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Shubh Hotels Financially Troubled Hilton Pittsburgh to be Managed
by Crescent Hotels & Resorts Under Proposed Restructuring

By Mark Belko, Pittsburgh Post-GazetteMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Feb. 26, 2010--The financially troubled Hilton Pittsburgh apparently will be run by a new management company under a proposed restructuring.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts, a Fairfax, Va., company that owns or operates upscale and mid-market hotels and resorts, has invited union workers at the Hilton to an orientation meeting next week.

Jennifer Blatz, spokeswoman for Unite Here, Local 57, which represents about 180 workers at the Hilton, said Thursday the union's understanding is that Crescent will be the new manager of the iconic hotel at the entrance to Downtown.

Crescent's website also lists the Hilton Pittsburgh as one of the hotels in its portfolio.

"Workers at the Hilton have been represented by Unite Here, Local 57, for decades. Our expectation is that Crescent will honor the contract with Local 57 and we look forward to a fresh start with the new management group," Ms. Blatz said.

A representative for Crescent said she was not authorized to comment. Representatives for the Hilton Pittsburgh could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Crescent currently owns or operates about 42 upscale and mid-market hotels and resorts, with approximately 9,000 rooms in 18 states, according to its website. One hotel listed in its portfolio is the Crowne Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh South near South Hills Village mall.

The new management team apparently will be part of a restructuring for the struggling hotel, whose owner, Shubh Hotels Pittsburgh LLC, has been unable to complete a $25 million renovation to the Hilton, leaving an unfinished addition at the city's doorstep.

Florida-based Shubh will continue to maintain some control over the hotel under the restructuring, attorney Jonathan Kamin, who represents Shubh and the restructured company, has said.

Shubh will be joined in the restructuring by Jorge M. Perez, founder of The Related Group, a Miami-based real estate developer and builder, and principals of Fuel Group International, a Tampa., Fla., company with interests in hotels, entertainment and real estate that has worked with Shubh in the past.

Mr. Kamin has said a new management group would operate the hotel. He did not return phone calls Thursday.

Mark Belko: mbelko@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1262.

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Copyright (c) 2010, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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