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Newly Formed REIT, Highland Hospitality Corporation,
Acquires First Three Properties for $71 million
MCLEAN, VA, December 18, 2003 – Highland Hospitality Corporation (NYSE:HIH) announced today that it has acquired a 100% interest in three hotels for a total consideration of approximately $70.7 million.  Highland’s investment will equate to approximately $97,300 per room based on an aggregate of 726 rooms.  In connection with the purchase, Highland repaid approximately $61.6 million of debt associated with the three properties.
The three properties include the 250-room Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel & Conference Center located in Portsmouth, Virginia, the 300-room Sugar Land Marriott Hotel & Conference Center located in Sugar Land, Texas, and the 176-room Virginia Beach Town Center Hilton Garden Inn in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Highland purchased the three assets from joint ventures, all of which included Barceló Crestline Corporation as an equal or majority investor.  Barceló Crestline, together with their joint investors will receive operating partnership units in exchange for their equity interests in the properties.

James L. Francis, President and CEO stated, “We are very excited about executing our first property acquisitions as a new company.  As a result of our recent initial public offering, Highland Hospitality has approximately $320 million of net proceeds to fund hotel acquisitions and, with the addition of conservative leverage on our balance sheet, we will have over $600 million of total investment capacity.”

Patrick Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer added, “These properties exemplify our strategy of investing in upscale full-service and premium limited-service hotels that are well-positioned or difficult to replace in their respective markets.  We will continue to target these segments as we invest the remaining proceeds from our recent public offering.”

The 250-room Portsmouth Renaissance Hotel and Conference Center is located along the historic waterfront of Olde Towne Portsmouth, Virginia.  The conference center offers over 24,000 square feet of meeting space and houses a 70-seat amphitheater with video conferencing and interactive computer training capabilities.  The hotel was developed in 2001 as part of a public/private joint venture and was built as a first-class hotel with an impressive exterior design, elegant wood finishes and beautiful water views.

The 300-room Sugar Land Marriott Hotel & Conference Center recently opened in October, 2003, and includes 25,500 square feet of meeting space.  The hotel is located in the Town of Sugar Land, an affluent suburb located approximately 15 minutes outside of Houston, Texas.  The hotel is the centerpiece hotel in Sugar Land Town Square, a 32-acre mixed-use development that will include over 600,000 square feet of Class ‘A’ office space, Sugar Land’s City Hall, restaurants, upscale retail shops and residential space.

The Hilton Garden Inn Virginia Beach Town Center recently opened in November, 2003, and contains 176 rooms and 6,000 square feet of meeting space.  The hotel is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia, and is part of Virginia Beach’s public/private town center development project which will span over 17 blocks and will be located at the core of the city’s emerging central business district.  Within the town center, the hotel will be situated near a mix of Class ‘A’ office space, upscale retail, deluxe residential unit, a performing arts center and an array of upscale restaurants.

Highland Hospitality Corporation is a newly formed, self-advised lodging real estate investment trust, or REIT, focused on hotel investments primarily in the United States.  The Company currently owns three hotel properties with an aggregate of 726 rooms.  Additional information can be found on the company’s website at www.highlandhospitality.com.

Certain statements and assumptions in this press release contain or are based upon “forward-looking” information and are being made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  

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Contact:
 Sean Dell’Orto
(571) 382-1714
Also See: Public/private Partnership of Crestline Capital, Stormont Trice and the City of Portsmouth Open the $48 million Renaissance Portsmouth Hotel / Jan 2001
The $54 million Sugar Land Marriott Town Square Topped Off; Hotel is a Public-private Partnership Between Crestline, Stormont Hospitality Group and the City of Sugar Land, Texas / Nov 2002
Developer Armada/Hoffler Selects Barceló Crestline As Joint Venture Partner / Manager for Hilton Garden Inn in Virginia Beach, Virginia / April 2003
Highland Hospitality Corporation (HIH), a REIT, Expects IPO Proceeds of $342.3 million; Organized to Take Advantage of Lodging Investment Opportunities / December 2003


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