Hotel Online  Special Report

HEI Hospitality Acquires the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel; Merritt Hospitality, a Wholly Owned
Subsidiary of HEI, will Manage


NORWALK, Conn./FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla., September 27, 2004 — HEI Hospitality, a privately held hospitality investment firm, today announced that it had acquired the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel in Florida from Miami Beach-based LNR for an undisclosed amount.  Merritt Hospitality, a wholly owned subsidiary of HEI, will manage the hotel. 
It is the fifth property acquired since HEI announced in June the formation of HEI Hospitality Fund, a $275 million private equity investment fund, which plans to acquire up to $800 million of hotels over the next 24 to 36 months.  The company is targeting both stabilized and turn-around hotels or portfolios.

“This acquisition is consistent with our goal of maintaining a geographically diversified portfolio of first class, full-service hotels and resorts throughout the top 50 U.S. markets,” said Gary Mendell, HEI chairman and CEO.  “In terms of location, the hotel is convenient to all the area 

Renaissance Fort Lauderdale
1617 Se 17th St
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33316
business and leisure attractions—a block and a half from the convention center, three miles from the airport, and a mile from the beaches and area shops—which appeals to a broad client base.” 

Built in 2001, the 233-room hotel, located at 1617 South East 17th Street, holds the AAA four-diamond designation.  The hotel features an island colonial decor and deluxe guest rooms equipped with 2-line telephones, data ports, and high-speed Internet access.  Hotel amenities include wireless Internet service (WiFi) in the public areas and the nearly 10,000 square feet of meeting space; a four diamond restaurant, Darryl and Oliver’s Bistro 17; Starbucks Coffee; 17th Street Lounge; outdoor pool; fitness center; and concierge service. 

“The hotel is in excellent physical condition,” said Stephen Mendell, executive vice president-acquisitions & development.  “The $2 million in renovations we have planned for the property will be earmarked primarily for updating ‘back-of-the-house’ systems to our immediate standards, with the remainder going to guest rooms and public spaces.”

Molinaro Koger represented the seller in the transaction.

HEI Hospitality, headquartered in Norwalk, Conn., is an ownership/investment firm that owns and/or operates 24 first-class and full-service hotels throughout the United States under such well-known brand names as Marriott, Sheraton, Westin and Hilton.  Merritt Hospitality is an independent hotel management company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of HEI Hospitality.


Sue Broderick
HEI Hospitality
(203) 849-6072

Also See: Concord Hospitality Opens the $37 million Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel / June 2001
Susan E. Rachek Appointed General Manager at the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel / Aug 2002

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