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Benchmark Hospitality Preparing 
for Three New Developments 
in California, North Carolina, and Tennessee
Reflect Management Company’s Planned Growth in Stratetic Markets
 
 THE WOODLANDS, TX -- April 27, 1999 - Benchmark Hospitality has announced three new major development projects, each promising to set new standards for conference centers or leisure resort destinations in their respective regions.  The projects, slated to get underway early next year with completion dates in 2001 and 2002, reflect Benchmark’s commitment to maintain and enhance its leadership role in developing and managing innovative properties that exceed the expectations of business and leisure clientele.

The new properties will include a resort in Napa Valley, California, a mixed-use conference resort at North Carolina State University in Raleigh in the booming Research Triangle, and a conference center in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

“We are constantly evaluating opportunities for growth in strategic markets, particularly those where we believe there will be growing demand for highly distinctive conference center or leisure resort facilities,” said Burt Cabañas, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Benchmark.  “Each of these new development projects will help to further define the meetings/ resort markets in the respective regions.”

In all three new projects, Benchmark has been working with developers, architects, and owners from the design concept stage and, upon opening, will assume full management responsibilities of the properties.  Leading up to opening, the company will provide a full range of services, from technical support and financial services, to a fully staffed opening management team.  After opening, Benchmark will manage all aspects of the properties, including operations, sales and marketing, conference services, food and beverage, human resources, accounting, security, and facility maintenance.

The conference resort at Napa Valley has been more than 10 years in the making, as Benchmark and Cabañas have worked with the Western Industrial Group and HCV Pacific Partners on sensitive environmental and zoning issues.  Being developed by HCV Pacific Partners, the project represents the highest quality of development and an appreciation for the natural beauty of the region and will include a 350-room, low-rise Tuscan-style conference hotel set on a 50-acre vineyard.  The property will have an 18-hole golf course, outdoor themed pool, and retail component.  Meeting facilities will include 34,000 square feet of conference space. The Napa Valley project, designed to become a significant international resort destination as well as a luxury conference location, will open in June 2002.

The conference resort in Raleigh will be built on North Carolina State University’s new Centennial Campus.  This innovative mixed-use approach to university design will include the conference center, a Tom Fazio-designed 18-hole championship golf course, graduate schools, retail shops, and residential units.

The conference resort will include a 250-room conference hotel with 29,500 square feet of meeting space, including a ballroom and other function space overlooking Lake Raleigh.  There will be 23 meeting rooms to accommodate groups of up to 600.  The property will also include three restaurants: an all-day dining room, a 100-seat club, and a 75-seat sports bar and pub, plus a health club with swimming pool.  In developing the Fazio golf course, Benchmark is working with North Carolina State’s School of Agronomy to develop innovative turf hybrids.  Developed by Hines Development, the project is expected to be completed by February 2002.

The $43-million Chattanooga conference center project is an integral part of the city’s $100-million redevelopment of its Southside, a public/private sector partnership that has drawn the attention of urban planners from around the world.  Chattanooga has played a leadership role in developing ground-breaking models for sustainable economic development and strategic conferencing concepts. 

Owned by the city, developed by Hines Development, and managed by Benchmark, the conference center promises to be the finest in Tennessee and strongly competitive throughout the southern mid-Atlantic states.  The conference center will include a deluxe 200-room conference hotel, 24,500-square feet of meeting space, including an amphitheater, two restaurants, an all-day dining restaurant, pub bar, and a health club with swimming pool.  The Chattanooga project is expected to open by February 2001.

Headquartered in The Woodlands, Texas, Benchmark Hospitality is a recognized leader in resort, conference center and conference hotel management.  For information on booking a meeting at a Benchmark property call toll-free 888-846-6338, or visit Benchmark Hospitality on the Internet at www.benchmark-hospitality.com.

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Contact:
Alice Diaz/Eva Michalek 
M. SILVER ASSOCIATES
747 THIRD AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY 10017 
212-754-6500/212-754-6711(F)
E-mail:  alicedz@msilver-pr.com 
 --
 
Also See: Benchmark Hospitality Earns Reputation for Imaginative, Innovative Meetings / March 1999 

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