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Driftwood Embarking On Aggressive Q3 & Q4 Hotel Expansion Program

Thursday, June 07, 2012
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Hospitality Management

Driftwood Hospitality Management (www.TheDriftwoodDifference.com) today announced the details of a major renovation project targeting three recently acquired properties. The company expects to finalize the extensive upgrades by the end of 2012, thanks to the financial backing of a 2011 joint venture with a real estate investment fund managed and advised by affiliates of Apollo Global Management, LLC (together with its subsidiaries, “Apollo”).

“In this market, companies that are aggressive and refuse to rest on their laurels will come out in on top,” said Mike Diaz, Chief Operating Officer at Driftwood. "The Driftwood team believes in being flexible, strategic and seizing opportunities as they arise. We see signs that the economy is rebounding, especially within the business travel sector, and we believe that moving forward with these renovations will ensure our properties are poised for future success.”

Driftwood’s Q3 & Q4 expansion program will encompass the following:

• Sheraton Columbus Hotel at Capitol Square – Acquired by Driftwood in early September, this 400-room hotel is undergoing a $9.5 million top-to-bottom renovation and is currently the largest project for Driftwood. Since acquiring this property in 2011, Driftwood has already re-flagged the hotel, which was previously a Hyatt. New exterior signage, a Link@Sheraton and a 1,500-square-foot Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) have already been completed. An innovative, upscale meeting space called The Gathering is under construction, which will expand and enhance the current meeting space. The full revitalization of the hotel is expected to be completed by the end of September.

• DoubleTree Hotel Downtown Wilmington Legal District – A $4 million renovation to this property, which was acquired by Driftwood in October, includes everything from meeting rooms to restaurants and curtains to cappuccino machines. With an emphasis on style and design, Driftwood’s renovation here will completely modernize and re-concept the look and feel of the property. Driftwood has also created a unique business model for the hotel, building two unique on-site office spaces, which can be leased by law firms trying cases directly across the street at the New Castle County Courthouse.

• Hilton Raleigh-Durham Airport at Research Triangle Park – The latest renovation plan unveiled by Driftwood has a $7.5 million price tag for a full remodel to this Southern mansion-inspired hotel. The property is nestled on a quiet hilltop and features a grand veranda with authentic wicker rocking chairs and porch swings. The renovation will take the region’s Southern charm inside the property’s walls, with a dramatic re-design of the lobby, meeting spaces and guest rooms. A brand new restaurant concept will also be launched, featuring an extensive wine list from local vineyards. This renovation will begin in July.

“Modern technologies and local flavor are becoming crucial elements of every renovation and repositioning effort,” said Diaz. “Travelers are demanding these things and as a result, Driftwood is pushing to be as creative as possible, aligning our hotels with brand standards while seamlessly integrating new elements that kick the guest experience up a notch.”

For more information, visit www.TheDriftwoodDifference.com.

About Driftwood Hospitality Management
Based in North Palm Beach, Fla., Driftwood Hospitality Management, LLC is a leader in providing solutions-based services for the domestic and international hotel industry. Guided by The Driftwood Difference – Flexibility, Diversity, Integrity, Accessibility, Originality, the company covers the full spectrum of lodging business needs. From full-service, upscale and upper-upscale hotels to mid-size extended-stay, select and limited-service properties, Driftwood’s portfolio represents virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. Focused on strategic acquisition, development, third-party management and receivership, Driftwood has extensive management experience and relationships with most major brands, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Inc., Carlson, Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide. With additional offices in Costa Rica, Scottsdale, Ariz. and Miami, Fla., the company and its hotels have received more than 20 industry awards in the past three years. For more information, visit www.TheDriftwoodDifference.com.

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