Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

$272 M 600-key Cleveland Convention Center Hotel, Hilton Cleveland/Downtown Breaks Ground in Ohio

CLEVELAND – April 30, 2014 - Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald and Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson were joined by Ted Ratcliff, Senior Vice President of Operations, Eastern North America, at Hilton Worldwide, and other distinguished guests this afternoon for a groundbreaking ceremony to formally recognize the start of construction on the largest hotel project in downtown Cleveland.

"The start of this construction project marks another step forward in Cleveland's rebirth, and puts Ohio's largest city in an even stronger position to compete for trade show and convention business," said County Executive FitzGerald. "I am especially proud that we are creating hundreds of new jobs for hardworking families in our region, and I thank all of our public and private partners for their unprecedented collaboration in moving this project forward."

"The groundbreaking for this hotel is yet another sign that Cleveland continues to improve itself in order to provide visitors and businesses with the finest amenities," said Mayor Jackson. "World class entertainment venues, great amenities and Clevelander's welcoming attitude are the things that will keep people coming to Cleveland to work and play."

The hotel will feature a 28-story tower filled with 600 guest rooms positioned atop a fourstory podium of ballrooms, meeting space, retail space, and the lobby. The hotel will feature a rooftop bar as well as underground connections to the Cleveland Convention Center and the Global Center for Health Innovation. The hotel is scheduled to open in 2016. "Hilton Hotels & Resorts is pleased to be entering the downtown Cleveland market with a property which will play to the brand's considerable strength in managing convention center properties. The hotel's location will undoubtedly be of great advantage not only to the Cleveland Convention Center but also to the Global Center for Health Innovation," said Ted Ratcliff, Senior Vice President, Operations, Eastern North America, Hilton Worldwide.

Situated on the site of the former Cuyahoga County Administration Building, the $272 million project is expected to employ 2,800 workers on the construction job and 450 full-time jobs at the hotel.

"Hilton's brand recognition, loyalty programs and national sales teams will add to Cleveland's growing reputation as a meeting and convention destination," says David Gilbert, President & CEO of Positively Cleveland. "Bringing Hilton to Cleveland marks an unprecedented increase in the number of hotel rooms available and adds depth and variety to the city's downtown market, creating a healthy competition between all of the existing hotel brands."

The hotel was designed by Atlanta architecture firm, Cooper Cary, and is being constructed by Turner Construction Company, Ozanne Construction Company, and Van Aukin Akins Architects. Cuyahoga County and Turner Construction Company have voluntarily compiled an inclusion plan for construction to include 25% small businesses, 7% female-owned businesses, and 15% minority-owned businesses. Cuyahoga County and Turner Construction Company are also committed to meeting or exceeding residency goals for employees hired during the construction project, including 40% Cuyahoga County residency and 20% City of Cleveland residency.

For additional information on the Hilton Cleveland/Downtown hotel project, including a time-lapsed video and photos of construction, please visit: http://www.cuyahogacounty.us/en-US/Cuyahoga-County-Convention-Center-Hotel-Project.aspx

About Hilton Hotels & Resorts

Founded in 1919 as the flagship brand of Hilton Worldwide, Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to build upon its legacy of innovation by developing products and services to meet the needs of savvy global travelers at more than 550 hotels across six continents. Hilton is the stylish, forward-thinking global leader in hospitality with Team Members shaping experiences in which every guest feels cared for, valued and respected. Access the latest news at news.hilton.com and begin your journey at www.hilton.com or www.hilton.com/offers for the latest hotel specials. View a list of official social channels at www.hilton.com/social. Hilton Hotels & Resorts is one of Hilton Worldwide's ten market leading brands.

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review

Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Legal Issues Looming Large in 2015
In an industry where people are on-property 24/7/365, the possibilities are endless for legal issues to arise stemming from hotel guest concerns. And given the sheer enormity of the international hotel industry, issues pertaining to business, franchise, investment and real estate law are equally immense. Finally, given the huge numbers of diverse people who are employed in the hospitality industry, whether in hotel operations or food and beverage, legal issues pertaining to labor, union, immigration and employment law are also significant and substantial. The expertise of all kinds of specialists and practitioners is required to administer the legal issues within the hotel industry, and though the subject areas are vast and varied, there are numerous issues which will be in the forefront in 2015 and beyond. One issue that is gaining traction is how hotels are dealing with the use of marijuana by employees, given its ever-changing legal status. The use of marijuana is now legal in 21 states and the District of Columbia for certain medical conditions. Two other states, Colorado and Washington, have legalized recreational marijuana use for individuals who are 21 years old or older, and Alaska and Oregon currently have similar legislation pending. Most state laws legalizing marijuana do not address the employment issues implicated by these statutes. Therefore, it is incumbent on all hotel operators to be aware of the laws in their states and to adjust their employment policies accordingly regarding marijuana use by their employees. Other issues that are currently looming large pertain to guest identity theft by hotel employees and the legal liabilities which ensue; issues of property surveillance versus a guest’s right to privacy; and immigration reform could also be a major compliance issue. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine some of the more critical issues involving hotel law and how some managers are addressing them in their operations.