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Gemstone Hotels & Resorts Names John Plunket as Executive
Vice President, Development and Acquisitions


PARK CITY, Utah, January 17. 2012—Officials of Gemstone Hotels & Resorts, a full-service hotel management company that specializes in luxury and upscale urban hotels and resorts, today announced that industry veteran John Plunket has joined the company as executive vice president, development and acquisitions.  In his new position, he is responsible for all development and acquisition activity, including sourcing and negotiating new investment opportunities, as well as identifying new management opportunities.

“John comes to Gemstone with more than three decades of hospitality, real estate and finance experience,” said Thomas Prins, Gemstone’s co-founder and principal.  “Over his career, he has been one of the industry’s major deal-makers with involvement in more than $4 billion in transactions covering more than 150 hotels.  He knows hotels inside and out, has broad experience in real estate capital markets and an impressive record of success in growing both ownership and management portfolios.”

Plunket has served in key development positions with a number of the industry’s   leading hotel companies and investment groups, including stints with Marriott International, MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, MeriStar Hospitality and, most recently, CapStar Hotel Company, LLC.  He has held investment principal and advisory positions with Cassidy & Pinkard, CIG International, Oak Hill Realty, Hotel B Investors, LLC and CapStratix Capital, LLC.

“John will spearhead an aggressive growth and acquisition program, supported by the company’s strong capital structure put in place this past year,” Prins added.  “With his deep understanding of debt restructuring, resort development and owner exchange systems, John will be an invaluable asset as we move those plans forward.”

Jeff McIntyre, Gemstone’s co-founder and principal, noted that Plunket is a key addition to the company, as Gemstone sharpens its focus on acquisitions.  “Our partners have been involved in the acquisition, financing or management of more than $25 billion of real estate and have an aggressive appetite and funding in hand to do more in this phase of the cycle.  We have a sharp, value-add focus, we like complex properties and are extremely comfortable working with hotels with problematic capital structures.

“Historically we have concentrated on independent hotels but now have widened our scope to include branded hotels,” he added.  “We recently brought the Marriott Autograph Collection flag to our managed hotel, The Carlton, in Manhattan with significant success.  We have the flexibility and capital to acquire individual hotels or portfolios, as well as participate in joint venture partnerships.  We believe the hotel industry will enjoy steadier growth in 2012, but will continue to feel the effects of lingering distress from financial and local market conditions.  This confluence of events positions Gemstone well for growth.  We have a seasoned management team, enthusiastic financial partners and a new, strong leader of our development program.”

McIntyre pointed out that Gemstone will continue to focus on the upscale and luxury segments in the U.S. and selectively evaluate opportunities abroad.  “We are opportunistic investors and have interest in both distressed and cash-flowing hotels with upside potential,” he added.  “We also will continue to concentrate on expanding our third-party management portfolio, and John will play a key role in stepping up our efforts in that sector.”

About Gemstone Hotels & Resorts LLC
Headquartered in Park City, Utah, with offices in Stamford, Connecticut, Gemstone is a full-service management company that specializes in luxury and upscale hotels and complex resorts.  Gemstone currently  manages 14 properties in California, New York, Colorado, Utah, Massachusetts and West Virginia.  For more information about Gemstone, go to www.gemstoneresorts.com.
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Contact:

Chris Daly, Lauralee Dobbins/media
(703) 435-6293
Lauralee@dalygray.com



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Also See: John E. Plunket Joins MeriStar Hospitality as Senior Vice President – Real Estate / July 2005

Doral Trademark Acuired by MeriStar - John Plunket Named to Head MeriStar's Doral Division / Jan 1999

Marriott's Autograph Collection Adds The Carlton Hotel in New York City to its Portfolio; The 317-room Property is Managed by Gemstone Hotels & Resorts / January 2012

Gemstone Hotels & Resorts to Manage Two Midway, Utah Properties Owned by Legacy Resorts, the Zermatt Resort and Spa and The Homestead Resort / October 2011

Gemstone Hotels & Resorts Partners with RSR Hospitality / June 2011

Gemstone Hotels & Resorts Selected to Manage Sky Lodge Hotel in Park City, Utah / November 2010

Gemstone Hotels & Resorts and Goodman Realty Group Re-Open Albuquerque's Hotel Andaluz Following $30 Million Restoration / November 2009

Gemstone Hotels & Resorts Selected to Concept and Manage the Historic Hilltop House Hotel in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia and the Hotel Ithaca, Ithaca, New York / September 2008
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