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Hilton's New Brand, Home2 Suites, Designed to Fill a Perceived
Void in the Midscale, Extended-stay Sector;

Expected Development Cost per Key, Excluding Land, Will Average $70,000 to $75,000
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BEVERLY HILLS, Calif., (Jan. 26, 2008) – Hilton Hotels Corporation today announced the launch of Home2 Suites by Hilton™, a new mid-tier, extended-stay hotel concept targeting the savvy, value-wise, extended-stay guest, an under-represented segment of the marketplace. The announcement was made at a special media and developer event prior to the kickoff of the 8th Annual America’s Lodging Investment Summit in San Diego, Calif. To demonstrate the strong interest from the hotel development community, 10 submitted franchise applications were announced at this morning’s event, with the first Home2 Suites hotel expected to begin construction in the next 6 to 12 months. Executives anticipate an additional 10 to 15 franchise applications to be approved within the next 30 to 60 days.

Submitted franchise applications announced today included sites in New York City, N.Y., Baltimore/White Marsh, Md., Charlotte, N.C., Jacksonville, N.C., Gadsden, Ala., Alabaster, Ala., Elko, Nev., and three hotels in San Antonio, Texas.

“The addition of Home2 Suites to Hilton’s industry-leading family of brands is an exciting milestone for our company,” said Christopher Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “During challenging economic times, developers turn to strong brand names they can trust that are supported by proprietary systems and programs like our Hilton HHonors, OnQ technology, global reservations and cross-selling, eBusiness, and our worldwide sales and marketing force.”

Home2 Suites, a complement to the current Hilton Family of Brands, will embody the following attributes:

  • An authentic new design and brand personality that greets guests upon arrival and is reflected throughout the property.
  • The “Oasis,” an expanded living zone with a community table, individual work zones, a pantry, integrated guest laundry and activity room.
  • More amenities and services such as complimentary continental breakfast; walking/exercise course; fitness facility; indoor pool; outdoor living rooms; outdoor grills and more.
  • An innovative guestroom design that features an iconic “working wall,” a series of modular, brand-designed millwork pieces that serve as workspace, closet and storage.
  • Fundamentally sustainable design with no impact on the cost of operations or the guest experience with amenities such as EPA Water Sense plumbing fixtures by Kohler; bulk shower dispensers; dual-flush toilets; and recycled flooring. 
“The mid-tier, extended-stay segment accounts for approximately 42 percent of the U.S. extended-stay supply, with current brands delivering an often inconsistent and quickly-aging product,” said Phil Cordell, Global Head of Focused Service Brands, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “Home2 Suites will offer developers an opportunity to enter the segment with a comfortable, yet stylish product at a low cost per key.”

Home2 Suites will require a minimum of two acres for site development; less than most competing brands in the segment. Development plans call for four-story, wood frame construction with an average of 108 guest rooms. The properties will be comprised of approximately 80 percent studios and 20 percent one-bedroom suites, at 323 and 509 square feet, respectively. Public space will account for approximately 4,200 square feet. Average cost per key, excluding land, will average $70,000 to $75,000.

Also announced today was the appointment of Bill Duncan to Senior Vice President, Brand Management for both Home2 Suites and Homewood Suites by Hilton. He replaces Rebecca Wyatt, who has chosen to leave the company to be with family in Atlanta. Actively involved in the launch of Home2 Suites and the strong development pace of Homewood Suites, Wyatt has agreed to remain in an advisory role for both brands for a period of time to assist with the transition.

Duncan has worked for the Homewood Suites brand for the past 10 years and has served as vice president, brand sales and marketing, as well as vice president, hotel performance support. He is a 27-year hotel industry veteran with extensive experience with the Hilton Family, and has been actively involved in the research and planning of the Home2 Suites brand.

“I’ve been fortunate to have such close relationships with our owners and development teams throughout this process and am committed to the success of both brands,” said Duncan. “From developers to management firms – from front-line employees to our future guests – we’ve dug deep to really understand what each of these important audiences want and need from the Home2 Suites concept.” Home2 Suites forecasts 100 properties open by year-end 2012, with 60 to 70 per year thereafter. Immediate focus will be on U.S. development, with expansion into Canada, Mexico and abroad in subsequent years. 

To learn more about Home2 Suites by Hilton, including site plans, room layouts and brand facts, visit www.Home2Suites.com. For information about franchising opportunities, visit www.HiltonFranchise.com.

About Bill Duncan

For the previous 10 years, Duncan has held the role of vice president of sales and marketing for Homewood Suites, where he directed strategy and implementation in the areas of sales, marketing, public relations, quality, guest retention, and development support. He has also served as vice president of hotel performance support for the brand, a role in which his responsibilities included overseeing the growth and productivity of revenue management, product service and development, brand performance support, and financial management and profitability.

Duncan began his career as a hotel management trainee in 1982, rising rapidly to assume key executive positions. With practical sales management experience and expertise in all market segments, he has held a variety of management positions with the Embassy Suites and Homewood Suites brands, as well as with Hilton Family marketing.

Duncan holds a BA in Business Administration with a major in marketing and minor in management from Texas A&M. He is on the board of directors of the National Coalition for the Homeless as well as several non-profits in the Memphis area. This month, he received the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association’s “Top 25 Extraordinary Minds In Sales & Marketing” award at the organization’s 52nd annual Adrian Awards.

About Hilton Hotels Corporation

Hilton Hotels Corporation is the leading global hospitality company, with more than 3,200 hotels and 545,000 rooms in 77 countries and territories, including 135,000 team members worldwide. The company owns, manages or franchises a hotel portfolio of some of the best known and highly regarded brands, including Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Doubletree, Embassy Suites Hotels, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Grand Vacations, Homewood Suites by Hilton and The Waldorf=Astoria Collection.

The Hilton Family of Hotels adheres to founder Conrad Hilton’s philosophy that, “It has been, and continues to be, our responsibility to fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.” The company put a name to its unique brand of service that has made it the best known and most highly regarded hotel company: be hospitable. The philosophy is shared by all brands in the Hilton Family of Hotels, and is the inspiration for its overarching message of kindness and generosity.

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Contact:
 
Kendra Walker
kendra.walker@hilton.com
310.205.4017
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Also See: Homewood Suites by Hilton® Details Core Initiatives for 2007, Includes Employee Training with Video iPods / January 2007
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