WASHINGTON, Jan. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the U.S. lodging industry's most ambitious system-wide renovation and rebranding programs has been announced by Millennium Hotels and Resorts with the kickoff of a $70-million program of improvements at the company's 12 Regal hotels. Acquired by London-based Millennium and Copthorne Hotels plc earlier this year, the properties, located in major business and leisure cities across the country, form the nucleus of the newly formed Millennium Hotels and Resorts. As the refurbishment project at each hotel is completed, the property will be renamed as a Millennium Hotel. The renovation program, now underway and expected to be completed by April 2001, reflects the significant upgrading of the hotels and Millennium's investment in becoming a major player in the American four-star hotel market, according to Robert Morse, president, The Americas and Executive Director, Millennium and Copthorne. "Our goal is to have highly competitive hotels with excellent facilities and services in prime locations. We don't intend to be the biggest but we do intend to be the best at what we do and offer our customers a distinctive product. The renovation program will help ensure that Millennium is known as a vibrant and noteworthy hotel company, particularly, but not exclusively, as a premier choice for the business, group and meetings customer. In short, we will offer the finest four-star plus quality experience at each and every Millennium property. The company-wide improvement project will include property guestrooms and public spaces, new facilities and expanded offering of club floors and accommodations. Further renovations and expansions are planned through 2003, including improvements to convention, entertainment and recreational facilities at several hotels. One centerpiece of Millennium's renovation program is the conversion of guestrooms at several hotels into Millennium Classic rooms, based on the highly successful model used in the company's Millennium Broadway in New York. Millennium Classic rooms have the feel of a contemporary, upscale residential apartment, with a friendly but sophisticated ambience. Neutral tones are punctuated with bright accents and liberal use of light-colored English Figured Sycamore wood in a large headboard covering almost an entire wall, as well as in the casework to lend a restful air. Telecommunications technology and lighting, especially in the uplit glass bathroom vanity, are installed to be highly functional without detracting from a cozy, warm atmosphere. Such touches as Knoll Soho ergonomic chairs, in-room fax machines and large desks with dataport and electric outlets further ensure comfort. Four of Millennium's U.S. hotels -- the Regal Biltmore, Regal Knickerbocker, Regal Bostonian and the Regal Harvest House in Boulder, Colorado -- are receiving customized renovations that feature more traditional furnishings and artwork in keeping with their history, style and character. These and the conversion to Millennium Classic accommodations elsewhere, along with substantial improvements and expansion of business and meeting facilities at most properties, will result in a uniformly higher standard of guest rooms, public areas and meeting space system-wide. In Cincinnati and St. Louis, Millennium's two largest hotels each has two towers. The company is in the process of negotiating to have a franchised mid-priced south tower and a Millennium north tower in each location. "This approach ensures that we can fill the hotels, with the help of a non-competing brand. Millennium, of course, will manage both brands," Morse said. Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR), established in the United States in 2000, is the North American arm of London-based Millennium & Copthorne Hotels plc (MLC). MHR USA operates MLC's 13 holdings in the United States, comprised of the Millennium Broadway and Regal U.N. Plaza Hotel (New York), Regal Biltmore Hotel (Los Angeles), Regal Knickerbocker Hotel (Chicago), Regal Bostonian Hotel (Boston), Regal Minneapolis Hotel, Regal Riverfront Hotel (St. Louis), Regal Cincinnati Hotel, Regal Harvest House Hotel (Boulder), Regal University Hotel (Durham), Regal Alaskan Hotel (Anchorage), Regal Maxwell House Hotel (Nashville) and Regal McCormick Ranch Resort (Scottsdale). MLC holdings outside of this brand portfolio include ownership interests in The Plaza and Millennium Hilton (New York), Sunnyvale (California) Hilton and the El Dorado Hotel (Santa Fe). All Regal branded hotels in the United States will be rebranded as Millennium Hotels and Resorts (MHR) by mid-2001. Millennium & Copthorne is a dynamic international hotel company with 120 hotels in 13 countries around the world including the United States, United Kingdom, Singapore, Australia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand and the Philippines. For further information on Millennium Hotels and Resorts call 800-222-8888 or visit http://www.millennium-hotels.com.
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