FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 18, 2002

Ellen Qualls
www.governor.state.va.us
(804) 786-2211, x2379


Melissa Thompson
MeriStar Hospitality Corporation
(202) 295-2228
Jill Lawrence
VEDP
(804) 371-0049
Interstate And Meristar Choose Arlington For Headquarters
-Governor Warner announces companies will bring 270 new jobs-


RICHMOND - Governor Mark R. Warner today announced that Interstate Hotels & Resorts, the nation’s largest independent hotel management company, and its sister company, MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, the nation's third largest hotel real estate investment trust, will relocate their headquarters from Washington, D.C. to Arlington County. The companies have committed to an investment of $13.7 million in capital improvements and will bring 270 new jobs to the state. Virginia successfully competed with Washington, D.C. for the investment.

“The Commonwealth aggressively targets companies in the financial, insurance and real estate sectors (FIRE),” said Governor Warner. “Arlington County is an ideal location for this progressive headquarters location and I am pleased that Virginia was able to assist these two firms in their decision.”

The companies’ new headquarters will be located at 4501 North Fairfax Drive, in the heart of Arlington County’s Ballston downtown area. Employees at the new offices will include corporate executives, managers and support staff. Interstate’s new corporate training center will be housed there as well.

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: www.ihrco.com.

MeriStar Hospitality Corporation owns 108 principally upscale, full-service hotels in major markets and resort locations with 27,898 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. All of their properties are managed by Interstate Hotels & Resorts.

“We are excited about moving to Arlington,” said Paul Whetsell, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MeriStar Hospitality and Interstate Hotels & Resorts. “In looking for new space, we wanted to be close to one of our hotels so we could host business functions and house out of town colleagues nearby and within walking distance to a Metro station to provide a convenient transportation option for our employees. This particular location, just two blocks from the Ballston Metro station and a short walk to the Hilton Arlington & Towers Hotel, which is one of the six hotels we manage in Northern Virginia, is ideal for us.”

Governor Warner approved a $200,000 grant from the Governor’s Opportunity Fund to assist Arlington County with the project. The Virginia Economic Development Partnership and the Arlington County Department of Economic Development assisted MeriStar Hospitality and Interstate Hotels & Resorts with their decision. The companies qualify for a Major Business Facility Job Tax Credit, a statutory incentive available to all qualifying companies. The Virginia Department of Business Assistance will provide workforce training services.

VIRGINIA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT PARTNERSHIP

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