MeriStar Hotels & Resorts Announces New Senior Level Management

MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MMH), the nation`s largest independent, non-branded hotel management company, today announced its new senior management team.
Named to head up the new company are Paul W. Whetsell, chairman and CEO; Steven D. Jorns, vice-chairman and COO; David McCaslin, president; and James A. Calder, chief financial officer.

The company also announced management appointments at its three major operating divisions. Hotels, which oversees management of first-class, full-service properties, will be headed by Robert Karch, executive vice-president of operations. A 23-year hospitality veteran, he has held a variety of management positions within the industry. Prior to his current position, he was chief operating officer of American General Hospitality, Inc., where he oversaw the operations of the company and its portfolio`s transition from primarily third-party owners to 46 of the REIT`s full-service hotels. Additionally, he has held general manager positions with Mariner Hotel Corporation and Westin Hotels and Resorts.

The Resorts division, which focuses primarily on beach, golf and ski facilities situated along both U.S. coasts and the Caribbean, will be led by Robin Kirk, executive vice-president of operations. Prior to joining MeriStar, Kirk held a similar position at CapStar. Previously, he was senior vice-president of Hershey Resort Group, a division of Pennsylvania-based Hershey Entertainment & Resort Company. At Hershey, he was responsible for the day-to-day activities of the company`s resort division. He has held a number of management positions throughout his career, including director of marketing with Penta Hotels and director of sales and marketing for Hilton Hotels Corporation.

Dan Jorns, executive vice-president of operations, will head the Inns division, which specializes in premium limited-service and mid-market properties in major, secondary and tertiary markets throughout the U.S. He brings with him more than 16 years of experience in the hospitality industry. Previously he was vice-president of operations of American General Hospitality, Inc., which he joined in its second year of operation. During his career, Jorns has served in a variety of management positions, including regional director of sales and marketing, general manager and regional manager of operations.

``Combined, our senior management team is one of the most experienced in the industry,`` said Paul Whetsell. ``We are fortunate to be able to consolidate the talents of the former management teams of CapStar Hotel Company and American General Hospitality. Our merger has gone very smoothly, and we are well-positioned to take advantage of future growth opportunities.``


MeriStar Hotels & Resorts leases or manages 214 hotels (including seven under contract) with 44,935 rooms in 34 states, the District of Columbia, Canada and the U.S. Virgin Islands.