Highland buys Atlanta Ritz-Carlton

Highland Hospitality has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire
the 444-room Ritz-Carlton Atlanta Downtown hotel located in Atlanta,
Georgia for a purchase price of $79.5 million, plus customary closing
costs, or approximately $179,000 per key. The Company expects to close this
transaction within the next three weeks and will enter into a long-term
management contract with the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company L.L.C. to continue
to operate the hotel under the Ritz-Carlton flag.
  James L. Francis, Highland’s President and CEO, stated, “We are excited
about our planned acquisition of the Ritz-Carlton Atlanta Downtown hotel,
which represents an opportunistic purchase of an urban Ritz-Carlton for a
total investment of under $200,000 per key, which includes anticipated
guest room upgrades. We believe that recently announced downtown office
relocations and the addition of world-class attractions to downtown will
continue to improve the future demand outlook for this area and provide
growth opportunities for the hotel going forward.”
  The Ritz-Carlton Atlanta Downtown hotel, located at 181 Peachtree
Street, is a full-service hotel with 444 guestrooms, including 22 suites
and two Club Level floors. The property is the only AAA 5-Diamond rated
hotel in downtown Atlanta and only one of three AAA 5-Diamond rated hotels
in Atlanta. The hotel includes a 25-story guestroom tower, the AAA
4-Diamond Atlanta Grill restaurant and lounge, a gift shop, fitness area
and attached parking garage. Ballroom and meeting room spaces total
approximately 19,000 square feet, including a 6,500 square foot grand
  The hotel is situated at the corner of Peachtree and Ellis Streets and
is physically connected to the 1.2 million square foot 50-story office
building known as 191 Peachtree. The property is located directly across
the street from the Peachtree Plaza MARTA underground rail station,
providing for direct access to Hartsfield International Airport and other
points throughout the Atlanta metropolitan area.