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Carlson Hotels Worldwide to take over management of 12 hotels under Prime hotel brand

Travel News Asia 6 April 2005

Carlson Hotels Worldwide has reached an agreement with Hospitality Properties Trust (HPT), a major hotel industry real estate investment trust (REIT), to take over management of 12 hotels currently operating under the Prime hotel brand.

The agreement calls for the properties to convert to Carlson hotel brands over the next 90 days. The new properties will expand Carlson's managed hotel portfolio by 66 percent.

"This agreement allows us to substantially expand our portfolio of managed hotels, demonstrating a strategic commitment to management leadership as we develop our brands," said Jay Witzel,  president and CEO of Carlson Hotels Worldwide. "Our managed hotels are historically among our top performers and provide exemplary guest experiences which define our brands."

Carlson will immediately assume management responsibilities of the properties to begin assimilating the hotels into its portfolio in order to maximize market opportunities and brand growth.

Of the 12 hotels, four will convert to the Radisson brand, three will change to the Park Plaza brand and five will become Country Inns & Suites by Carlson. Some brand conversions will take place immediately with all conversions expected to be completed by July 2005.

As part of the new brand conversions, the hotels will receive new capital investment of up to $37 million in renovations with each hotel undergoing $1 to $4 million in renovations. All renovations are expected to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2006.

Sam Winterbottom, executive vice president of development for Carlson Hotels Worldwide, said the agreement represents a significant growth in key markets for Carlson's hotel brands. "Each year we identify top markets where our branded hotels need to be in order to be represented in key markets where customer demand is growing rapidly. For Country Inns & Suites this brings significant growth on the West Coast by adding properties in San Diego and Sunnyvale, Calif., as well as suburban Seattle. The Park Plaza portfolio gains three great properties, and our Radisson brand adds key airport markets in Nashville, Phoenix and Seattle-Tacoma, as well as a terrific downtown convention hotel in Salt Lake City."

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