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 Omni Hotels to Purchase San Antonio's Acclaimed La Mansion del Rio
and Watermark Hotels; Kennedy to Develop Watermark Hotels Nationally
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SAN ANTONIO Feb. 2, 2006 -- Patrick J. Kennedy, Chairman and CEO of La Mansion del Rio, Inc., and Jim Caldwell, CEO of Omni Hotels, have announced the sale of San Antonio's La Mansion del Rio Hotel and the Watermark Hotel and Spa to Omni Hotels, with the transaction expected to close March 16, 2006. 

Kennedy will retain ownership of all trademark rights relating to the Watermark Hotel and Spa and its restaurant, Pesca on the River. 

Kennedy's management company, La Mansion del Rio, Inc., will pursue the development opportunities for the Watermark Hotel and Spa brand in select locations throughout North America. Kennedy's goal to develop the Watermark Hotel and Spa as a national brand is not without precedent, with internationally recognized names such as the Waldorf=Astoria and the Crillon recently announcing similar plans. "The luxury travel segment continues to flourish and we see opportunities in mixed use development of luxury projects that include hotel, residential and spa components," said Kennedy. 

According to Kennedy, the common ground and commitment to excellence that both companies share made sense for each organization. "I have had many offers over the years for the purchase of these two properties," said Kennedy. "However, we share a bond with Omni in our Texas roots, independence, entrepreneurship and, most importantly, their reputation as one of the world's leading hotel companies. These qualities all factored into the decision to sell these two outstanding hotels to a company that I respect." 

The two properties will join Omni Hotels portfolio of luxury hotels and resorts that reflect the distinct character of each city. "The La Mansion del Rio Hotel and the Watermark Hotel have a distinguished reputation, and we intend to carry on this tradition of excellence," said Jim Caldwell, CEO of Omni Hotels. 

"We have enjoyed incredible success over the years with these two great properties and are gratified to know an excellent organization such as Omni Hotels will assume their stewardship," said Kennedy. "Throughout our ownership of these hotels, the importance of preservation and the passion we have for this great city have been evident to all who have stayed here. We know Omni shares this passion and feel these two world-class hotels are in extremely good hands." 
 


 La Mansión del Rio 
112 College Street
San Antonio, Texas

Watermark Hotel & Spa
212 West Crockett
San Antonio, Texas

About La Mansion del Rio and Watermark Hotel & Spa

Both La Mansion del Rio and the Watermark Hotel & Spa have achieved remarkable results as two of the state's premier performing hotels, ranking consistently among the top ten in Revpar results. Both hotels have also consistently led their respective competitive sets in occupancy and average rates for several years. 

Situated on the banks of the historic River Walk, La Mansion del Rio opened its doors in 1968. Since that time the 337-room hotel has been a San Antonio institution and hosted many world-renowned celebrities and dignitaries. 

Just across a footbridge spanning the River Walk, the companion property, Watermark Hotel & Spa, has established itself as one of America's finest hotel properties in just the two short years since it opened. Having already earned numerous accolades from such outlets as Zagat's Guides, Travel + Leisure, Mobil, AAA and others, the 99-room hotel was most recently voted by the readers of Conde Nast Traveler as one of the top ten hotels in the United States and top 50 in the world. 

About Omni Hotels 

Omni Hotels was recently ranked "Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upscale Hotel Chains" in the J.D. Power and Associates 2005 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Study(SM)*. The brand offers surprisingly sensible luxury accommodations at hotels and resorts located throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico. Each property in the Omni Hotels portfolio provides guests with exceptional personalized service and exquisite decor, creating a distinctive experience at each location. Omni Hotels offers unsurpassed facilities with a wide range of guest services and amenities including high-speed Internet connectivity, wine tastings, gourmet dining and unique fitness options from in-room workouts to state-of-the-art fitness facilities. 

* Study based on 37,471 responses from guests who stayed in a hotel between December 2004 and May 2005. Fourteen upscale hotel chains were ranked in the study. www.jdpower.com

(c) 2006 Business Wire 

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Contact:

Watermark Hotel & Spa
Beth Ticku, 210-518-1052
bticku@watermarkhotel.com

Also See: La Mansion Hotels Obtains Financing for Luxury 99 Room Hotel-Spa in Downtown San Antonio / April 2002
Brick Facade Collapses at Historic Building; Damage Occurred During Construction of Watermark Hotel in San Antonio / Dec 2002

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