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Partnership To Begin Multi-Million Dollar Restoration and Renovation Program

STATE COLLEGE, PA, FEBRUARY 5, 2016 – Shaner Italia, a division of Shaner Hotels, today announced that it has acquired the historic Hotel Universo in Lucca, Italy in partnership with Italy’s Marcucci Group. The two companies, which were the winning bidders in a recent auction sale for the landmark property, plan to develop a branded hotel through an extensive restoration and renovation program valued at approximately seven million euros.

The restoration and renovation program for the 70-room boutique hotel is expected to be completed within 12 months.

Located in the 19th-century medieval city of Lucca and surrounded by its famous wall, the Hotel Universo area is home to many of the region’s historic monuments and was converted into a hotel in 1857. The only hotel property located within the famous wall, Hotel Universo features a large town square that became legendary over the years for its many music and performing arts festivals that drew royalty and the great names of Italian and international operas to the Teatro del Giglio (“Theatre of the Giglio”) on the opposite side of the square. The hotel and town square currently serves as the central hub for the world-famous music festivals held each summer.

According to Lance Shaner, CEO of Shaner Hotels, the acquisition of the Hotel Universo is another example of Shaner’s growing international expansion efforts of acquiring independent hotels featuring bold originality, rich character and uncommon details. “The Hotel Universo represents the rich heritage of the region’s architecture, culture, music, arts and culinary offerings and we’re delighted to once again partner with the Marcucci family to preserve and upgrade this iconic property. We believe the new Hotel Universo will be an exceptional addition to our growing international portfolio,” he said.

Shaner Hotels’ Shaner Italia division and the Marcucci Group are already joint venture partners in the recently upgraded 180-room Renaissance Tuscany Resort and Spa in Tuscany, Italy. “We want to bring the same distinctive focus on elegant accommodations and superior guest services to the Hotel Universo that we created at the Renaissance Tuscany property with the Marcucci family,” said Plato Ghinos, President of Shaner Hotels. 

Shaner added that over the next few years Shaner Italia plans to increase its portfolio of hotels in Italy. The acquisition strategy reflects the company’s plans to expand in high-barrier markets throughout the U.S., the Bahamas and Europe.

About Shaner Hotel Group

Shaner Hotel Group is one of the foremost owner-operator companies in the hospitality industry with more than 50 hotel properties owned and managed across the U.S., Italy and the Bahamas. New properties are constantly evaluated as the Shaner Hotel Group continues a conservative, yet opportunistic approach to growth. Shaner is an approved management company and franchisee of Marriott International, Inc., Hilton Hotels Corporation, Intercontinental Hotels Group and Choice Hotels. For more information about the company and its divisions visit

Contact: Bill Keegan for Shaner Hotel Group / 312.927.8424

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