Hotel Online  Special Report



Dieter Huckestein, President of Hilton Hotel Operations, 
Joins Austin City Officials to Open the
800 room Hilton Austin
Coach Darrell K. Royal And Wife Edith Honored With Suite In Their Name

AUSTIN, Texas, January 5, 2004 – City officials, the president of Hilton Hotel operations and legendary University of Texas coach, Darrell K. Royal cut a red ribbon Monday to ceremoniously open the city’s biggest and grandest hotel, the Hilton Austin at the convention center.

“The promise of this project was to bring more and bigger conventions and meetings to our great city, and based on the bookings already made for this year and the future, that promise will be realized,” said Mayor Will Wynn. “The city’s investment in the tourism and convention infrastructure is paying off.”

Andy Slater, area vice president and general manager of the hotel, said that nearly 70 percent of the more than 100,000 roomnights already booked for 2004 are for groups who have never before had a meeting or convention in Austin. And that same percentage holds true for the 620,000 booked and prospective roomnights for the next 10 years. The hotel is expecting its first “full house” on January 16, 2004.

Slater also announced that a suite in the hotel has been named for legendary University Texas Coach Darrell K. Royal and his wife Edith. The suite on the 25th floor will feature several historic photos from the tenure of Royal as head coach at UT.

In addition, the hotel will maintain, in time-capsule form, several items to be delivered to the Mayor and City Council of Austin in the year 2031. That is the year the city-sponsored bonds for the construction of the project will be paid off and the city will take over ownership of the hotel. Included in the time capsule are a symbolic gold key to the hotel, which will be given to the city officials; a bottle of Texas produced port with which to toast the event; a record of the project through news stories; a rendering of the building signed by today’s ribbon cutting participants; and a pair of scissors used in the ribbon cutting.

Also speaking at the ribbon cutting event were Dieter Huckestein, president of Hilton Hotel operations; Bob Hodge, director of the Austin Convention Center; and, Mark Schultz, president of FaulknerUSA, the project developer.

Huckestein talked about the Texas roots of the Hilton Hotel Corporation, noting that Conrad Hilton opened his first hotel in 1919 in Cisco, Texas. The first hotel to have the Hilton name was built in 1925 in Dallas. 

The 31-story, 1.2 million-square-foot, 800-room Hilton Austin is located next to the Austin Convention Center and welcomed its first guest on December 27, 2003.

The new Hilton Austin features a 1,600 square-foot, 17,000 pound chandelier in the city’s largest hotel ballroom. The two-story, 28,000 square-foot Austin Grand Ballroom features continuous, column free space. And, with a freight elevator that is 9’ x 18’ and capable of carrying up to 6,000 lbs., it can easily accommodate full-sized cars, trucks and boats.

The hotel’s two enormous ballrooms and 11 meeting rooms of varying sizes have been fitted with the latest in fiber-optic connectivity and audio-visual capabilities. Wireless high-speed Internet connectivity is available throughout the building. 

Three lobby level restaurants offer something for every taste and occasion. Premiere steaks, seafood and sushi and a choice of indoor or outdoor dining are served in the elegant Finn & Porter™. The Liberty Tavern™, which is modeled after a 1920’s style classic American grille, serves home-style comfort foods and regional favorites. And, the Java Coast® coffee emporium offers specialty coffees, light fare and sundries plus indoor or outdoor seating.

The hotel provides an 800-car, underground, garage; and, its cutting-edge construction and materials includes a nearly soundproof outer shell on the building.

Hilton Hotels Corporation is recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company.  The company develops, owns, manages or franchises 2,000 hotels, resorts and vacation ownership properties. 

Hilton Austin
Robert Allegrini

Also See: Developer FaulknerUSA Incorporated Latest Advances in Design and Construction for 800 room HIlton Austin / December 2003
Nine Developers Vie for Fort Worth, Texas, Luxury Convention Hotel Project; City Expected to Fund About One-Third of Cost / September 2003

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