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Davidson Hotel Company and Amstar Group Planning $23 million
Renovation of the Recently Acquired Hyatt Regency Newport
in Rhode Island
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NEWPORT, R.I. (Sept. 26, 2006) – Amstar Group and Davidson Hotel Company today announced the acquisition of the Hyatt Regency Newport in Rhode Island from H.E. Newport Equities, LLC, an affiliate of Global Hyatt Corporation for an undisclosed amount.  The 264-room hotel is uniquely located on Goat Island in the midst of beautiful Newport Harbor.
 
Davidson Hotel Company, one of the nation’s largest hotel management companies, and Amstar Group, a leading real estate private equity firm, plan to spend $23 million to renovate the hotel.  The renovation will incorporate the heritage of Newport as a world class Oceanside yachting destination and take advantage of the outstanding water vistas the hotel has to offer.  Key elements of the renovation plan will include a major upgrade of the entrance to the hotel, a spectacular new lobby, a new signature restaurant, an exciting new bar and lounge concept, and an enhancement to all guest rooms.  The hotel’s conference center and meeting space will be re-configured and upgraded, providing a total of 25,000 square feet of meeting and pre-function space and an additional 40,000 square feet of outdoor space overlooking the Newport marina.  In addition, the full-service, Stillwater Spa will undergo a complete renovation, rounding out the transformation of one of the finest spa facilities in the Northeast U.S.  The comprehensive renovation, coupled with the implementation of Davidson’s proprietary management and marketing systems and Hyatt’s continued brand recognition among its customers, are expected to transform the Hyatt Regency Newport into one of the leading destination resorts in New England.
 
“The Hyatt Regency Newport is in an irreplaceable location in a strong resort market, within easy driving distance of more than 22 million people,” said Gabe L. Finke, chief executive officer and general partner of Amstar Group. “With strategic capital and the right execution, Davidson and Amstar will make this property realize its full potential.”
 
“We expect the improvement project to begin during fall 2007 and last eight months, after which the Hyatt Regency will be the premier hospitality offering in Newport and one of the best in New England,” said Phil Hutchins, vice president at Amstar, a Denver-based real estate private equity firm.  “Luxurious rooms, modern spa facilities, fine and casual dining options, well-appointed meeting and event rooms and inspiring service, combined with the unparalleled location, will make for superlative guest experiences.”
 
“This is our third joint venture and our fifth management assignment with Amstar,” said John A. Belden, Davidson’s president and chief executive officer.  “Collectively, we have added significant value to every asset that we have worked on together.  We will continue to aggressively seek first-class, full-service hotels in markets with barriers to new competition.”
 
“We appreciated working with Davidson and Amstar on this transaction,” said Steven R. Goldman, executive vice president of development at Global Hyatt Corporation.  “They did what they said they would do and closed exactly as planned.”  Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels advised Global Hyatt Corporation on the transaction.
 
During the last 15 months, Amstar has invested $250 million in hotels in partnership with Davidson.  Most recently, Amstar partnered with Davidson in its January 2006 acquisition of the Pasadena Hilton, a 296-room Southern California hotel within walking distance of the Pasadena Convention Center and Old Town.  The companies also invested together in the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia, which recently completed a $10 million renovation.  Other hotels Davidson has managed for Amstar include the Doubletree Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and an independent hotel in Washington, D.C., that was repositioned and sold by Amstar during 2004, with Davidson staying on as the hotel manager for the new owner.

About Amstar Group
Established in 1987, Amstar Group is a leading real estate private equity firm headquartered in Denver.  The company invests nationally in value-add acquisition and development opportunities, often with local partners. In its history Amstar has acquired, developed and sold more than $2.2 billion of real estate.  The firm has so far committed $500 million during 2006, including acquisitions and new developments in hospitality properties, office properties, apartment communities, mixed-use projects, master planned retail centers and distribution facilities.  For more information about Amstar Group visit the company’s website at www.amstargroup.com.
 
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 26 upscale hotels with nearly 7,800 rooms across the United States, including such brands as Hyatt, Hilton, Embassy Suites, Doubletree, Marriott, Renaissance, Westin and Sheraton.  Additional information on Davidson may be found at the company’s website, www.davidsonhotels.com.  
 
About Global Hyatt Corporation
 There are 217 Hyatt branded hotels and resorts (over 90,000 rooms) in 44 countries around the world, operating under the Hyatt, Hyatt Regency, Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt brands.  Currently, there are an additional 32 Hyatt hotels and resorts under development, including 11 new hotels in China.  Hyatt Corporation (domestic U.S., Canada and Caribbean hotels) and Hyatt International Corporation (international properties) are subsidiaries of Chicago-based Global Hyatt Corporation.  Global Hyatt Corporation is also the owner of Hyatt Vacation Ownership, Inc. operators of the Hyatt Vacation Club (timeshare and fractional residential product), Hyatt Equities, L.L.C. (hotel ownership), Select Hotel Group L.L.C. (which owns, operates and franchises AmeriSuites hotels, Hyatt Place and Hyatt Summerfield Suites hotels) and U.S. Franchise Systems, Inc. (which franchises Hawthorn Suites, and Microtel Inns and Suites).  

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Contact:

Amstar Group
www.amstargroup.com

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Also See: Amstar Completes Sale of the Repositioned Doubletree Hotel in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, to Thayer Lodging Group / April 2006
Amstar Group, LLC and Davidson Hotel Company Joint Venture to Acquire the 500 room Hilton Alexandria Mark Center for $93.1 million / June 2005

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