New Boutique Hotel Beginning Construction in Downtown Athens, Ga.

Project Pursuing LEED(R) Gold-Certification from U.S. Green Building Council


August 05, 2008 // Franchising.com // ATHENS, GA - Atlanta based Rialto Property Partners, LLC and Savannah based Melaver, Inc. announce that the new Hotel Indigo has commenced construction in downtown Athens. Located five blocks from the University of Georgia's campus, the boutique hotel will have 130 eco-luxury guestrooms and plans to be open by the fall of 2009. The building is anticipated to be among the first three hotels in the world to achieve LEED® Gold-Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Hotel Indigo Athens will offer a complete boutique experience. Elegant features include residential-inspired guestrooms, hardwood floors and spa-like showers, which are all part of the Hotel Indigo design. In addition, the hotel will have an outdoor garden lounge and terrace, an art gallery, as well as a music venue adjacent to the hotel. A 3,000 square foot Presidential Suite located on a "Concierge Level" featuring floor-to-ceiling windows will also be included in the boutique hotel.

Although construction of the hotel has begun, it will not be commemorated in traditional fashion. "We have decided to forego a typical ground-breaking event and have a 'green-breaking' instead," said Amy Hibler, Corporate Sustainability Officer for Rialto Property Partners. The company has diverted funds typically used for such an occasion to support sustainable development and community initiatives within Athens, with a contribution to both Nuçi's Space and Athens Land Trust. "Our goals for sustainability extend beyond the environment and into the local community, which we believe further underscores our team's commitment to responsible development," said Tommy Linstroth, Head of Sustainable Initiatives for Melaver.

"This hotel is going to make a significant contribution to the appeal of the downtown district. Hotel Indigo's environmental and community initiatives will further the reputation of the business community as forward thinking and committed to making Athens a better place to live, work and play," said Doc Eldridge, President of Athens Area Chamber of Commerce. "We are excited about having them become a valuable community partner."

Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the nationally accepted green building rating system, created to make a positive impact on public health and the environment. From recycling construction waste to using local building materials, Rialto Property Partners is committed to developing a sustainable building and site for Hotel Indigo Athens. Some of the property's green features include an outdoor cistern to collect rainwater for landscape irrigation, an energy-efficient heating and air-conditioning system, as well as regenerative elevators that self-power after use.

Sustainable site development is a key feature of the Hotel Indigo property. The building has a dedicated green roof, and the site will include "green pavement" systems where possible. The property will have an on-site public transit stop, bicycle racks, and priority parking for hybrid vehicles to encourage alternate transportation to and from the hotel. The location also allows future hotel guests to walk to The Classic Center, The University of Georgia, downtown shopping, restaurants and nightlife.

About Hotel Indigo

The newest member of the IHG family, Hotel Indigo is the industry's first branded boutique experience. It is uniquely designed to appeal to guests who desire affordable luxury, personal service and an alternative to traditional hotels without sacrificing any of the business amenities they have come to expect. Renewal is the soul of Hotel Indigo's retail-inspired design concept - thoughtful changes that are made throughout the year to keep the hotel fresh. Guestrooms feature signature murals, area rugs, fluffy duvets and slipcovers that will change periodically, while public spaces will be transformed seasonally through changing aromas, music, artwork, murals and directional signage. From relaxed café dining to high-style rooms - Hotel Indigo creates an intriguing, warm and inviting environment for guests. For more information on Hotel Indigo, please visit http://www.hotelindigo.com/

About Rialto Property Partners, LLC

Rialto Property Partners, LLC specializes in sustainable development, bringing to market projects that meet LEED criteria and promote responsible building practices. Additionally, Rialto provides pre-development services, which include land acquisition, project consulting and conceptualization, joint venture partner development, and development financing.

About Melaver, Inc.

Melaver, Inc. is a 3rd-generation family business that develops, acquires, renovates, manages, owns, and brokers commercial and residential real estate in the southeastern U.S. The Melaver portfolio consists of 8 LEED Certified projects, and approximately 1.5 million square feet of holdings in Savannah, Augusta, Atlanta, Huntsville, and Birmingham, with offices located in Savannah, Atlanta, and Birmingham, AL. Melaver is focused on the triple-bottom line of economic performance, environmental footprint, and social engagement with the community. Melaver has received the Argon Award For Visionary Leadership in Sustainability to a Georgia based business leader (2006), as well as the PACE Award from the Clean Air Campaign for Energy Efficient Property Management (2005); and Awards for Historic Restoration from the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation (2004) and for Historic Preservation from The Historic Savannah Foundation (2003 & 1999).

InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) [LON:IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)] is one of the world's largest hotel groups by number of rooms. IHG owns, manages, leases or franchises, through various subsidiaries, almost 4,000 hotels and more than 590,000 guest rooms in nearly 100 countries and territories around the world. The Group owns a portfolio of well recognised and respected hotel brands including InterContinental® Hotels & Resorts, Crowne Plaza® Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn® Hotels and Resorts, Holiday Inn Express®, Staybridge Suites®, Candlewood Suites® and Hotel Indigo®, and also manages the world's largest hotel loyalty programme, Priority Club® Rewards with over 37 million members worldwide.

IHG pioneered the travel industry's first collaborative response to environmental issues as founder of the International Hotels and Environment Initiative (IHEI). The environment and local communities remain at the heart of IHG's global corporate responsibility focus. IHG is the first major hotel group to have measured the environmental and carbon footprints of hotels that operate under our brands globally and is in the process of setting reduction targets.

With more than 1,600 hotels in its development pipeline, IHG needs to recruit around 150,000 people over the next few years to meet its global expansion plans.

InterContinental Hotels Group PLC is the Group's holding company and is incorporated in Great Britain and registered in England and Wales.

IHG offers information and online reservations for all its hotel brands at www.ihg.com and information for the Priority Club Rewards programme at www.priorityclub.com. For the latest news from IHG, visit our online Press Office at www.ihg.com/media

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