Hilton Hotels Corporation Announces Top Developers and Hotels Among Focused-Service Brands

Each brand recognized a Developer of the Year, Best Conversion, Deal of the Year and Outstanding Achievement for the developers who had the greatest number of project approvals or who developed one or more unique hotels that helped enhance the brand's image in 2008. Together, the brands also recognized a Multi-Brand Developer of the Year who made significant contributions to the Hilton Family of Hotels with the most number of project approvals in 2008, as well as a Lifetime Achievement Award for longevity in the hospitality development arena and loyalty to the Hilton Family of Hotels. To be considered, all hotels in the candidates' Hilton Family portfolio had to be rated high-quality and in good status, and could represent a combination of new projects, renovations and conversions.

The recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award:

• Dave Lenz

The North Central Group

Multiple projects in Phoenix, Ariz., Omaha, Neb., and Wisconsin

The recipients of the Developer of the Year award are:

• Multi-Brand Award Winner

Mitch Patel

Vision Hospitality Group, LLC

Hampton Inn & Suites Melbourne, Fla.

Hampton Inn & Suites Orange, Fla.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Kennesaw, Ga.

• Hampton

Champak Patel

Champion Hotels

Hampton Inn & Suites Elk City, Okla.

Hampton Inn & Suites Pauls Valley, Okla.

• Hilton Garden Inn

Steve Gupta

Easton's Group of Hotels

Hilton Garden Inn Mississauga/Toronto, Ont.

Hilton Garden Inn Toronto/Vaughan, Ont.

Hilton Garden Inn Toronto Downtown, Ont.

• Homewood Suites by Hilton

Mehul Patel

Newcrest Hotels

Homewood Suites by

Hilton Abilene, Texas

Homewood Suites by Hilton Midland, Texas

Homewood Suites by Hilton Tyler, Texas

Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton also presented awards for Deal of the Year and Best Conversion, which recognizes the tremendous commitment of time and effort many owners devoted to building a particular brand's hotel and converting an existing hotel to the particular brand.

The recipients of the Deal of the Yearaward are:

• Hampton

Bernie Wolfson

Brickell Hotel Group, LLP

Hampton Inn & Suites Miami Brickell, Fla.

• Hilton Garden Inn

Robert Rauch and Joe Simone

Torrey Suites, LP

Hilton Garden Inn San Diego/Del Mar, Calif.

• Homewood Suites by Hilton

Jeffery Salinetti

RP MRP Potomac Yard, LLC

Homewood Suites by Hilton Alexandria/Potomac Yard, Va.

The recipients of the Best Conversion award are:

• Hampton

Nayan Patel

C.N. Hotels, Inc.

Hampton Inn & Suites Atlantic Beach, N.C.

• Hilton Garden Inn

Walt K. Myers

K Partners Denver, LLC

Hilton Garden Inn Denver Tech, Colo.

• Homewood Suites by Hilton

David Buffam

New Castle Hotels & Resorts

Homewood Suites by Hilton Cambridge/Arlington, Mass.

In addition, each Hilton Family focused-service brand presented an Outstanding Achievement Award to recognize the developer's support of the focused-service brands of Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton. Each recipient has demonstrated commitment to growing the respective brands and the Hilton Family by investing in the development of new hotel projects.

The Outstanding Achievementaward winners are:

• Hampton

Pierre Varadi

Groupe Canvar, Inc.

Hampton Inn & Suites Montreal Downtown

• Hilton Garden Inn

John D. & Allan Gantes

Breckenridge Group, Inc.

Hilton Garden Inn Palmdale, Calif.

• Homewood Suites by Hilton

Tom Torgerson

Torgerson Properties

Homewood Suites by Hilton St. Louis Park, Minn.

Homewood Suites by Hilton New Brighton, Minn.

“We are extremely pleased to present Mitch Patel with the Multi-Brand Developer of the Year Award and Dave Lenz with the Lifetime Achievement Award,” said Craig Mance, senior vice president — franchise development, U.S., Canada & Mexico, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “The accolade represents our appreciation of their exemplary commitment to excellence in hotel development, loyalty to our Hilton Family and commendable longevity in the development arena.”

Lifetime Achievement Award

Representing one of the first Hampton franchisees among a brand celebrating 25 years, Dave Lenz of The North Central Group has developed multiple Hilton Family hotels across the U.S. These hotels are among the top-ranking in quality and performance within the system. The North Central Group has six deals underway in Phoenix and several others in Omaha, Neb. and Wisconsin.

Multi-Brand Developer of the Year

Mitch Patel at Vision Hospitality Group, LLC is an outstanding developer and operator of multiple Hilton Family brands, including 12 open or under development. In 2008 alone, he achieved four openings (two Hampton Inn & Suites, one Doubletree and one Homewood Suites by Hilton) and one development of an Embassy Suites Hotel. In downtown Chattanooga, four Hilton Family hotels are being represented by Vision Hospitality-owned properties.

Hampton Developer of the Year

Within the past year, Champak Patel has been loyal to the Hampton brand for all new hotel products. In a tight market like Oklahoma where vision is required to commit to an investment, Champ has been willing to pioneer with Hampton.

Hilton Garden Inn Developer of the Year

Within the past two years, Steve Gupta of Easton's Group of Hotels has been approved for Hilton Garden Inn hotels in Mississauga/Toronto Airport, located in one of the strongest corporate markets in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), Downtown Toronto, a newly built hotel recently opened, located in the heart of the entertainment district, and a conversion property on the east side of downtown Toronto. Easton's locations provide the Hilton Garden Inn brand with a strong presence in the high profile Toronto market. They also have operated an existing HGI in Vaughan, Ont., for several years.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Developer of the Year

Mehul Patel has done an excellent job at identifying appropriate markets and sites for Homewood Suites within Texas. All three locations — in Abilene, Midland and Tyler — approved in 2008 are not only strong locations but true extended stay markets, further indicating the commitment to success in making the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand work ideally for the given market with the Hilton Family as Patel's first choice.