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Amstar Completes Sale of the Repositioned Doubletree Hotel in
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to Thayer Lodging Group
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Real Estate Private Equity Firm Exits Hospitality Asset by Creating a Second
Life For Former Holiday Inn in Booming South Florida Location
 
PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. (April 26, 2006) – Amstar Group today announced the disposition of its Doubletree Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to Thayer Lodging Group. During its hold, Amstar, a Denver-based real estate private equity firm, rebranded the hotel and added numerous upgrades that led to dramatically improved operating results.  Thayer, a Maryland-based owner and operator of hotels, acquired the 280-room asset for an undisclosed amount.
 
“This is a prime example of how Amstar unlocks value investing in well-located but underperforming assets. This strategy is key to the significant returns we target for our investors,” said Amstar Group CEO Gabe Finke.
 
“With this asset, we recognized the tremendous growth South Florida markets had seen, and the time was right for us to execute an off-market disposition,” Finke added.
 
“Amstar invested nearly $15 million to reposition the property so that it would stand out in this unique market,” said Phil Hutchins, Amstar Group vice president. “Central to the repositioning was changing the flag of the property from Holiday Inn to Doubletree and then upgrading significantly the guest experience by improving the entire property from the guest rooms to the public areas.” 
 
Davidson Hotel Company managed the property for Amstar, and adds this repositioning case study to a long list of successful Amstar / Davidson ventures.  Previously, Amstar partnered with Davidson in its January 2006 acquisition of the Hilton Pasadena in California, the June 2005 acquisition of the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Virginia, which is undergoing a $10 million renovation, and an independent hotel in Washington, D.C., that was repositioned and sold by Amstar during 2004, with Davidson continuing as the hotel manager for the new owner.
 
“In addition to overseeing the most recent renovation, we implemented our proprietary management systems that enabled us to increase revenue per available room (RevPAR) by more than eighty percent (80%) during the two and a half year period we operated the hotel,” said John A. Belden, president and CEO of Davidson Hotel Company.  “The hotel is now a strong competitor in the upscale segment and still has considerable upside growth potential, making this a win-win situation for both the buyer and seller.  We continue to operate two hotels for Amstar and are looking for opportunities to add new hotels to our existing relationship.”
 
Brokerage and investment banking firm Hodges Ward Elliot advised Amstar in the transaction.
 
Amstar is an active investor in all real estate classes in major metropolitan markets throughout the United States. The company has more than $200 million of discretionary equity available for new investment. During 2005 and 2006 Amstar completed investment transactions totaling more than $700 million in office, hotel, multifamily, retail and industrial developments and acquisitions.
 
Thayer Lodging Group plans to operate the hotel under the Doubletree franchise and will reposition the asset through a series of operational and physical changes and an enhanced, modern design.  The hotel site is entitled for the construction of additional guestrooms and meeting space; Thayer Lodging Group is exploring the possibility of implementing an Executive Meeting Center at the hotel.  “This off-market investment is consistent with our core strategy and we are pleased to acquire an asset with both repositioning and expansion potential in a high growth market,” said Sujan Patel, Thayer Lodging Group vice president. 
 
About Amstar Group, LLC.
Established in 1987, Amstar Group is one of the leading real estate private equity firms in the United States. The Denver, Colorado-based company has acquired and developed since its inception more than 75 properties valued at more than $2 billion. Its current portfolio includes a diversified mix of commercial properties including office, industrial, multifamily, retail and hospitality assets. Currently, Amstar Group has $400 million in equity under management. Amstar’s investment strategy focuses primarily on value-added acquisitions and development.  For more information, visit www.amstargroup.com.
 
About Thayer Lodging Group
Based in Annapolis, Maryland, Thayer Lodging Group is a privately held real estate investment company with a portfolio of 15 hotels. Thayer has sponsored five hotel investment funds for a small group of institutional investors. The firm’s strategy is to drive an asset’s operating results through a combination of repositioning, rebranding, strengthening management, and making capital improvements. Its nationwide portfolio includes hotels operating under the Marriott, Hilton, Wyndham, and InterContinental family of flags.  Thayer has recently concluded the successful disposition of $1.5 billion in hotel real estate and is actively seeking further hotel investment opportunities for its latest $233 million hotel investment fund, Thayer Hotel Investors IV, which has approximately $130 million in uncommitted equity.
 
About Davidson Hotel Company
Headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., Davidson Hotel Company is an award-winning, full-service hotel owner and third-party management company that provides management, development/renovation, acquisition, consulting and accounting expertise for the hospitality industry.  The company currently owns and/or manages 25 upscale hotels with more than 7,200 rooms and 3,900 employees across the United States, including such brands as Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Marriott, Renaissance, Westin, Sheraton and Radisson.  Additional information on Davidson may be found at the company’s Web site, www.davidsonhotels.com.
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Contact:

Kelsey Kazarian
(310) 821-5300 x 234
kkazarian@macyinc.com
www.amstargroup.com

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Also See: Amstar Group, LLC and Davidson Hotel Company Joint Venture to Acquire the 500 room Hilton Alexandria Mark Center for $93.1 million / June 2005
Amstar Group Acquires the 296 room Hilton Pasadena for $65 million / January 2006


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