MeriStar Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: MHX), the nation`s third largest hotel real estate investment trust (REIT), today announced that its Board of Directors has declared a common share dividend of $0.01 per share for the 2002 third quarter, the same rate it paid in the first and second quarters. The common stock dividend is payable October 31, 2002, to common shareholders of record on October 15, 2002.
“We had hoped to increase the dividend in the third quarter, but, given the anemic state of the economy and lower levels of business travel, we believe the current lower rate is the most prudent course,” said Paul Whetsell, chairman and chief executive officer. “The widely anticipated economic recovery still has not materialized, and current projections indicate the recovery may be delayed until the second half of 2003, or early 2004. We will continue to reassess the dividend on a quarterly basis.”
Washington, D.C.-based MeriStar Hospitality Corporation owns 109 principally upscale, full-service hotels in major markets and resort locations with 28,099 rooms in 27 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The company owns hotels under such internationally known brands as Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, Radisson and Doubletree. For more information about MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, visit the company`s Web site: www.meristar.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements about MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, including those statements regarding future operating results and the timing and composition of revenues, among others. Except for historical information, the matters discussed in this press release are forward-looking statements that are subject to certain risks and uncertainties that could cause the actual results to differ materially, including the following: the current slowdown of the national economy; economic conditions generally and the real estate market specifically; the impact of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks or actual or threatened future terrorist incidents; legislative/regulatory changes, including changes to laws governing the taxation of REITs; availability of capital; interest rates; competition; supply and demand for hotel rooms in our current and proposed market areas; and changes in general accounting principles, policies and guidelines applicable to REITs. Additional risks are discussed in the Company`s filings with Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Company`s annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2001.