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Kokua Hospitality Names New Onsite Management for
Three Oxford Lodging Hotels in Chicago
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Birgit Radin, Andrea Mayer and Nichole Benolken

CHICAGO - June 27, 2007 - Kokua Hospitality, LLC, a San Francisco property management company, has announced new onsite management for the three destination Chicago hotels it is currently renovating and repositioning for San Francisco-based Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC: the 443-room Allerton Hotel on Michigan Avenue, 495-room Chicago City Centre Hotel & Sports Club, and 357-room Inn of Chicago.

Birgit Radin has joined Kokua as managing director of both the Chicago City Centre Hotel and Inn of Chicago, while Andrea Mayer and Nichole Benolken have been named general manager and hotel manager of the Allerton and Inn of Chicago properties, respectively. Collectively, the three hotel veterans bring close to 60 years of hospitality management, sales and marketing experience to their new positions – with much of that experience centered in the Chicago market.

“Kokua Hospitality has assumed a growing presence in Chicago and is in need of seasoned professionals to leverage the many distinct advantages that come with managing three separate destination properties in a single, high-appeal market,” explained Phil Tufano, executive vice president of Kokua Hospitality. “Birgit, Andrea and Nichole will be able to draw upon their extensive industry acumen to help position the three Oxford Lodging properties for continued business, convention and leisure visitor growth.”

As managing director of the Chicago City Centre Hotel & Sports Club and Inn of Chicago, Radin oversees the management and marketing of both properties under the Kokua Hospitality brand. Offering more than 30 years of hospitality management and repositioning experience, she comes to Kokua from the Westin Ft. Lauderdale where she was general manager. The Germany native began her hotel management career in South Africa before joining Westin Hotels & Resorts in the United States and eventually working with Westin, Starwood and other properties in Denmark, Norway, Chicago and San Francisco.

A 19-year hotel veteran, Mayer began her career with Marriott Hotels, Resorts and Suites in 1988 in New York and has since held management positions for the company in operations, food and beverage, sales and marketing. She has also served as general manager at multiple Marriott properties, and was named 2001 General Manager of the Year for Marriott’s Midwest Region. Most recently, she oversaw ownership transition, rebranding and repositioning of Chicago’s Hotel 71 and Hotel Blake for The Kor Group.

Benolken joined Kokua Hospitality in 2006 as the Inn of Chicago’s director of operations and has been instrumental in the property’s repositioning into a boutique hotel destination, now nearing completion. The DePaul University graduate has more than a decade of hotel and hospitality industry experience, including numerous sales and operations management positions in the Chicago area.

Kokua Hospitality is currently overseeing more than $45 million in renovations at the three hotels in Chicago’s Magnificent Mile area it is managing for Oxford Lodging. For the Holiday Inn City Centre, acquired by Oxford earlier this year, Kokua has initiated a $20-million renovation and repositioning of the property into the Chicago City Centre Hotel & Sports Club, which will feature a number of major new appointments.

That deal came on the heels of last year’s acquisitions of Chicago’s Allerton Hotel and Inn of Chicago. For the Allerton Hotel, Kokua is relocating the hotel lobby back to its original 2nd-floor setting to reunite it with the existing bar and restaurant, and converting the third floor into an elaborate ballroom and meeting space for weddings, banquets and formal events.

Kokua’s interior renovation of the Inn of Chicago is infusing contemporary, boutique-hotel elegance into the classic 1928 property to re-establish it as one of the city’s premier business and leisure destinations. Upon rechristening in July 2007, the redesigned hotel will feature a new lobby, bar and public spaces; reappointed guest rooms and bathrooms; 58 new executive guest rooms; and 1,100 additional feet of meeting space including an executive boardroom.

About Kokua Hospitality, LLC

Kokua Hospitality is a property management firm affiliated with Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC, of San Francisco. Purposely created by lodging management and operational experts as a management company with an investors’ sensibility, Kokua Hospitality blends the attention to detail of a customer service entity with the rigors of a real estate investment concern. The name (pronounced “koh-kooh-ah”) is Hawaiian for “to serve.” Based in San Francisco with an office in Jacksonville, Fla., Kokua Hospitality manages a growing portfolio of hotels and resorts nationwide.

About Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC

Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC is an advisory and investment firm focused on the investment, asset management, property management and renovation of high-quality lodging assets. Oxford Lodging’s principals have been responsible for over $6 billion of lodging investments and have asset managed over 100 upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers. The firm is currently responsible for a $4.4-billion, 14,000-room portfolio of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts located throughout the United States and Japan. Oxford Lodging’s principals and employees are direct investors in 75% of this portfolio. Oxford Lodging is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo. For more information on Oxford Lodging, please visit www.oxfordlodging.com.

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Contact:

Kokua Hospitality, LLC
Phil Tufano, 904-360-8614
phil.tufano@kokuahospitality.com
 

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Also See: Oxford Lodging Removes Crowne Plaza Brand Affiliation from Chicagos Historic Allerton Hotel; Returns the 443 room Property to Independent Status / February 2007
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