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Acquisitions & Hotel Openings

Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group Opens 171-Room AC Hotel in Downtown Cincinnati at The Banks

CINCINNATI, OH. November 1, 2017 - The AC Hotel Cincinnati at the Banks officially revealed its sophisticated European style today during a ribbon-cutting celebration attended by Mayor John Cranley, Hamilton CountyCommissioners and area business leaders. Situated across from the Great American Ball Park, the design-led property resides in The Banks development – a premier mixed-use office, retail and residential development that serves as home to the Cincinnati Reds, the Cincinnati Bengals, GE's Global Operations Headquarters and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center.

Located at 135 Joe Nuxhall Way, the hotel was developed by Eagle Realty Group on behalf of its parent company, Western & Southern Financial Group, and its development and operating partner Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group, LLC of Cincinnati, Ohio.

"We are excited to bring this dynamic hotel to downtown Cincinnati," said Tom Stapleton, senior vice president, Eagle Realty Group. "The European inspiration of the design and the beverage and food is unlike any other hotel in the downtown market and has already been well received."

Designed with creative, well-traveled, entrepreneurial spirits in mind, the hotel will cater to those who are constantly on the go through its innovative beverage and food programming, intuitive service, locally inspired art and 171 modern guest rooms and suites, many with balconies that overlook the Ohio River, Roebling Suspension Bridge and Smale Park. Guests will appreciate the hotel's jaw-dropping views from the rooftop bar, complimentary Wi-Fi, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. Three distinct meeting spaces are also available to guests of AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks, including two intimate, audiovisual-equipped media salons for up to eight people, and an 888-square-foot meeting room.

The AC Lobby will feature the brand's signature open-concept spaces with a thoughtfully selected collection of inviting furnishings. Ambient lighting and cozy seating in the AC library and lounge areas invite travelers and locals to relax in chic surroundings, while also creating an effortless space in which to conduct a business meeting or connect with friends over cocktails.

A twist on the traditional hotel bar, the AC lounge will serve up AC's signature Gintonic, beer from local breweries, specialty wines, expertly made craft cocktails and a selection of tapas-style small bites. The AC Upper Deck rooftop bar and event space overlooks downtown Cincinnati with spectacular views of the Ohio River and Smale Park. The AC kitchen will serve a European-inspired continental breakfast selection of flaky croissants, savory egg tarts and Nespresso coffee.

To make reservations or to book your next event at AC Hotel Cincinnati at The Banks, please visit www.ACHotelCincinnati.com or call 513-744-9900.

About Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group, LLC

Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group, LLC (www.whhotelgroup.com) established in 1958, is a privately owned, full-service hotel company based in Cincinnati, Ohio. The company delivers superior results to owners by providing outstanding property management, asset management, project management, acquisition services and lender/receiver services. Winegardner & Hammons manages hotels throughout the United States, delivering outstanding experiences to guests and strong returns to owners at properties ranging from independent to major brand hotels. WHG is a 16 year recipient of the Marriott Partnership Circle Award, a member of the Marriott Partnership Hall of Fame and is the only hospitality company as an 11-year consecutive recipient of the Gallup Great Workplace Award. Winegardner & Hammons Hotel Group, LLC is an affiliate of Pyramid Hotel Group.

About Western & Southern Financial Group

Founded in Cincinnati in 1888 as The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western & Southern Financial Group, Inc. (Western & Southern), a Fortune 500 company, is now the parent company of a group of diversified financial services businesses. Its assets owned ($47.2 billion) and managed ($22.3 billion) total $69.5 billion as of Sept. 30, 2017. Western & Southern is one of the strongest life insurance groups in the world. Its six life insurance subsidiaries (The Western and Southern Life Insurance Company, Western-Southern Life Assurance Company, Columbus Life Insurance Company, Integrity Life Insurance Company, The Lafayette Life Insurance Company and National Integrity Life Insurance Company) maintain very strong financial ratings and a Comdex Ranking of 96. Other member companies include Eagle Realty Group, LLC; Fort Washington Investment Advisors, Inc.;1 IFS Financial Services, Inc.; Peppertree Partners LLC;1Touchstone Advisors, Inc.;1 Touchstone Securities, Inc.;2 W&S Brokerage Services, Inc.;2 and W&S Financial Group Distributors, Inc. For more information on the Western & Southern family of companies, visit www.westernsouthern.com. Western & Southern is the title sponsor of the Western & Southern Open (www.wsopen.com), a premier event in the U.S. Open Series played each August by the world's top-ranked professional male and female tennis players.

About AC Hotels by Marriott

AC Hotels by Marriott®, a lifestyle brand that celebrates a new way to hotel complemented by a European soul and Spanish roots, boasts more than 100 design-led hotels in 10 countries and territories. Design-driven AC Hotels by Marriott® edit away the unnecessary to remove friction, providing thoughtfully designed moments of beauty, allowing guests to focus on what's important to them. The properties' modern design for modern business include buzzing AC Lounges, the perfect place for locals or visitors to get work done in style or to enjoy handcrafted cocktails and tapas. High-design guest rooms and public spaces with sleek furnishings and intuitive technology features such as the Media Salons and AC Libraries inspire and connect. AC Hotels by Marriott® is proud to participate in the industry's award-winning loyalty program, Marriott Rewards® which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®. Members can now link accounts with Starwood Preferred Guest® at members.marriott.com for instant elite status matching and unlimited points transfer. For more information, visit http://achotels.marriott.com and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Marriott International

Marriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,200 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 125 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.

Coming Up In The December Online Hotel Business Review




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Feature Focus
Hotel Law: Issues & Events
There is not a single area of a hotel’s operation that isn’t touched by some aspect of the law. Hotels and management companies employ an army of lawyers to advise and, if necessary, litigate issues which arise in the course of conducting their business. These lawyers typically specialize in specific areas of the law – real estate, construction, development, leasing, liability, franchising, food & beverage, human resources, environmental, insurance, taxes and more. In addition, issues and events can occur within the industry that have a major impact on the whole, and can spur further legal activity. One event which is certain to cause repercussions is Marriott International’s acquisition of Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. This newly combined company is now the largest hotel company in the world, encompassing 30 hotel brands, 5,500 hotels under management, and 1.1 million hotel rooms worldwide. In the hospitality industry, scale is particularly important – the most profitable companies are those with the most rooms in the most locations. As a result, this mega- transaction is likely to provoke an increase in Mergers & Acquisitions industry-wide. Many experts believe other larger hotel companies will now join forces with smaller operators to avoid being outpaced in the market. Companies that had not previously considered consolidation are now more likely to do so. Another legal issue facing the industry is the regulation of alternative lodging companies such as Airbnb and other firms that offer private, short-term rentals. Cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Santa Monica are at the forefront of efforts to legalize and control short-term rentals. However, those cities are finding it’s much easier to adopt regulations on short-term rentals than it is to actually enforce them. The December issue of Hotel Business Review will examine these and other critical issues pertaining to hotel law and how some companies are adapting to them.