Hilton to add five Garden Inns


MEXICO CITY -- Hilton's Garden Inn brand is sprouting throughout Mexico.

Hilton Inns, the franchising subsidiary of Hilton Hotels Corp., signed a joint venture agreement with Mexico's Grupo Hotelero Azteca S.A. de C.V. to operate five additional Hilton Garden Inn hotels in the country.

The hotels will have a combined total of 900 rooms and will be built in San Luis Potosi, Leon, Queretaro, Mexico City and Puebla. Construction of the first hotel will begin next year in San Luis Potosi, with an opening scheduled for 2004.

The hotels will join three existing Hilton Garden Inn properties in Mexico -- Hilton Garden Inn Monterrey, Hilton Garden Inn Ciudad Juarez and Hilton Garden Inn Nuevo Laredo.

"The Mexican market represents one of the most important business opportunities for Hilton in Latin America," said Nelson Diaz, vice president of franchise development for Mexico and Latin America, Hilton Hotels Corp.

"Mexico's industrial and enterprise activities and its geographic location make the country an ideal place for new industrial developments and hotel expansion," Diaz said.

According to Jorge Abud, chairman of Grupo Hotelero Azteca, "This joint venture will significantly contribute to place Hoteles Azteca as one of the main forces of the hospitality industry in our country and show the confidence that private enterprises have in the stability of the Mexican economy."

The Hilton Garden Inn brand has a portfolio of more than 150 hotels in Mexico, the U.S. and Canada.

The brand is positioned as a midprice product for "value-conscious" business and leisure travelers looking for a home-like atmosphere, Diaz said.

Rooms feature two dual-line phones with voice mail and data ports; large workdesks with a pull-out shelf for laptops; ergonomic chairs; iron and ironing board; and hair dryers.

A "hospitality center" in the room includes a microwave; coffeemaker; small refrigerator; and separate sitting area with an easy chair and ottoman.

All Hilton Garden Inn hotels feature a signature glass-walled Pavilion Pantry with a selection of refrigerated, frozen and microwaveable packaged items; a restaurant; a lounge with television and fireplace; a fitness center; a swimming pool and whirlpool; and on-site laundry facility.

For information or reservations, call (800) HILTONS or visit the Web at www.hiltonworldwide.com.

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