John Q. Hammons Re-Brand West Des Moines Hotel

Springfield, Mo.-based John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. today announced that coupled with a $3 million renovation, the Holiday Inn University Park Hotel in West Des Moines, Iowa, will officially be re-flagged as the Sheraton West Des Moines in February 2005. Located at 1800 50th St. and University Avenue near I-80, I-35 and I-235, the re-branded hotel is owned and managed by John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc., the nation’s leading independent builder, developer, owner and manager of upscale full-service hotels, resorts and suites.

“The renovation and conversion to a Sheraton will only strengthen the status of the hotel in the West Des Moines community,” said Mr. John Q. Hammons, founder, chairman and chief executive officer of John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. “I am confident that combining the Sheraton brand with our top-notch staff and superior accommodations will continue to uphold the property’s reputation as the premier hotel in the area.”

Having served the Des Moines business and tourism community for more than 15 years under the Holiday Inn flag, the renovations will transform the property into an upscale lodging facility to accommodate the growing lodging and meeting needs of Des Moines. The 18,000 square feet of meeting space will serve as a convenient lodging and meeting destination for both business and leisure travelers. The renovation project will focus on updating the 285 guestrooms and suites, the atrium lounge and combined meeting space.

Ideally situated only minutes away from the Des Moines International Airport, Valley West Regional Shopping Mall and the Historic Valley Junction, the hotel offers visitors convenient access to a variety of dining, shopping and entertainment experiences. Other attractions in close proximity in West Des Moines are the new science center, library and 16,000-seat sporting and entertainment arena in the ever-growing downtown.

“John Q. Hammons Hotels’ investment and conversion of this property represents our continued focus for providing guests the absolute highest standard in a lodging experience in Des Moines,” said Van Spitzer, general manager of the Holiday Inn University Park Hotel. “The Sheraton brand, which is part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts, undoubtedly stands for first-class service, and the re-branding of the property will lift the hotel’s status of unrivaled accommodations and services in the minds of business and leisure travelers.”

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Featuring a contemporary flair, the new interiors of the hotel will be richly decorated with chocolate-brown furniture and accents, new artwork, wall coverings, lighting fixtures, hardware, airwalls and carpet. Once the conversion is complete, additional renovations in 2005 will include new lobby self-check-in kiosks and a 10th floor concierge level, which will provide daily complimentary breakfasts and an evening manager’s reception Monday through Friday.

The hotel’s three dining venues, Beethoven’s Lounge, Park Place and the award-winning Damon’s Grill, are also included in the renovation project. Damon’s Grill is a leading full-service, casual-dining restaurant that emphasizes grilled steaks, chicken, seafood, salad and award-winning ribs. Guests can enjoy their meal in the quiet dining room or within Damon’s high-energy Clubhouse, which features DTV, a state-of-the-art multi-screen entertainment system offering sports, network programming and interactive games.
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