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Sydney, Australia, 20 June 2013: Construction of the Hunter Valley’s first conference centre and an on-site brewery and distillery headline a host of major enhancements for Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, which IHG will continue to manage after signing a new 10-year agreement with owner, Schwartz Family Company.

More than AU$5.5 million is set to be invested into Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley by the Schwartz Family Company, which purchased the hotel in 2012.  All upgrades are due to be completed by the end of 2014.

Construction of the AU$4 million Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley conference centre has received significant Government support, with the Federal Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism granting AU$250,000.  With the conference centre will come an upgrade to the existing exhibition space at the hotel, installation of a new large-scale commercial kitchen and establishment of a permanent marquee on the grounds.

Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley will also become the centre of operations for the Schwartz Family’s Sydney Brewing Company, with a 300 square metre brewery, micro distillery and cellar door due to be established as part of the hotel’s main complex.  Within the next two years a larger, purpose-built craft brewery and distillery will be established on 41 hectares of newly-acquired adjacent land.

Other enhancements to be made include a soft refurbishment of Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley’s 150 hotel rooms and 169 two and three bedroom villas, improvements to the hotel’s 18-hole golf course, expansion of the kid’s club (which has already received a children’s train and 22-horse carousel), an extension of the hotel’s Grapevine Bar and Restaurant, and new energy and water consumption infrastructure.

Bill Edwards, Head of Operations, IHG Australasia said the company was delighted to extend their management agreement for Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, and said the team was eagerly anticipating the upgrade of the hotel which draws the majority of its visitors from Australia, China, Japan, Singapore and Malaysia.

“The Hunter Valley region is focusing on increasing its share of corporate, meetings and leisure business; so the timing couldn’t be better to undertake this sort of upgrade to Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley. The team are looking forward to the new and improved hotel facilities that guests will be able to enjoy” he said.

Schwartz Family Company Director, Dr Jerry Schwartz said about the announcement, “We have an enormous opportunity to build on what’s already been achieved at Crowne Plaza Hunter Valley, and establish it as one of the most popular leisure and conferencing resorts in the country.

“IHG has managed this hotel very successfully since it opened in 2006, and is unquestionably the best partner to help us realise our long-term plans for this facility,” Dr Schwartz said.

For more information on the hotel, visit www.crowneplazahuntervalley.com.au or www.ihg.com.

About IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group)

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is a global organisation with nine hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Hotel Indigo®, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites®, EVEN™ Hotels and HUALUXE™ Hotels & Resorts. IHG also manages Priority Club® Rewards, the world's first and largest hotel loyalty programme with over 73 million members worldwide. The programme will be renamed and relaunched as IHG Rewards Club in July 2013, offering enhanced benefits for members.

IHG franchises, leases, manages or owns over 4,600 hotels and more than 674,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories. With more than 1,000 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG expects to recruit around 90,000 people into additional roles across its estate over the next few years.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

Visit www.ihg.com for hotel information and reservations and www.priorityclub.com for more on Priority Club Rewards. For our latest news, visit www.ihg.com/media,www.twitter.com/ihg, www.facebook.com/ihg or www.youtube.com/ihgplc.

Contact: Sophie Moll, Ogilvy Public Relations

sophie@pulsecom.com.au / Mobile: +61 (0) 411 861 933, Office: + 61 (0) 2 9935 8332

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