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Montage Beverly Hills Awarded Gold LEED Certification for Environmental Excellence,
an Achievement Earned by Only 18 Hotels Worldwide


LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (April 16, 2009) – The Athens Group, developer of environmentally-sensitive luxury hotels and resorts has learned that its latest project, the new Montage Beverly Hills, was awarded Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). 
“We are very proud to have partnered with Montage Hotels and Resorts to create an outstanding example of excellence in design and sustainability,” said Kim Richards, president of The Athens Group. 
He added, “Respect for the environment is paramount in everything we do. We have been recognized for our commitment to design and environmental excellence by the Urban Land Institute (ULI) and Environmental Protection Agency. We deeply appreciate the U.S. Green Building Council for recognizing Montage Beverly Hills with this highly valued certification.” Only 18 hotels worldwide have achieved LEED certification.
Montage Beverly Hills is a perfect example of a successful public/private partnership. The Athens Group worked side-by-side with the mayor, City council and neighborhood groups throughout the design, development and construction process. By combining resources and talents, The Athens Group and the City created an inspired work of art reminiscent of the Golden Age of California. The Montage Beverly Hills was developed by The Athens Group for Beverly Hills Luxury Hotel, LLC - a partnership between The Athens Group and private investors.

The Athens Group is currently constructing Montage Deer Valley in Park City, Utah with environmentally responsible "green" features that will minimize the resort's environmental footprint, in accordance with established LEED principles. The LEED Certification system recognizes innovation in design, sustainable sites, energy efficiency, water efficiency, and indoor environmental quality among other criteria.
“When we designed Montage Beverly Hills with HKS Hill Glazier Studio, we looked to the past for inspiration and selected Spanish Colonial Revival architecture to complement the storied history, culture and tradition of Beverly Hills,” said Jay Newman, Chief Operating Officer, The Athens Group and manager of the company’s Los Angeles office.  “We also looked to the future, and built the hotel to be sustainable and incorporate energy efficient systems and state-of-the-art technologies to minimize the impact on the environment. We are honored that Montage Beverly Hills has achieved Gold LEED certification.” 
The Athens Group collaborated with Montage Hotels and Resorts, the City of Beverly Hills and neighborhood groups to design, develop and construct Montage Beverly Hills. The mutual goal was to revitalize a previously abandoned, 2.5-acre retail area near Rodeo Drive and convert it into a sustainable site. Construction began in 2005, and the eight-story, 201-room luxury hotel opened in November 2008.
The Athens Group, headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona is a full-service real estate development company specializing in the development of upscale resort communities, luxury resort hotels, golf courses and redevelopment projects. A hallmark of The Athens Group is its dedication to environmental and cultural sensitivity with each development project it pursues. 
Since the company was founded in 1988, The Athens Group has developed the following projects:
Montage Deer Valley, Park City, Utah
 The Athens Group is developing and constructing Montage Deer Valley, a 16-acre property is located at Deer Valley Resort in Park City, Utah that is planned to open in late 2010. The project has been selected as the nation’s first pilot project for the Environmental Protection Agency's ER3 (Environmentally Responsible Redevelopment and Reuse) initiative. 
Designed with a theme reminiscent of the great mountain lodges of North America, Montage Deer Valley will be constructed and operated in accordance with environmentally responsible "green" features that will minimize the resort's environmental footprint, in accordance with established LEED principles. The mixed-use resort project includes a 174-room luxury hotel and 81 private residences. The resort is just steps away from the Deer Valley Resort ski lifts and is surrounded by ski terrain.
Montage Laguna Beach, California
In May 2006 the Urban Land Institute (ULI) selected the 261-room, oceanfront Montage Resort and Spa in Laguna Beach (now Montage Laguna Beach) for its prestigious Awards for Excellence: The Americas. The ULI competition is widely recognized as the land use industry's most prestigious recognition program. The Spa Montage was the first spa property to ever achieve the coveted Mobil Five-Star Award in 2005 and was identified as the country's number one spa according to the Mobil Travel Guide. It won the rating again in 2006. Montage Resort & Spa has received numerous travel awards including "Best of the Best" by the Robb Report and #2 U.S. Resort by Conde Nast Traveler's annual Readers Choice Poll. 
Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch, Colorado
In 2002, The Athens Group completed development of a 237-room luxury Ritz-Carlton resort hotel with 23 Penthouse Residences above the hotel floors in the master-planned community of Bachelor Gulch near Beaver Creek, Colorado. The design of the hotel is inspired by the historic lodges of the U.S. national parks and the site's rustic environment. In addition to the Ritz-Carlton hotel and Penthouse Residences, The Athens Group developed the Ritz-Carlton Club, Bachelor Gulch. This 54-unit interval ownership member's vacation club was developed on a site immediately adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton resort hotel and shares most of the resort's services and amenities. 
Ritz-Carlton Resort in Half Moon Bay, California
The 261-room luxury oceanfront hotel was awarded "Best New Hotel 2001" by the respected American Academy of Hospitality Sciences. In 2002 and 2003 the hotel also received the AAA 5 Diamond Award. The destination resort is the only golf resort in the San Francisco Bay area.
Four Season Hualalai Resort, Big Island, Hawaii
In October 1999, Hualalai Resort received the ULI Award for Excellence. The ULI Award for Excellence jury stated, "Hualalai has influenced resort developers worldwide. Against a historic setting, it provides residents and vacationers with a natural environment that maintains an ecological balance. The resort is leading a cyclical change in Hawaii's resort economy, and is elevating even higher the standards of the entire market."  In spring 2005, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Four Seasons Hualalai Resort a recipient of its annual awards for environmental responsibility, one of just 30 awards nationwide. 
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort, Tucson, Arizona
Inspired by the architectural principles of Frank Lloyd Wright and the grand resorts of the 1930s, this 398-room destination resort is the keystone element of the 1,042 acre Ventana Canyon master-planned resort and residential community. In 1987, the resort received the ULI Award for Excellence. The ULI award stated, the "Loews Ventana Canyon Resort represents a first-class design solution in an environmentally sensitive area. The project reflects the preservation and enhancement of the desert landscape. Loews Ventana Canyon has been a major force in changing, upgrading and establishing Tucson as a destination resort area.”

The Athens Group

Jay Newman 
(310) 274-0011

2425 East Camelback Road, Suite 1025
Phoenix, Arizona 85016
(602) 648-6520

Also See: The Element Hotel in Lexington, Massachusetts – the First Starwood Hotel to Earn Gold Certification from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Program / December 2008
The First New Luxury Hotel Built in Beverly Hills in More than 16 Years, the 201 room Montage Beverly Hills Opens / November 2008
Building a Green Hotel - The Challenges of Certification / Jim Butler / June 2007



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