic Golf Course

To the east of the Colonial section is the oldest area of Bedford Springs Hotel, which dates to 1806.  Massive stone walls, which support this part of the hotel, will provide a dramatic backdrop for a colonial frontier-style tavern, specialty dining and retail.  Incorporated into the decor will be musket slits installed when the building was constructed in 1806, as well as 200-year old original log beams.

To the west of the Colonial section is one of the first indoor swimming pools built in America (circa 1903). This stunning colonnaded space will be renovated and become part of the new Springwater Spa complex. This spa will total 13,000 square feet and have a full range of treatments designed around the six unique springs that are part of the property and the history of the hotel. There will also be a fitness area and a full service salon.

Outdoor amenities include the restoration of the Donald Ross-designed 18 hole golf course (circa 1923), a new pro shop, three tennis courts, an outdoor pool and spa with sun decks, a snack bar, miles of hiking trails covering the surrounding 2,000 acres of natural wooded landscape, a mountain biking program, and a Kids Camp program.

Additional activities and amenities will include a historic outdoor wedding grotto, spa garden, an outdoor pavilion on Red Oak Lake, fly fishing streams, river rafting, carriage rides and day excursions to view covered bridges and other significant architectural treasures, such as Fallingwater by Frank Lloyd Wright, and cross country skiing in season.

The Bedford Springs Hotel is ideally located just outside Bedford, Pennsylvania, on Highway 220, three miles north of Exit 146 of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Situated near the intersection of the Pennsylvania Turnpike and Interstate 70, the property is a convenient two-hour drive from Baltimore, Washington, DC, and Pittsburgh.
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(Left to Right):  Steven Howsare, Chair, Bedford County Commissioners, Nancy Pyle, Bedford County Redevelopment Authority, Bette Slayton, President, Bedford County Development Association, Senator Robert C. Jubelirer, Mark Langdale, President, The Bedford Springs Company, U.S. Congressman Bill Shuster, Representative Dick L. Hess, Ned Frear, Historian. Not pictured, Jeffrey Farina, Chief Development Officer,  Benchmark Hospitality International.
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Bedford Resort Partners, Ltd., is the owner and developer of The Bedford Springs Hotel project. The partners include The Ferchill Group of Cleveland, Ohio, a real estate development company that specializes in historic rehabilitation projects, Chevron TCI, Inc., a leading investor in tax credit rehabilitation projects in the United States and The Bedford Springs Company, LLC. 

Reynolds Construction Company of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, will be the General Contractor for the project.

Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, operates resorts, conference centers and hotels both domestically and internationally.  For locations of Benchmark Hospitality properties and for additional information, visit Benchmark's Website at www.benchmarkhospitality.com.

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Contact:

BENCHMARK HOSPITALITY INTERNATIONAL
The Woodlands (Houston), Texas
www.benchmarkhospitality.com

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

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Also See: Benchmark Re-opens the Berry Hill Plantation Resort in Virginia; Plans to Add 100 Rooms, Conference Center and Golf Course / July 2005
Benchmark Appoints Four Executives to the Senior Leadership Team at the French Lick Springs Resort and Casino / August 2005
Benchmark Hospitality International Takes Over Management the French Lick Springs Resort / April 2005

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