MeriStar Hotels & Resorts Signs Contract to Manage Hilton Garden Inn in Suburban Chicago/Evanston

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 5, 2001—MeriStar Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: MMH), the nation’s largest independent management company, today announced that it has signed a long-term agreement with Winston Hotels, Inc., to manage a newly constructed 178-room Hilton Garden Inn in Evanston, Ill., north of Chicago. Winston Hotels is a publicly traded hotel real estate investment trust (REIT) based in Raleigh, N.C.
“This is the 48th Winston hotel we manage and/or lease, and we look forward to further expanding our strategic relationship with them,” said Paul W. Whetsell, MeriStar chairman and chief executive officer. “We manage five additional properties in the Chicagoland area, and we expect to optimize the Hilton Garden Inn’s revenues and profits by taking advantage of cross-marketing opportunities and operating synergies.”
Located at 1818 Maple in downtown Evanston, the six-story hotel is in the center of the 24-acre Northwestern University/Evanston Research Center, a major, 300,000-square-foot employment center that comprises 90 companies. The hotel is part of a larger development that, when finished, will include an 18-screen theater, 120,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, office space and an apartment tower. In addition to its proximity to Northwestern University, the hotel is located two blocks from a commuter rail station that provides direct service to downtown Chicago, and is approximately 15 miles from O’Hare International Airport.
The property, which opened July 2, includes a restaurant and lounge, an indoor pool, exercise facilities, meeting space for approximately 300 people, an executive boardroom and a business center. All guest rooms include a compact refrigerator, microwave and coffee maker, high speed Internet access, two telephones and a dataport for modem connection.
MeriStar Hotels & Resorts operates 269 hospitality properties with more than 55,000 rooms in 36 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Puerto Rico, including 54 properties managed by Flagstone Hospitality Management, a subsidiary of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts.
Through its Doral Golf division, MeriStar manages 11 golf courses. For more information about MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, visit the company's Web site: www.meristar.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, Inc., including those statements regarding future operating results and the timing and composition of revenues, among others. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially, including the following: the ability of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts to successfully implement its acquisition and operating strategies; the company’s ability to manage rapid expansion; significant leverage; changes in economic cycles; competition from other hospitality companies; and changes in the laws and government regulations applicable to the company.