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.

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Human Resources: Strategies to Find and Keep the Best Employees
The hotel industry is notoriously rife with employee issues and human resource professionals are typically charged with the task of solving them. These issues can often seem daunting, given the myriad of problems HR departments encounter every day. Increasingly, issues such as workplace violence, workplace safety, workforce diversity, drug and alcohol abuse, labor shortages, inter-departmental conflicts, and compliance with all legal, employment and government regulations have become more prevalent in recent years. However, according to a recent survey, the biggest challenges human resource professionals face involves recruiting, training, retaining and rewarding employees. More than one-half (59%) of HR professionals believe that recruiting, training and rewarding their best employees, and developing the next generation of corporate leaders, will be their greatest challenges. About one-third (34%) predict the challenges will be creating a corporate culture that attracts the best employees, and finding people with the specialized skills the organization requires. Of course, all of these efforts are part of a strategy to reduce employee turnover - an issue that continues to plague the industry. An average hotel spends 33 percent of its revenues on labor costs, but employee turnover in the industry can be as high as 31 percent. A high rate of turnover dramatically disrupts operations and profitability, and it falls to HR professionals to address and resolve this area of concern. The March Hotel Business Review will document some of the biggest challenges HR professionals are currently facing, and will report on some of the best practices they are employing to achieve their goals.