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Oxford Lodging, Currently Responsible for a $5 billion, 15,600 room
Portfolio of Hotels, Changes Name to The Chartres Lodging Group
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Returns to its Original Name Following Recapitalization and to
Further Differentiate Itself From its Original Partners

SAN FRANCISCO - January 23, 2008 - Following five years of unprecedented growth, Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC (OLAIG), has announced a change back to its original name, The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC, following a recapitalization of the San Francisco-based lodging investment and asset management company. The new name is intended to differentiate the company from its original partners, Oxford Capital Group, LLC, and better position it for its next chapter of accelerated portfolio and investor development. The announcement was made today by Rob Kline and Maki Bara, co-founders of OLAIG, who, along with Bruce Blum, partner, will continue their leadership role with The Chartres Lodging Group. 

Founded in 2002, OLAIG has established itself as one of the industry’s largest investors with a $5-billion, 15,600-room portfolio of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts in the United States and Japan. Company principals, who are direct investors in 65% of this portfolio, have been responsible for more than $8 billion in lodging investments and have asset-managed more than 100 properties. 
Kline and Bara say their decision in 2002 to share the Oxford name with their previous partners, Oxford Capital, served its initial purpose but has since resulted in market confusion. 

“When we originally formed this company we named it The Chartres Lodging Group, which was inspired by the famous labyrinth inside the 800-year-old cathedral in France. Incorporating the Oxford name was an accommodation to our previous ventures with Oxford Capital,” explains Kline. “This intentional duplication, and the simple fact that so many other companies and products also share the Oxford common name, led to considerable market confusion. We want to have a brand that reflects our distinguished track record, specialized team and proprietary systems and procedures,” added Bara. 

According to Blum, in addition to becoming increasingly common in the public domain, the Oxford Lodging name focused too strongly on the company’s advisory capacity rather than on its primary role as a lodging investment specialist. He says that while the name will change, everything else associated with the company – the staff of professional investment and management advisors, emphasis on collaborative client partnerships, ability to recognize undervalued properties, understanding of client investment objectives, and extensive experience with renovating and repositioning lodging assets – will stay the same. 

The company will maintain its San Francisco headquarters at 50 California St., as well as regional offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo, and a proprietary relationship with Kokua Hospitality, LLC. 

“Our existing labyrinth logo was adapted from the historically significant circuit at the Chartres Cathedral,” says Kline. “We see the labyrinth as a metaphor for our view of the lodging investment segment: while it can be a long and winding road, you can arrive at your destination and achieve success if you stay focused and flexible, and work with the right specialists.” 
 

The Chartres Lodging Group, Team

Robert D. Kline, President and Co-Founder, is a 20+ year veteran of the lodging industry and a graduate of Cornell University's School of Hotel Administration. He has led over $5.0 billion in transactions and is a pioneer in the development of Asset Management practices. Prior to forming Chartres Lodging (formerly known as 'Oxford Lodging') and serving with Chartres Capital Partners, Mr. Kline founded the Lodging Business for Lend Lease Real Estate Investments and was the founding Head of Acquisitions for Strategic Hotel Capital. Mr. Kline is also a Founding Director of the Hotel Asset Management Association and a frequent lecturer at universities and industry conferences.

Maki Nakamura Bara is the Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Chartres Lodging Group, formerly known as Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC. Recently, in recognition of her extensive experience in the lodging sector, particularly in acquisitions and asset management, and her role in the growth of the company, Mrs. Bara received the "Best Executive" Stevie Award for Women in business and was named a "Woman of Influence" in commercial real estate by Real Estate Southern California magazine. Having worked on over 100 properties, she is a leading expert in redeveloping and repositioning luxury resorts, urban hotels, convention hotels and conference centers. Mrs. Bara gained this experience while participating in the formation and growth of the lodging activities of Lend Lease Real Estate, Strategic Hotel Capital and Chartres Lodging. She has also worked at Chartres Capital Partners, Inc. and PricewaterhouseCoopers, the hospitality industry's leading consulting firm. Mrs. Bara is a graduate of UCLA, fluent in Japanese and has extensive hospitality industry experience throughout the United States and Japan.

Bruce Blum, Partner, Chartres Lodging Group, LLC has 25 years of principal-oriented hotel investment, acquisition, development, asset management and operational experience. Prior to Chartres Lodging's formation, Bruce served as CEO of Doral Hotels & Resorts, five years as a private company and three years as President while a public division of MeriStar, formerly one of the nation’s largest publicly traded hotel companies. During his career, Mr. Blum has been instrumental in the acquisition, development, refinance and/or sale of $2+ billion of hotel and resort projects in addition to his asset management and operating responsibilities. Mr. Blum graduated from Florida International University, School of Hospitality Administration.

Founded on the principle that carefully selected lodging investments featuring direct investment by the sponsor can provide above-market, risk-adjusted returns under the aggressive implementation of a carefully researched investment strategy and asset management plan, OLAIG has received considerable exposure for its acquisition and announced renovation of a number of high-profile properties, including New York’s Jumeirah Essex House and Chicago’s Allerton and Chicago City Centre properties. 

Other properties acquired by OLAIG during the last several years, including the Inn of Chicago Magnificent Mile, the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront and San Francisco’s legendary Sir Francis Drake Hotel and Pan Pacific Hotel, have been renovated, repositioned and re-launched to positive reviews by the lodging community and public alike. 

“The Chartres Lodging Group’s industry-leading team of lodging investment and management professionals offer more than 200 years of collective experience with the world’s most esteemed hospitality brands,” added Bara, who in 2007 received the internationally renowned “Best Executive” Stevie Award for Women in Business and was named a “Women of Influence” in commercial real estate by Real Estate Southern California magazine. “Chartres Lodging Group clients will have direct access to this same hands-on expertise and a senior leadership team that has worked together for nearly 15 years.” 

About The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC 
The Chartres Lodging Group, LLC (formerly Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group, LLC) is an investment and advisory firm focused on the investment, asset management and renovation of high-quality lodging assets. Chartres Lodging Group’s principals have been responsible for more than $8 billion of lodging investments and have asset-managed more than 100 upscale and luxury hotels, resorts and conference centers. The firm is currently responsible for a $5-billion, 15,600-room portfolio of luxury and upscale hotels, conference centers and resorts located throughout the United States and Japan. Chartres’ principals and employees are direct investors in 65% of this portfolio. Chartres Lodging is headquartered in San Francisco, with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Tokyo. For more information on The Chartres Lodging Group, please visit www.chartreslodging.com. 

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Contact:

The Chartres Lodging Group
Bob Ochsner
949-233-0984
bochsner@xpublicrelations.com 
 

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Also See: Kokua Hospitality Names New Onsite Management for Three Oxford Lodging Hotels in Chicago; Birgit Radin, Andrea Mayer and Nichole Benolken / June 2007
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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