Hilton Worldwide Selected To Operate New Columbus, Ohio Convention Headquarters Hotel

500-Room Convention Center Hotel Scheduled to Open as a Hilton Hotel in Fall 2012

This information originated in American English.

October 13, 2009

MCLEAN, Va. -  Hilton Worldwide today announced plans to operate a new 500-room convention-center-headquarters hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio, the state's capital. The Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority has awarded Hilton Worldwide the rights to operate this new property on the west side of High Street directly adjacent to the SMG-managed Greater Columbus Convention Center and Nationwide Arena. The new hotel, which will be branded as a Hilton hotel, is a collaboration between the Franklin County Commissioners, Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority, City of Columbus and Nationwide Realty Investors, Inc.

"We are thrilled to be operating a new convention center hotel in the heart of Columbus, the state's dynamic capital city, which is considered a major tradeshow, exhibition and meetings destination, not only for the state, but for the entire region," said Ted Ratcliff, Senior Vice President, Operations - Eastern North America, Hilton Worldwide. "We are excited to be involved in this spectacular new project, which will provide us with a strong presence in the state's convention and meetings market," he added.

"After carefully analyzing all proposals on the table, we made the decision to go with Hilton Worldwide because their proposal was the best fit financially and programmatically for our project," said Bill Jennison, Executive Director of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority. "We are excited to soon have the Hilton flag flying over our new convention hotel and must thank Jeff Sachs of Strategic Advisory Group for their counsel and creative input in our decision process. With the additional room nights, we will now be able to compete for 92 percent of our target market in the industry."

"With the addition of Hilton, we are proud to be working with yet another world-class sales team to market and sell Columbus as a preferred convention, tradeshow and meeting destination," said Paul Astleford, President and CEO of Experience Columbus. "The addition of this full-service convention hotel, combined with the Greater Columbus Convention Center, will allow us to compete for a larger share of our state, regional and national convention market."

"By choosing Hilton, Columbus is able to offer multiple convention-center-headquarters hotel opportunities to more than one convention or trade show at a time, as well as host larger national conventions and trade shows within the 1.7 million-square-foot Greater Columbus Convention Center," said John Christie, chairman of the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority. "This partnership significantly strengthens our product offering in the global market."

The new full-service convention hotel is expected to break ground in the summer of 2010 and is scheduled to open in fall 2012. The property is expected to have a large atrium in the lobby featuring skylights to give an indoor-outdoor feel with a combination brick and glass facade and include 54 suites and 30,650 square feet of banquet and meeting space. The total cost for the hotel project is estimated at $140 million.

About Experience Columbus
Experience Columbus is the destination sales and marketing organization for the Greater Columbus community. Formerly the Greater Columbus Convention and Visitors Bureau, Experience Columbus works with the Columbus community to create a competitive distinction in the visitor marketplace, attracting leisure visitors, conventions and meetings.

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts

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About Hilton

Hilton (NYSE: HLT) is a leading global hospitality company, with a portfolio of 14 world-class brands comprising more than 5,300 properties with more than 863,000 rooms, in 106 countries and territories. Hilton is dedicated to fulfilling its mission to be the world’s most hospitable company by delivering exceptional experiences – every hotel, every guest, every time. The company's portfolio includes Hilton Hotels & Resorts, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Conrad Hotels & Resorts, Canopy by Hilton, Curio Collection by Hilton, DoubleTree by Hilton, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, Embassy Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton by Hilton, Tru by Hilton, Homewood Suites by Hilton, Home2 Suites by Hilton and Hilton Grand Vacations. The company also manages an award-winning customer loyalty program, Hilton Honors. Hilton Honors members who book directly through preferred Hilton channels have access to instant benefits, including a flexible payment slider that allows members to choose exactly how many Points to combine with money, an exclusive member discount that can’t be found anywhere else, and free standard Wi-Fi. Visit newsroom.hilton.com for more information and connect with Hilton on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and YouTube.