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News for the Hospitality Executive

Highgate Holdings Brings in New Management,
Plans Rebranding for the 310 room Wyndham
 in Arlington, Texas
By Andrea Jares, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Jun. 17, 2005 - ARLINGTON -- The 19-story Wyndham Hotel near the Arlington Convention Center keeps changing.

In October, all parts of the 310-room hotel will get a thorough renovation, said Cathy Gilbert, its sales and marketing director. She declined to say exactly how much the project will cost but said it will exceed $5 million.

"It will be quite extensive and they are planning numerous upgrades to guest rooms as well as common areas," Gilbert said.

The hotel, at 1500 Convention Center Drive, will also drop its Wyndham affiliation for a brand to be chosen, she said.

A new general manager, John Kellites, starts Monday, she said.

In the past six months, an investment group managed by Goldman Sachs and Highgate Holdings affiliates bought the building from Dallas-based Wyndham. The new owners hired a new management company, Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

Representatives of Goldman Sachs and Highgate Holdings could not be reached for comment Thursday.

The owners are deciding on the renovation's details, as well as brand affiliations to seek, Gilbert said. Final plans are expected by June 23, she said.

"The new ownership wants to make the property all it can be," said Gilbert, who started her job three weeks ago.

The hotel is in great shape and the renovations will make it even better, said Diane Brandon, vice president of communications and research at the Arlington Convention & Visitors Bureau.

"Anything they do to stay fresh is very good," she said.

Several Arlington hotels have begun or completed renovations in the past year. They include the Hilton at 2401 E. Lamar Blvd., Crowne Plaza at 700 E. Ave. H, SpringHill Suites at 1975 E. Lamar Blvd. and Courtyard by Marriott at 1500 Nolan Ryan Expressway.

The Wyndam underwent an extensive renovation in 2001.

The renovations will be done floor by floor to avoid disturbing guests, Gilbert said.


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Copyright (c) 2005, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Texas

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