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Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Manchester Texas Financial Group Enter
Agreement for New $350 million, 50-story Fairmont Austin Conference Center Hotel
in Austin, Texas Slated to Open 2015



TORONTO, May 30, 2012
– Luxury hotel brand Fairmont Hotels & Resorts (“Fairmont”) and Manchester Texas Financial Group LLC (MTFG) announce the signing of an agreement for Fairmont to manage a new city center hotel slated to open in 2015.  The Fairmont Austin will be located directly east of the Austin Convention Center, at the northeast corner of Cesar Chavez and Red River Streets. 

The $350 million concept will be crafted by the project’s architect, Gensler Austin, to accommodate additional upscale features reflective of Fairmont’s luxury design and service aesthetics. For example, the planned number of rooms will likely be reduced from 1,035 to approximately 1,000 – allowing for larger guestrooms and suites, explains Todd Runkle, managing director of Gensler Austin.

“Fairmont represents one of the strongest and most luxurious brands in the hospitality industry. Our alliance with Fairmont will establish a new high water mark for convention center hotels industry-wide,” said Doug Manchester, president of MTFG. “We diligently set out to find the right operator that was willing to go above and beyond with a special vision tailored for the Austin market. Fairmont is doing just that.”

The 50-story hotel, which features over 70,000 square feet of function space, will rise approximately 580 feet, making it the second largest structure on downtown Austin’s skyline, which is currently dominated by the 56-story, 680-foot Austonian.   The project will mark Fairmont’s second hotel in Texas and join The Fairmont Dallas, located in the heart of the Downtown Arts District.

“For over a century, Fairmont has been host to legendary meetings and special events across the globe and we are excited to bring our broad range of experience in the meetings arena to this project,” said Jennifer Fox, President, Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.  “Austin is currently seeing tremendous interest and growth in the convention market and with its reputation as a dynamic, vibrant capital city will be a great addition to our portfolio.”

The project will generate approximately $6 million in hotel occupancy tax and contribute $4 million in annual property tax, most of which will go to the Waller Creek TIF (tax increment financing) district. It will add roughly 1,000 permanent jobs to the Austin market, not including jobs generated during the construction project.

The hotel’s design encompasses a number of green building elements and will seek LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council, an environmentally progressive positioning that complements Fairmont’s industry leading philosophy of operational sustainability and responsible tourism.  More than two decades ago, Fairmont was the first hotel company to adopt a comprehensive environmental program and more recently became the first luxury brand to address climate change by pledging to significantly reduce CO2 emissions worldwide. 

The luxury brand’s Green Partnership Program focuses on sustainability, mainly improvements in the areas of waste management, energy and water conservation, as well as community outreach through local groups and partnerships. Initiatives include a green conferencing solution dubbed Eco-Meet, recycling and organic waste diversion in the hotels' kitchens, retrofitting energy efficient lighting, purchasing green power, sourcing sustainable seafood, creating rooftop herb gardens at properties and redistributing food and gently used goods to those in need.
 
About Manchester Texas Financial Group, LLC
Manchester Texas Financial Group, LLC manages all Texas-based holdings in commercial real estate and hotel development for Manchester Financial Group. The company’s first project is a luxury convention center hotel in Austin, Texas, where the firm is based. It is a subsidiary of Manchester Financial Group, a San Diego-based hotel and commercial property development firm. Founded in 1970, Manchester Financial Group has developed more than $2 billion in assets in 11 states, employing approximately 3,000 people nationally. For more information: http://manchesterfinancialgroup.com/.
 
About Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is a celebrated collection of more than 60 luxury properties around the globe, including Shanghai's Fairmont Peace Hotel, The Plaza in New York, and Makkah Clock Royal Tower in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The luxury brand's distinctive hotels offer a sense of heritage and sophistication, warm, engaging service and culturally rich experiences. A community and environmental leader, Fairmont is also recognized internationally for its responsible tourism practices and award-winning Green Partnership program. Fairmont is owned by FRHI Holdings Limited, a leading global hotel company with over 100 hotels under the Fairmont, Raffles, and Swissôtel brands. The company also manages Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel branded luxury private residences club, whole-ownership residences and serviced residences properties. For more information: www.fairmont.com.

Contact:

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts
Mike Taylor
416/874-2457
mike.taylor@fairmont.com


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