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Sage Hospitality Selects Shakir Hussain as General Manager
at Chicago’s Blackstone, A Renaissance Hotel

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Chicago, IL July 21, 2008---Sage Hospitality, the Denver, Colorado based hospitality company, has selected Shakir Hussain, a prominent industry veteran whose distinguished career includes executive team building and leadership posts at luxury five -star hotels and resorts in the U.S. and abroad, to lead Chicago’s legendary The Blackstone in its post-opening phase. The Blackstone, a national landmark that provided regal lodgings for many of the 20th century’s most famous figures--from a dozen U.S. presidents to Hollywood stars -officially opened on April 30, 2008 after lying dormant since 1999. Sage spearheaded the $128 million showcase renovation of the historic Blackstone, sensitively preserving its architectural legacy while transforming it into a world-class, 332-room luxury hotel.

Walter Isenberg, president and chief executive of Sage, described Mr. Hussain as uniquely qualified to position The Blackstone as an international destination and a benchmark of excellence in luxury, style and service.

“Mr. Hussain brings impeccable executive management credentials in the hospitality industry to The Blackstone and a profound understanding about the expectations of the world’s most sophisticated travelers,” said Mr. Isenberg. “Mr. Hussain’s demonstrated success in collaborative team building will enable us to nurture a culture and brand that graciously delivers an inspired and iconic ‘Blackstone’ experience to our guests.”

Mr. Hussain launched his hospitality career training with The Oberoi Group, headquartered in New Delhi, India, that owns and manages world-class hotels in seven countries. From 1992 until 1997, Mr. Hussain served as assistant general manager of the Art Deco RIGHA Royal Hotel providing leadership to establish the property as one of the most financially successful hotels in New York City.
 
Other career highlights include introducing “mini bars” at the Waldorf-Astoria, executive positions at the famed Colonial Williamsburg Hotels and Royal Caribbean International where one of Mr. Hussain’s responsibilities was to establish an exclusive level of service and to maximize the revenue stream for “Explorer of the Seas”, the world’s largest cruise ship. Most recently, Mr. Hussain was the vice president of operations for Heritage Hotels in Arizona. Mr. Hussain is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. 

About The Blackstone
Located in the heart of Chicago’s arts and theater district and adjacent to the world class Millennium Park, The Blackstone, offers 332 stylish guest rooms and suites (among them the fabled Presidential Suite and the Smoke-filled Room), 19,670 square feet of meeting space, (including the lavishly restored Crystal Ballroom), a health club, and a business center. The Blackstone’s ambiance is a dynamic mix of historic architecture and savvy design combined with luxury amenities and thoughtful guest services. As a Chicago touchstone and celebration of the arts, Sage commissioned a curator to assemble an innovative collection of over 1600 works of original art by contemporary Chicago artists that is on display in guestrooms and in public spaces throughout the hotel. For The Blackstone  For more information and reservations, please call The Blackstone at 312/447-0955 or visit The Blackstone web site.

Blackstone History
Designed by the architectural firm Marshall & Fox, the Beaux-Arts Blackstone is considered Chicago’s finest example of a turn-of-the-century luxury hotel. The Blackstone opened April 16, 1910, with a gala supper party honoring opera legend, Enrico Caruso, That elegant debut in the Edwardian age of high silk hats and full evening dresses set an singular tone and an international mystique for The Blackstone which was to stage scores of glamorous parties and numerous significant political and cultural events until its demise. The Blackstone played host to a dozen U.S. Presidents (including Franklin Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Harry Truman and John Kennedy) royalty, numerous celebrities including Rudolph Valentino, Joan Crawford, Lena Horne, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Betty Davis, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and Carl Sandburg who celebrated his 75th birthday there. It was also a favored playground for America’s industrial scions as well—the Rockefellers, Astors, Morgans, Vanderbilts and Whitneys. 

About Sage Hospitality 
Founded in 1984, Sage Hospitality has strategically grown into the largest privately held hotel management and development company in the nation and is recognized as a leading innovator in the field. During the past eight years, the Denver-based firm has completed more than $600 million in acquisition and development projects, using some of the most unique financing structures in the industry. Sage Hospitality's comprehensive management portfolio includes major international brands as well as independent boutiques and hotels. In 1997, Sage y pioneered the company's urban redevelopment initiative converting the blighted Joplin’s department store in downtown Denver into a showplace Courtyard by Marriott. Since then, Sage has preserved and transformed five additional, underutilized national landmark buildings into award-winning hotel properties that serve as important catalysts for downtown revitalization. For more information, please visit www.sagehospitality.com 

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Contact:

Susanne Voeltz
Phone: 608/284-0848
 

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Also See: Sage Hospitality Appoints Andrew HeLal General Manager at the Renaissance Pittsburgh Hotel / May 2008
Sage Hospitality Resources Opens The Legendary Blackstone--A Renaissance Hotel; Chicago's Finest Example of a Turn-of-the-Century Luxury Hotel Transformed by a $128 Million Preservation Project / Exclusive Photos / March 2008
Sage Hospitality Names Fletcher C. Mayes General Manager for The Blackstone, a Renaissance Hotel; $112 million Renovation of Chicago’s Legendary Hotel Set for Completion Late in 2007 / September 2007
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