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Focus Lodging Group Co-Developing a Resort Condo Hotel with
130,000 Sq Ft Indoor/Outdoor Waterpark in Hoffman Estates, Illinois
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HOFFMAN ESTATES, Illinois (June 22, 2006) – Developer WATERPARK H2OTELS USA, LLC today announced extensive project details for a proposed 525,000-square-foot hotel waterpark resort with banquet and conference facilities. 

The project will be comprised of a 395,000-square-foot condo-hotel and 130,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor waterpark complex.  Tentatively named the Sun Island Resort and Conference Center, it will be located on a 22-acre site at Prairie Stone Business Park in Hoffman Estates, Ill., adjacent to the future homes of the 11,000-seat Sears Centre and Cabela’s, the world’s foremost outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear.
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The tropical-themed waterpark complex will consist of an 80,000-square-foot indoor aquatic facility and 30,000-square-foot outdoor aquatic facility.  Together, the indoor/outdoor waterpark complex will feature wave, activity and toddler pools, tube and body slides, a rafting river, mat racers and a master blaster water-propelled coaster.  An additional 20,000 square feet will be devoted to a dry play arena and arcade featuring multi-level play structures and the latest in video gaming. 

“The 18 million people living within a two-hour drive of Hoffman Estates will soon have a more convenient recreation and tourism option,” said Joseph A. Buralli, who heads WATERPARK H2OTELS USA in Lakemoor, Ill.  “Sun Island will make an enormous, positive impact on the area’s economy with the addition of hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in revenue.”

The 12- to 14-story, 400- to 500-room condominium-hotel may be flagged by a national chain and will be Illinois’ first condo-hotel and indoor waterpark resort.  Some or all the rooms will be sold as condos.  Most rooms will range from 500 to 1,500 square feet with one-, two- and three-key options.  The rooms will feature marble baths, granite countertops, flat panel televisions with DVD players, high speed Internet, kitchen, furniture and decorations.  Some will feature four-season balconies with fireplaces and Jacuzzis.  All occupants will have access to the waterpark, dining and other amenities.

Condo owners will have the opportunity to place their unit into a rental arrangement on a rotating basis, so that the units will be reserved fairly.  All occupants will have access to the waterpark, dining and other amenities, including retail, child care, a fitness center, walking trails and sand volleyball.

WATERPARK H2OTELS USA has selected Hoffman Estates (Prairie Stone)-based Leopardo Construction as construction manager and Chicago-based VOA Associates Incorporated as the architect.  Focus Lodging Group, LLC, of Columbus, Ohio, will co-develop the project and serve as the hotel management company.  Attached are renderings of the project, courtesy of VOA.

The project is expected to break ground in late 2006 and be completed in 2008.

Prairie Stone Business Park, which serves as the headquarters for Sears Holding Corp., is located near the crossroads of Interstate 90 and State Route 59.  The 780-acre, multi-use commercial complex is also home to offices, stores, hotels and restaurants. 

The complex is helping turn Hoffman Estates into a well-known entertainment, retail and tourism district with the 11,000-seat Sears Centre expected to open in mid-2006 and Illinois’ first Cabela’s, the worldest foremost outfitter of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, opening as early as summer of 2007.  Nearby, several retail centers totaling approximately 1.3 million square feet are expected to open within the next two years.

“Illinois and southern Midwest residents will now have a new, exciting, closer-to-home alternative to Wisconsin Dells,” said Buralli.  “Plus, the myriad tourist attractions and retail in Hoffman Estates, neighboring Schaumburg and downtown Chicago will make this a must-visit and must-stay destination for all families.” 

About Focus Lodging

Focus Lodging Group, LLC is one of the country's top 100 management companies.  Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Focus Lodging owns and/or operates hotels from the Midwest to the Northeast.  It’s proud to be associated with some of the finest lodging families in the hotel industry, including Marriott, Hilton, Intercontinental, and Starwood hotels.  Focus Lodging Group has recently opened Central Ohio’s first indoor waterpark, Fort Rapids, in Columbus, OH and is currently working on a projected 55,000 sq. ft. project in Merrimack, N.H.. Focus Lodging Group provides both the leadership and experience, along with proven operations capable for both new hotel turnaround and hotel operations.  Focus Lodging Group has the ability to assess market demand, define the appropriate hotel product, employ and train management staff and maintain effective control of multiple hotels making it easy to live up to the mantra: Focused on Fun. Focused on Success.  For more information about Focus Lodging, please visit www.focuslodging.com.

About Leopardo Construction

Leopardo Construction is a leading construction firm providing pre-construction, general contracting, construction management, design-build and development services.  The company’s team of 500 experts offers specialized capabilities in healthcare, retail, tenant interiors, office, industrial, residential condominium, senior housing, aviation and community-related projects such as libraries, churches, educational and municipal institutions.  For more than a quarter century, Leopardo’s family of employees has been committed to quality construction, superior client service and tremendous value.  In addition to its corporate headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Illinois, Leopardo Construction also has a Chicago Loop office and job sites across Chicagoland.  For more information about Leopardo Construction, please visit www.leopardo.com.

About VOA Associates Inc.

VOA Associates Inc. is a full-service architectural, planning and interior design firm that specializes in hospitality, retail and entertainment facilities as well as other commercial, medical and educational environments throughout the United States and internationally. Founded in 1969, this Chicago-based organization with offices in Columbus, OH; Orlando, FL; Washington, DC; and São Paulo, Brazil boasts an experienced firm-wide staff of 230, representing comprehensive professional services embracing the disciplines of facility programming, master planning, architecture, landscape architecture and interior design. VOA is best known in Chicago as the architects and planners of Navy Pier, which has become the largest tourist attraction in the Midwest and are currently working on a number of similarly sized hotel/conference centers.  For more information about VOA, please visit www.voa.com.

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Contact:

Focus Lodging Group, LLC:
Shelsa McEntee-Smith
4887 Sawmill Road
Columbus, OH  43235
Phone: 614-764-9100 ext. 23
www.focuslodging.com

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Also See: The Holiday Inn Brand’s 11th Indoor Waterpark, the 60,000 sq.-ft.Fort Rapids, Opens at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Columbus (Ohio) East / May 2006
Hotel Waterpark Resort Industry Report 2005 23 New Hotel Waterparks Open, 52 Under Construction / Jeff Coy and Bill Haralson / October 2005


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