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First ANA Crowne Plaza hotel to open in Japan’s Niigata Prefecture

IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan and RINKO Corporation announced the signing of a new hotel management contract, which will bring the ANA Crowne Plaza hotel brand to Niigata Prefecture for the first time, following a re-branding of the existing Hotel Niigata. The hotel, which is owned by RINKO, will be re-branded as ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata by the end of 2008.

Before the re-branding, the hotel will undertake renovations to meet Crowne Plaza’s global brand standards. This includes upgrading of all guest rooms as well as several food and beverage outlets.

IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan has appointed Mr. Masumi Kosugi as the new general manager of Hotel Niigata. Mr. Kosugi, who will take up his new role on 1 May 2008, has extensive hotel experience gained through various leadership roles at Capitol Tokyu Hotel, ANA Hotel Tokyo and ANA Ishigaki Hotel & Resort during the past 17 years. He was most recently executive assistant manager at ANA Hotel Ishigaki Hotel & Resort.

ANA Crowne Plaza is one of the co-brands established as a result of the hotel management joint venture between ANA (All Nippon Airways) and IHG. The joint venture company began operations in December 2006. Last year alone, six ANA hotels in the key Japanese cities of Chitose, Toyama, Kanazawa, Hiroshima, Naha and Narita were re-branded as ANA Crowne Plaza hotels. Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts is the upscale hotel brand of UK-based IHG, one of the world’s largest hotel groups by number of rooms. Crowne Plaza operates 299 hotels globally, 55 of which are located in Asia Pacific, where Crowne Plaza is the fastest growing brand in its segment.

Following the re-branding, ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata will see the progressive introduction of products and services that adhere to the brand’s global standards, yet are uniquely adapted and tailored to the needs of the Japanese market.

Said Shigeru Okamura, President, RINKO Corporation: “The unique East-West formula behind the ANA Crowne Plaza brand, combined with the support of IHG’s global distribution system, makes IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan the ideal partner for us. We are confident about the future success of ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata.”

Added Chris Moloney, CEO, IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan: “We are delighted to be partnering with RINKO Corporation to bring the unique ANA Crowne Plaza brand to Niigata. As the first new management hotel signed by IHG ANA Hotels Group Japan – and our first hotel in Niigata Prefecture – ANA Crowne Plaza Niigata marks an important milestone for our company. RINKO Corporation is one of leading local companies and this partnership will enable us to capitalize on the great potential for growth that exists in Niigata.”

Moloney also said that the ANA Crowne Plaza hotels blend ANA’s brand strength and market expertise in Japan with the global strength of Crowne Plaza to offer a dynamic brand offering that is unmatched within in the hotel industry in Japan. The co-branded hotels offer guests an international flavor combined with a continuing emphasis on authentic Japanese hospitality.