MeriStar and Interstate Announce Management Changes

MeriStar Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: MHX), the nation`s third largest hotel real estate investment trust (REIT), and Interstate Hotels & Resorts (NYSE: IHR - News), the nation`s largest independent hotel management company, today provided details to previously announced plans to split the management responsibilities of the two companies.
“Following the merger between Interstate Hotels Corporation and MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, we determined that the increased size of the management company to more than 400 hotels required the full-time attention of a dedicated management team,” said Paul Whetsell, chairman and chief executive of MeriStar Hospitality and Interstate Hotels & Resorts. “Furthermore, during these challenging economic times, it`s particularly helpful to have MeriStar`s executive staff focus solely on the REIT`s operations. The paperclip arrangement between the REIT and the management company remains unchanged, and we will continue to take advantages of all the benefits it offers.”

John Emery now will focus solely on Interstate as its president and chief operating officer and a member of its board of directors. Jim Calder will continue to serve as chief financial officer of Interstate.

Bruce Wiles has been promoted to chief operating officer of MeriStar Hospitality. He will be responsible for asset management, acquisitions and dispositions, and project management. As announced on Monday, Donald Olinger has joined MeriStar Hospitality from Host Marriott as chief financial officer.

Paul Whetsell will remain as chairman and chief executive officer of both MeriStar Hospitality and Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

John Emery joined MeriStar`s predecessor company, CapStar, in 1995 as director of finance, rising to the position of CFO in 1997, COO of the REIT in 2000 and president and chief operating officer of MeriStar Hospitality and MeriStar Hotels & Resorts in 2001. Prior to 1995, he worked for the accounting firm Deloitte & Touche L.L.P. He holds a B.S. in accounting from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Emery is a certified public accountant.


James A. Calder was formerly chief financial officer and chief accounting officer of MeriStar Hotels & Resorts and chief accounting officer of MeriStar Hospitality. He previously served as senior vice president of finance for CapStar Hotel Company. Prior to joining CapStar, he was senior vice president and corporate controller of ICF Kaiser International. Calder is a certified public accountant. He received a bachelor`s degree with highest distinction in accounting from Pennsylvania State University.

Bruce Wiles joined MeriStar in 1998 when the MeriStar companies were created as a result of the merger between CapStar Hotel Company and Dallas-based hotel REIT, American General Hospitality, where he served as executive vice president. He was most recently the chief investment officer of both the REIT and the management company. His background includes extensive expertise in real estate, hospitality and institutional investment. Wiles graduated summa cum laude from Georgetown University and is licensed as a certified public accountant.

Donald Olinger recently joined MeriStar from Host Marriott Corporation where he was senior vice president and corporate controller. He held increasingly important positions with Host Marriott during his nine-year tenure there. Previously, he was with the accounting firm, Deloitte & Touche. He holds a B.S. degree in accounting from the University of Virginia and is a certified public accountant.

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:

Interstate Hotels & Resorts operates more than 400 hospitality properties with approximately 86,000 rooms in 45 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and Russia, including 55 properties managed by Flagstone Hospitality Management, a subsidiary of Interstate Hotels & Resorts. BridgeStreet Corporate Housing Worldwide, an Interstate Hotels & Resorts subsidiary, is one of the world`s largest corporate housing providers, offering upscale, fully furnished corporate housing throughout the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France and 39 additional countries through its network partners.

For more information about Interstate Hotels & Resorts, visit the company`s Web site: