Driftwood Merger with Cardel Group

JUPITER, Fla. July 1, 2003. Driftwood Hospitality Management LLC`s President David Buddemeyer announced today that a merger with Cardel Group, Inc., a Miami-based hotel management, ownership and development company, is complete.

The merger adds seven hotels to the Driftwood portfolio, including Homewood Suites in Sunny Isles; Hampton Inn & Suites at Doral, Holiday Inn Airport West and Staybridge Suites Airport West in Miami; Crowne Plaza at Sawgrass Mills in Sunrise; Hilton Garden Inn in Tampa; and a timeshare property, the Flamingo Beach Resort in Guanacaste, Costa Rica. Cardel`s President, Carlos J. Rodriguez, will join Driftwood`s management team as a principal and will head development for the company.

“We are pleased to announce this merger with the Cardel Group and add these fine hotels to our portfolio. Carlos has developed a successful group of hotels in South Florida within a short period of time,” said David Buddemeyer, President of Driftwood. “With nine hotels in Florida, we now provide travelers with a wider variety of lodging types and locations throughout the State and are in a stronger position to negotiate favorable deals with our travel partners so that we can offer greater value to our guests. Additionally, with Carlos` expertise, we are positioned to significantly grow the company through acquisition, management or new construction.”

Cardel Group Inc. is the parent company of two affiliated hotel management, ownership and development companies founded by Mr. Rodriguez. Cardel Hotel Development started in Miami, Florida in 1996 followed by Cardel Hospitality Group, which was formed to oversee daily operations, accounting and auditing, sales and marketing, human resources and shareholder relations. Under the terms of the agreements, Driftwood will make an equity contribution to the ownership of Cardels` hotels. Shareholders of Cardel will become shareholders of Driftwood and the companies will have representation on each other`s boards.

“I`m really excited about the merger and am looking forward to working together as a team,” said Mr. Rodriguez. “Driftwood is the perfect complement to Cardel and together we`ll be able to grow faster and do more for our investors. Our development team`s primary focus will be Florida and the U.S. but with hotels in Costa Rica and The Bahamas, and offices in Costa Rica, Honduras and El Salvador, we are already positioned to pursue opportunities internationally. Together, we offer the experience and depth of a turnkey operation, from the development, design and construction of new properties to renovation and management of existing hotels.”


Driftwood Hospitality Management LLC, based in Jupiter, Florida, is one of the fastest growing independent hotel, resort and casino management and development firms in the country today. Established in January 1999 by David Buddemeyer, Mike Diaz and Peter Walz, former Chairman/CEO and Executive Officers of Servico Hotels and Resorts, Driftwood now owns and/or manages 23 hotels and resorts, comprising over 6,400 rooms, with combined revenues of $225 million, located throughout the continental United States, Hawaii, The Bahamas and Costa Rica. The company manages a variety of lodging types, from destination resorts to downtown convention hotels to suburban hotels and inns. Many of the company`s hotels are affiliated with nationally recognized hospitality franchises, including Crowne Plaza, Radisson, Wyndham, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Select and Holiday Inn Sunspree. Driftwood also owns and operates an international tour-and-travel company that provides scheduled air service from a variety of United States gateways to Grand Bahama Island. For more information, check the Internet at >http://www.driftwoodhospitality.com