Hotel Online  Special Report

Outrigger Renovating the OHANA Waikiki Village
and OHANA Waikiki Tower into the Embassy
Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk
Robert H. Yeoman Appointed General Manager 


Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii -- March 17, 2005 - Outrigger Enterprises Inc. and Embassy Suites Hotels(R) today announced a franchise agreement that will bring the upscale Embassy Suites brand to Waikiki as part of Outrigger's Waikiki Beach Walk redevelopment of the Lewers Street area. Outrigger plans to completely renovate the existing OHANA Waikiki Tower and OHANA Waikiki Village Hotels over the next two years and reopen them as the Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk.

"We are excited about bringing the Embassy Suites name and our services to guests in Waikiki," said John Lee, vice president of brand marketing for Embassy Suites Hotels. "Our loyal guests will be pleased they have another hotel option while they are in Honolulu." Lee also noted Embassy Suites currently has vacation ownership properties on Maui and Kauai, but no other hotels in the state.

According to Perry Sorenson, chief operating officer for Outrigger Hotels & Resorts, the association with Embassy Suites is an important strategic move designed to extend the reach of Outrigger management into new markets.

"This franchise agreement allows us to introduce Outrigger's renowned island hospitality to Embassy Suites customers," Sorenson said. "At the same time, the hotels will continue to benefit from Outrigger's long-standing relationships with travel partners around the world who associate Outrigger with Hawaii and the Pacific."

To transform the OHANA Waikiki Village and OHANA Waikiki Tower hotels into the Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk, the two towers will shut down in the second quarter of 2005 for a major renovation that will take approximately 18 months. Most employees of those OHANA hotels will be accommodated at other Outrigger and OHANA hotel locations in Waikiki. During renovation, the 844 standard hotel rooms will be converted into 421 suites (17 two-bedroom suites, 352 one-bedroom suites and 52 hotel rooms suites), which will provide complimentary full-American breakfasts and afternoon manager's receptions.*

  OHANA Waikiki Village
240 Lewers Street
Honolulu, Hawaii

OHANA Waikiki Tower
200 Lewers Street
Honolulu, Hawaii

Embassy Suites and Outrigger believe the suites will better serve the needs of the current market, which brings many repeat visitors and families. "Embassy Suites offers two room suites where kids get their own room and free cooked to order breakfast for the entire family, plus an evening Manager's reception daily," Sorenson said. 

"There are very few suite accommodations to serve the Waikiki visitor today," said Lee. "By bringing the Embassy brand and award-winning service to the heart of Outrigger's Waikiki Beach Walk project, along with great restaurants and specialty retail shops, this area will become a highly sought-after vacation destination for families and repeat visitors."

Robert H. Yeoman Appointed General Manager

Accomplished hotel executive Robert H. Yeoman has been appointed General Manager of the newly announced Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk, effective March 7, 2005.

Yeoman is a hospitality industry veteran with over two decades of experience in hotel operations and food and beverage. A Certified Hotel Administrator, Yeoman was most recently General Manager of the Embassy Suites Hotel Phoenix-Scottsdale where he oversaw the successful opening and subsequent operation of this 270-suite hotel. Prior to that, Yeoman served as General Manager of numerous hotels and resorts over his 20 year career, including the Hilton Pasadena, Hilton Suites Phoenix Plaza, Embassy Suites Hotel Biltmore, and Holiday Inn. Yeoman's background also includes experience in food and beverage, having worked as Food & Beverage Director at The Hermitage in Nashville, TN.

Waikiki Beach Walk Redevelopment

According to Outrigger Hotels & Resorts president and CEO, David Carey, the Embassy Suites addition is an important piece of the Waikiki Beach Walk project, a major redevelopment that will significantly upgrade central Waikiki. After nearly a decade of planning, construction on the $460 million project is expected to begin in the spring of 2005.

"We have been planning this tremendous project for several years," said Carey, "leading the way in redeveloping and reinvigorating Waikiki in order to keep our visitor industry robust and healthy. Our vision is to bring new life to the Waikiki Beach Walk area through major property upgrades and the development of a dining and retail complex that will be a magnet for visitors and local residents alike."

There are five major parts to Waikiki Beach Walk:

First, Fairfield Resorts, Outrigger's vacation ownership partner, will redevelop the upper floors of the 480-room OHANA Reef Towers Hotel into 195 one-, two-, three- and four-bedroom timeshare units. This work is slated to begin in March 2005 and is expected to be finished in the fall of 2006.

Second, WBW Retail LLC, Outrigger's retail partnership with developer Richard Gushman, will redevelop the street-level floors of the OHANA Reef Towers and the site currently occupied by the Edgewater Lanais, OHANA Coral Seas, the OHANA Waikiki Village lobby, the ground floor of the OHANA Waikiki Tower, the restaurants at the corner of Lewers Street and Helumoa Road, and the OHANA Edgewater into a gathering place with approximately 90,000 square feet of new restaurants and retail shops. Construction on this portion of the project is expected to start in April 2005 and be completed in the fall of 2006.

Third, the conversion of the OHANA Waikiki Village and OHANA Waikiki Tower hotels to the all-suite Embassy Suites-Waikiki Beach Walk, with the franchise agreement announced today with Embassy Suites.

Fourth, renovations that will be made to the two "bookend" hotels at each end of the Waikiki Beach Walk development -- the OHANA Islander Waikiki at the corner of Kalakaua Avenue and Lewers Street and the Outrigger Reef on the Beach on Kalia Road.

Outrigger calls the fifth and final part of Waikiki Beach Walk "Phase 2." Outrigger remains in the planning phase of this stage of the development as it completes its vision for a more beautiful visitor and resident-friendly destination in the heart of Waikiki.

About Outrigger Hotels & Resorts
Outrigger Hotels & Resorts is a family-owned and operated company deeply committed to providing authentic island hospitality in premiere destinations throughout the Pacific. 

About Embassy Suites Hotels(R)
Embassy Suites Hotels(R), which opened its first property in 1984, was the first all-suite upscale hotel brand to enter the industry and today has more than 170 hotels. Embassy Suites Hotels is a part of Hilton Hotels Corporation, which is recognized internationally as a preeminent hospitality company. 


Nancy Daniels, APR, Public Relations Manager
Phone: 808-921-6839

Kendra Walker/Dawn Ray
Embassy Suites Hotels Brand Communications
(310) 205-4017 / (901) 374-5954

Also See: Outrigger Completes Sale of OHANA Reef Towers to Fairfield Resorts; Property to be Redeveloped as Fairfield’s First Waikiki Resort / February 2005
Outrigger's $460 million Waikiki Beach Walk Project Adds Joint Venture with Developer Richard Gushman for Restaurants and Shops within Development Area / May 2004

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