Hotel Online  Special Report

 MeriStar Hospitality Re-flags the 503 room Holiday Inn
O’Hare International to Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare
Sixth Property Re-flagged by MeriStar in 2004


ARLINGTON, Va., October 19, 2004 — MeriStar Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: MHX), one of the nation’s largest hotel real estate investment trusts (REIT), announced that it had completed the re-flagging of the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare, which had previously been flagged as the Holiday Inn O’Hare International, at a special ceremony held at the hotel yesterday.   The event was attended by senior officials from MeriStar and InterContinental Hotels Group, including Stevan Porter, InterContinental’s president of the Americas.

The property currently is undergoing a $7 million renovation and already has completed extensive upgrades to its exterior, including a completely new exterior, new signage and lighting and expansive landscaping.  Interior work is well underway with new lobby furnishings and carpeting in place, as well as the installation of the Crowne Plaza Sleep Advantage program and other brand amenities.  When completed, the renovation will include refurbishing of the public and meeting space, and the spa and pool, as well as upgrading guest rooms and bathrooms.  The Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare is the sixth hotel to be re-flagged by MeriStar this year as part of an extensive upgrading and repositioning strategy. 

“We are on schedule with the timing of our renovation program, and expect to invest approximately $125 million in our hotels in 2004,” said Paul W. Whetsell, chairman and chief executive officer.  “Through our proprietary purchasing and design program, we have been able to move forward rapidly with reduced costs compared to traditional methods.”

Whetsell noted that the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare has more than 55,000 square feet of meeting space and 503 guest rooms.  “By re-flagging to the Crowne Plaza brand, we expect to attract more higher-rated, group business seeking an upscale, first-class, full-service meeting experience.  We are seeing a very positive rebound at our hotels that have completed our renovation program, in terms of guest satisfaction and higher revenue per available room.  We expect to convert one additional hotel to a new brand before year-end.”

Arlington, Va.-based MeriStar Hospitality Corporation owns 76 principally upscale, full-service hotels in major markets and resort locations with 21,210 rooms in 22 states, and the District of Columbia.  The company owns hotels under such internationally known brands as Crowne Plaza, Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Westin, Doubletree and Radisson.  

This press release contains forward-looking statements about MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, including those statements regarding future operating results, the timing and composition of revenues, expected levels of capital expenditures, and expected proceeds from asset sales, among others.  

MeriStar Hospitality Corporation
Mike Bauer
Director, Finance
(703) 812-7202
Also See: MeriStar, Which Owns 89 Hotels, Reports Full-Year 2003 Net Loss of $388 million Compared with a Loss of $161 million a Year Earlier; Full-year RevPAR Declines 3% / Hotel Operating Statistics / February 2004
MeriStar to Spend Approximately $225 million On Renovations At Its Core 73 Hotel Properties Over the Next Two Years; Taking Advantage of Size and Scale to Accelerate Renovations and Reduce Costs / February 2004
Holiday Inn O’Hare International Completes a Major $15 Million Renovation / Oct 2000

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