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Benchmark Appoints Richard Varga
Executive Chef for The Heldrich
The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, February 22, 2007 ... Benchmark Hospitality has appointed Richard Varga executive chef for The Heldrich, a $120 million mixed use property being constructed in the heart of New Jersey in New Brunswick.  Mike Taylor, Benchmark's general manager at The Heldrich, made the announcement.

"It is with great pleasure that I welcome Richard to The Heldrich," said Mr. Taylor, general manager.  "He brings solid food & beverage experience to his new role and has a vast understanding of the central New Jersey marketplace.  We look forward to his launch of a superb culinary program here at The Heldrich"

A highly respected New Jersey culinary professional, Richard Varga was previously the executive chef at the Old Mill Inn of Basking Ridge, New Jersey.  In this role he was responsible for overseeing all aspects of this historic Inn's food & beverage programming, including the Grain House Restaurant and the property's extensive banquet operation.

Prior to this, Mr. Varga was executive chef at the Hilton at Newark Airport, where his responsibilities included the Garden State Restaurant and Amelia's Lounge, as well as room service and catering. 

Varga has served as executive sous chef for the Hilton at Short Hills, overseeing the property's Terrace Restaurant, The Dining Room restaurant, garde manger and pastry shop, as well as banquets.  Earlier in his career, he was employed by the Hilton of East Brunswick, New Jersey, in several positions of increasing responsibility.  These included serving as executive sous chef, as banquet chef, garde manger chef, and as restaurant chef.  He began his culinary career at the renowned Breakers Hotel & Resort of Palm Beach, Florida.

Richard Varga is a graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America, located in Hyde Park, New York.  He resides in Warren, New Jersey, with his wife and daughter.

About The Heldrich

The Heldrich is located in the heart of New Jersey in New Brunswick.  The property, which is expected to open in March 2007, is situated at 10 Livingston Avenue, just west of the important US Route 1 business corridor stretching from Princeton to New Brunswick and near the Northeast Corridor train service (Boston-New York-Washington, DC) and Exit 9 of the NJ Turnpike.  It is 30 minutes outside New York City and has rail service to Newark Liberty International Airport.

The $120 million, mixed-use facility includes a hotel and conference center to be anchored by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, at Rutgers University's Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy.  The Heldrich represents a unique partnership among the New Brunswick Development Corporation (Devco), Keating Partners, Rutgers, New Jersey Department of Labor, New Jersey Redevelopment Authority, New Jersey Economic Development Authority, New Jersey Casino Redevelopment Authority, the Middlesex County Improvement Authority and the City of New Brunswick.  It is a major anchor to New Brunswick's downtown revitalization program.

Upon completion, The Heldrich will feature 248 deluxe guestrooms, including 14 suites, Christopher's Restaurant & Bar, 25,000 square feet of special event and meeting facilities, including ballrooms, an amphitheater, boardroom, and 21 conference rooms accommodating from 10 - 500 guests.  The mixed-use property will also feature 48 luxury condominiums, along with academic and retail space. 

The Heldrich's Pre-opening Offices are situated on the 4th Floor of the Crossroads Theater at 7 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick, directly across the street from the new hotel.  For more information on The Heldrich, call 732-729-4670 or visit www.theheldrich.com.   The Heldrich is operated by Benchmark Hospitality International.

Benchmark Hospitality International, an independent hospitality management company based in The Woodlands (Houston), Texas, operates resorts, conference centers, hotels and condominium resorts 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: City of New Brunswick, New Jersey and Benchmark Hospitality Collaborate on Unique Hiring Initiative for the 300 Jobs to be Created at The Heldrich, a 248 room Hotel and Conference Center / October 2006
Benchmark Hospitality Appoints Michael J. Taylor General Manager for The Heldrich, a New $110 million Mixed Use Property in New Brunswick, New Jersey / March 2006
Benchmark To Manage Hotel & Conference Center within Heldrich Plaza, New Brunswick, New Jersey; 250 rooms, 50,000 square feet Conference Center / September 2003

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