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The Procaccianti Group Acquires The Fairmont at the Plaza, Kansas City;
Planning Renovation and Rebranding to InterContinental

By Gene Meyer, The Kansas City Star, Mo.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News 

December 24, 2005 - The Fairmont at the Plaza, one of Kansas City’s most prestigious hotels, has been sold and will be renamed the InterContinental Kansas City at the Plaza next month.

The hotel was acquired by The Procaccianti Group of Cranston, R.I., from Maritz Wolff & Co. of Los Angeles. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed, and officials with the companies could not be reached for comment.

A representative with InterContinental Hotels Group PLC, which reached a licensing agreement with Procaccianti to brand the unit, did say that an extensive renovation of the hotel at 401 Ward Parkway would take place in 2006 and 2007, but declined to specify how much the company intended to spend.

InterContinental franchises about 17 properties in the Kansas City area, primarily under the Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express and Candlewood Suites names.

The sale is the second in five years for the 12-story Kansas City icon overlooking Brush Creek and the Country Club Plaza.

The 366-room building was opened in 1972 as the Alameda Plaza by the J.C. Nichols Co. It became a Ritz-Carlton when Nichols sold the property in 1990, then went through several ownership changes after a foreclosure in 1994. In 2000, the last of the Ritz-Carlton owners, Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., sold the property to Maritz Wolff, which reopened it as the Fairmont.

Procaccianti is a second-generation, privately held real estate enterprise that specializes in buying, renovating and managing upper-end properties. It employs about 4,300 people and manages $2 billion in assets, according to the company’s Web site. It owns hotels that operate under the Westin, Marriott, Sheraton and Doubletree brands, among others.

InterContinental Hotels Group of Windsor, Great Britain, claims to be the world’s largest lodging chain with 3,600 properties and 539,000 rooms in 100 countries. The company originally was a creation of the Bass brewing empire. Bass acquired Holiday Inns International in the late 1980s.The conglomerate sold its brewing interests and the Bass name in 2000.

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Copyright (c) 2005, The Kansas City Star, Mo.

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