Marcus Hotels and Resorts division has signed a definitive agreement for the purchase of The Westin Columbus hotel in downtown Columbus, Ohio.Marcus Hotels and Resorts will purchase the property from an affiliate of BPG Properties, Ltd., the operating affiliate of Berwind Property Group, Ltd., a privately held real estate investment management firm based in Philadelphia, Pa. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. A mid-April 2006 closing is anticipated.
“The Westin Columbus will be an outstanding addition to our portfolio of 13 distinctive full-service hotels and resorts. The property is located in the heart of downtown Columbus, within walking distance to the business district, convention center, sporting and cultural venues, the state capitol and numerous shopping and tourist attractions. It is a beautiful historic property that enables us to leverage our experience in renovating and operating landmark hotels. The acquisition further expands our presence in the Midwest, in an attractive and growing market,” said William J. Otto, president of Marcus Hotels and Resorts.
The Westin Columbus is a AAA four-diamond full-service hotel that includes 186 guest rooms and suites, more than 12,000 square feet of meeting, banquet and ballroom space, and a restaurant and cocktail lounge. The hotel, which opened in 1897, is the only historically significant hotel in the downtown Columbus area. The hotel is connected to the historic Southern Theatre, a beautifully restored 933-seat performing arts theatre that is home to the Columbus Jazz Orchestra, the Light Opera and the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra.
“We are very excited about this opportunity to enter the Columbus market. We plan to remodel the guest rooms and food and beverage facilities to enhance the historic features of the property, while offering the many amenities and services today’s travelers expect from a premier hotel. We believe our investments in improving the ambience and features of the hotel, combined with the high standards for service and quality that are a Marcus Hotels tradition, will broaden the appeal of The Westin Columbus among the corporate business travel segment. We also look forward to working with Westin Hotels & Resorts, a well established and highly respected brand that is owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide,” said Otto.
Otto noted that while Columbus is a new location for Marcus Hotels and Resorts, The Marcus Corporation’s movie theatre division, Marcus Theatres, has had a presence in the Columbus market for a number of years. Marcus Theatres owns and operates movie theatres in the Columbus area in Pickerington and Crosswoods Center. “With the existing theatre operations in the Columbus area, our company has first-hand knowledge of the market and its potential,” said Otto.
“Marcus Hotels and Resorts currently owns and operates three other historic hotels—the Pfister Hotel and the Hilton Milwaukee City Center in Milwaukee, Wis., and the Hotel Phillips in Kansas City, Mo. The restoration and renovation of a fourth historic property, the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City, Okla., is currently under way, with an opening planned for February of 2007. We believe our background in successfully operating other historic hotels will add value to The Westin Columbus and will enhance the experience we offer our guests,” said Otto.