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Purchased By Curzon Group, the Clarion Hotel Waco
Now Managed by Richfield Hospitality Inc.;
Steve Fisher Named General Manager


Denver, CO. — May 4, 2004 —Richfield Hospitality Inc. assumes management today of the Clarion Hotel Waco, Texas. Purchased yesterday by Bethesda, Md.-based Curzon Group, the Clarion Hotel Waco becomes the development group’s fifth hotel managed by Richfield and the 10th Choice Hotels International property in the Richfield portfolio.

“Richfield is pleased to add the Clarion Hotel Waco to its growing list of branded hotels,” said Aik Hong Tan, Richfield president. “We are even more pleased that we could identify this real-estate opportunity as a good fit for Curzon Group and help close the deal. Through the relationships we have built over the past 30 years with a strategic and substantial community of investors, we are able to assist our partners in finding new hotel investments and securing capital to make deals--and dreams--come to fruition.”

Jay Kaufman, vice president of Curzon Group and a partner in the Clarion Hotel Waco venture, said Richfield is a valued partner, delivering heightened profits and increased asset value for Curzon Group’s four Comfort Inns since 1993.

“We are always in the market to grow our portfolio of hotels, and we rely heavily on Richfield to identify the right opportunities for us,” Kaufman said. “While Waco was outside the normal area we look at for development, the hotel was performing well and it is located in a strong market. Through Richfield, we were able to buy it right 

Clarion Inn
801 South 4th Street
Waco, Texas
and know that it will be managed properly.”

Longevity in corporate management

Since Curzon Group partnered with Richfield more than 10 years ago, the same Richfield corporate manager and corporate controller have looked after his properties, Kaufman said.

“Robert Ferree, Richfield VP of Hotel Operations, and Richard Siemers, Richfield Controller, have been overseeing my portfolio since day one, and treat my properties as if they were their own,” Kaufman said. “They know what I want, what I need, what I can afford and where to find the financing if I can’t afford it.”

Kaufman said Tom Conran, Richfield VP of Business Development who brought the Clarion Hotel Waco opportunity to Curzon Group, is currently putting together another real-estate package that his team is anxious to review.

“Richfield is pursuing financial opportunities in the full-service sector, both in primary and secondary locations,” Conran said. “We are most comfortable in assets ranging from 150 to 300 rooms.  At the same time we remain opportunistic and flexible -- a good deal is just that.”

Conran said Richfield’s understanding of the various franchise systems, such as Choice Hotels International, has lead to the management company’s success in maximizing its clients’ return on investment through the various brand programs and initiatives.

Experience in general management

“We’re extremely excited to be in the Waco market,” Ferree said, noting that Richfield had managed hotels in the Dallas/Fort Worth and Houston markets in the past. “Through our proven management expertise, we will increase the already successful profitability the property is experiencing. Our immediate goal is to fine-tune the recent renovations completed at the hotel. We also will maximize the asset’s profitability through the implementation of Richfield programs that generate revenue and control expenses.”

Steve Fisher, a veteran Richfield general manager, is returning to serve as general manager of the Clarion Hotel Waco effective immediately, Ferree said. Previously, Fisher served as a g.m. for numerous Richfield properties for more than seven years.

“Returning to Richfield is like returning home after many years,” Fisher said. “When you combine Richfield’s exceptional, proven reputation in the industry and the history of strong ownership among the Curzon Group, you’ve got a partnership for success. I look forward to growing with this property and watching it flourish.”

The first order of business, Fisher said, is stabilizing staffing and interviewing for numerous positions, continuing with ongoing renovations, and reopening the property’s restaurant and lounge—which is expected to open in approximately 60 days from take-over. The new bar and grille, which currently serves the Clarion breakfast, will be operated by well-known community icon Joe Blanek, a.k.a. Big Daddy, and Blanek’s Custom Catering.

“We are thrilled that Richfield brought this property to our attention,” Kaufman said. “It enables us to continue our relationship with Choice Hotels International – adding Clarion as an upscale property to our portfolio. It also further strengthens the relationship we have with Richfield.”

About Clarion Hotel Waco

The Clarion Hotel Waco is conveniently located across the highway from Baylor University and is in Waco’s best location for dining and entertainment. It is the only Atrium hotel in Waco with the largest indoor pool and friendliest hotel staff. The property features 148 guestrooms, spacious meeting rooms for business and social events, a 24-hour business center, fitness center and offers an abundance of in-room amenities, including 25-inch television, high-speed Internet access and in-room microwave, refrigerator and coffee machine.

About Richfield Hospitality, Inc.

Richfield Hospitality, Inc., a SWAN solution, provides a full complement of successful management services to a broad range of limited-service, full-service and resort hotels.  The company achieves superior operating results through intense focus of its strong commitment to guests, employees and owners. Through Richfield’s Operations Division, hotels can achieve significant buying power through Source, a procurement entity offering operating supplies and FF&E at discounted rates. Through Richfield’s Human Resources Division, hotels can have access to insurance and on-line risk management services. In addition, Richfield’s sister company Sceptre provides global reservations distribution, channel management and e-distribution advisory services.

Richfield Hospitality, Inc. is headquartered in Denver with approximately 1,000 employees. The company's shareholders include City e-Solutions Limited (CES) listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, and Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc, a U.K.-based company listed on the London Stock Exchange, operating 91 hotels worldwide. 

Richfield Hospitality, Inc.
Also See: Waco Hotel/Motel Association Not Happy with City Funding Plans for Proposed $39 million, 238-room Marriott Hotel / May 2003
Richfield Pursues Equity Investments / October 2003

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