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Partnership Led by The Berger Company, Investor Dr. Eric George and Crow Holdings
Obtain Debt Financing from IBERIABANK for Windsor Court Acquisition

Aimbridge Hospitality to Coordinate Management

 

Renovations, Improvements Planned for Luxury Landmark

NEW ORLEANS - October 5, 2009 - For the first time in nearly 20 years, the Windsor Court Hotel in downtown New Orleans is back in local hands. The new local ownership team, led by The Berger Company of New Orleans, closed on the storied 322-room property today for an undisclosed price. For the Windsor Court purchase, The Berger Company teamed up with local investor and renowned hand surgeon Dr. Eric George, owner of Omega Hospital in Metairie, Louisiana.

“The Windsor Court is one of the premier hotels in America, enjoying a reputation for unmatched elegance, location and guest services,” said Darryl Berger, Jr., a principal of The Berger Company. “The Coleman family developed this hotel to the highest standard of luxury and we intend to maintain and improve its tradition of excellence.”

The award-winning hotel, located at 300 Gravier Street, was sold to the new local ownership team by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd., a publicly-traded hotel and leisure company that operates high-end hotels, cruise and train services around the globe.

"As a customer, I know that Windsor Court is one of the best hotels I have ever experienced and I am very pleased to be an investor in such a magnificent property," said Dr. George.

In addition to The Berger Company and George, the other principal partner in the deal is Dallas-based Crow Holdings, a firm that manages investments for the family of well-known real estate giant Trammell Crow. Debt financing for the deal is being provided by IBERIABANK.

"In these uncertain economic times, IBERIA did a great job in making this transaction possible. They understand this project, and believe, as we do, in the continued recovery of our great city,” explained Ben Tiller, a principal of The Berger Company.

The new owners plan to carry out a major renovation and improvement program at the Windsor Court during the next two years. All Hotel personnel will remain the same in order to ensure a seamless transition. The new owners have brought in Texas-based Aimbridge Hospitality to coordinate management.

“The Windsor Court has always been recognized at the pinnacle of the New Orleans hotel market, and it is our intention to continue its tradition as one of the finest hotels in the country and, indeed, in the world,” said Brandon Berger, principal of The Berger Company.

For more information about the Windsor Court Hotel, visit www.windsorcourthotel.com or contact Rob Anderson of Keating Magee Marketing Communications at 504-299-7171 or randerson@keatingmagee.com.

About Windsor Court Hotel

The Windsor Court Hotel (www.windsorcourthotel.com) was developed by New Orleans businessman James “Jimmy” Coleman Jr. in 1984. It was sold in 1991 to Orient Express Hotels Ltd. The hotel is a 23-story landmark that includes the acclaimed Grill Room Restaurant, Polo Club Lounge and Le Salon. More than 80 percent of the property’s guestrooms are suites, ranging from 600 to 2,000 square feet.

In 2009, Travel and Leisure ranked the Windsor Court #13 in its annual listing of the “Top 50 Large City Hotels in US/Canada.” It was the only hotel in New Orleans to make the list. The hotel was also earned a spot on Conde Nast Traveler’s coveted “Gold List” for 2009.

Throughout its history, the Windsor Court has been the choice for discriminating travelers visiting New Orleans, from world leaders and royalty to professional athletes, business leaders and other celebrities. Presidents Gerald Ford, Bill Clinton, George H.W. and George W. Bush, Lady Margaret Thatcher and Prince Albert of Monaco stayed at the hotel, as have performers such as Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra, U2, Rod Stewart, Eric Clapton, Janet Jackson, Uma Thurman, Nicholas Cage, Sir Ian McKellan and Kevin Costner. Other notable guests have included Bill Gates, Michael Jordan, John Grisham and Oliver Stone.

Visiting celebrities have also been known to enjoy the Windsor Court’s various amenities. While staying at the hotel in 2002, Paul McCartney visited the Polo Club Lounge and played a few impromptu songs on the bar’s grand piano. Rod Stewart has been known to take in the afternoon tea at Le Salon. During one of his stays, he brought along his own porcelain teapot, which is now stored at the hotel for his return visits.

In addition to its heralded service, atmosphere and amenities, the Windsor Court is also home to a unique and extensive art collection that features works by artists such as Van Dyck, Gainsborough and Huysman.

About The Berger Company

The Berger Company is headquartered in New Orleans and has over 35 years of experience in real estate. The company owns and has developed many signature properties including Jax Brewery; Canal Place, a five-star retail center anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue; the Royal Orleans Hotel; the Wyndham Riverfront and the Loews New Orleans Hotel.

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Contact:

Keating Magee
Rob Anderson, 504-299-7171
 

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Also See: Orient-Express Hotels Sells the 324-room Windsor Court Hotel, New Orleans to The Berger Company, Inc. for $44.25 million / October 2009
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