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McKibbon Hotel Group Joins Starwood Hotels & Resorts’ New Tribute Portfolio with Vandre Nouveau Hotel in Downtown Asheville

Wednesday, April 29, 2015
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Tampa, Fla. - McKibbon Hotel Group, an award-¬winning, third--generation leader in the hotel development and management industry, announced today that it will partner with Starwood Hotels & Resorts on their newly launched Tribute Portfolio, a collection of four-¬star, upscale hotels with an independent spirit.

The Vandre Nouveau Hotel, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, in Downtown Asheville, North Carolina will be the first independent hotel developed by McKibbon. The well--known BB&T Bank building, owned by McKibbon Hotel Group and Tower Associates, will be repurposed into the hotel and condominiums. McKibbon will develop and manage the new hotel when it’s completed in 2017.

“We have created a perfect partnership with Starwood and Tower Associates. Together, we are passionate about developing and managing great hotels in great destinations,” said John McKibbon, chairman of McKibbon Hotel Group. “We all have a deep affinity for Asheville and its history and look forward to the Vandre Nouveau Hotel being the epicenter of the downtown area, leading the future of Asheville’s growth and defining where it heads next.”

The property will include 150 guest rooms and suites, a destination restaurant and lobby bar and more than 4,000 square feet of modern meeting and event space. With 100 hotels expected by 2020, Tribute Portfolio properties will be independent hotels located in high--demand destinations offering top-¬notch experiences to guests.

“Tribute Portfolio is focused on delighting our Starwood Preferred Guest members with access to great independent hotels in exciting places all over the world, and we look forward to the Vandre Nouveau Hotel helping us deliver that promise,” said Dave Marr, Senior Vice President of Brand Management and Global Brand Leader for Tribute Portfolio. “As part of Tribute Portfolio, the owners of the Vandre Nouveau Hotel, McKibbon Hotel Group and Tower Associates, will have access to Starwood’s powerful distribution, loyalty and sales platforms, while still maintaining their independent vision and spirit for this incredible hotel.”

The hotel’s unique name stemmed from Vander, meaning “to stroll”, “to wander” and is a play on the name of Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a master of modern architecture. Mies Van der Rohe’s contemporary skyscrapers can be found in Chicago, New York and Toronto. His influence is apparent in the BB&T Bank building, downtown Asheville’s tallest building, which will become known as the Nouveau Tower. Nouveau, meaning “new”, describes the transformed icon that will impact the landscape and community known for its art and architecture. The Vandre Nouveau Hotel will be a place where you can stroll through eclectic streets and alleys downtown or wander through mountains that surround Asheville.

“Having lived and worked in Asheville for over 50 years, I can speak for my team in saying we are so excited about the development of the Vandre Nouveau Hotel and the impact it will have on our community”, said Glenn Wilcox, chairman and president of Tower Associates. “The upscale, boutique hotel is sure to be a catalyst to the continued revitalization of downtown Asheville.”

Once the Vandre Nouveau Hotel development is complete, there will be three McKibbon Hotel Group properties, including the AC and Aloft, within just a few blocks of each other in downtown Asheville. In addition, McKibbon Hotel Group will break ground in Charlotte, North Carolina, on a dual¬‐branded hotel tower, AC by Marriott and Residence Inn by Marriott, in uptown Charlotte’s EpiCentre in June 2015 as well as a 144--room Aloft slated for downtown Greenville, South Carolina, which opens in November 2015.

About McKibbon Hotel Group, Inc.:
Established in 1948, the McKibbon Hotel Group, Inc. is recognized as an award--winning, third-¬‐generation leader in the hotel development and management industry. Headquartered in Tampa, Florida, with offices in Gainesville, Georgia, the privately held company prides itself on eight decades of rich history and culture that promotes family values. Its operation portfolio consists of over 80 hotels in 13 states with 7 properties currently in development in the Southeast. With a focus on lifestyle properties, the company develops and manages nationally franchised brand hotels: Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott International, Inc., and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. For additional information on McKibbon Hotel Group, Inc., visit mckibbon.com.

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.:
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with more than 1,200 properties in some 100 countries and over 180,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, element® and the recently introduced Tribute Portfolio™. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG®), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood recently announced plans to spin off its Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc. business, a premier provider of world-¬‐class vacation experiences through villa-¬‐style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands, into a standalone public company by the end of 2015. For more information, please visit starwoodhotels.com.

About Tower Associates, Inc.
Tower Associates, Inc. develops and leases commercial real estate in Western North Carolina, and is led by Glenn W. Wilcox, Sr. Headquartered in Asheville, North Carolina, for 50 years, Wilcox is a successful entrepreneur as chairman and president of Tower Associates, Inc., founder of Wilcox World Travel and Tours, a regional American Express agency, founder of Blue Ridge Printing Company, Inc., a regional corporate printing company, and a 50/50 partner in MHG--Tower, LLC, which is developing two downtown Asheville hotels and deluxe condominiums. For additional information, please visit wilcoxtravel.com, towerassoc.com and blueridgeprinting.com.

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