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 MeriStar, Which Owns 89 Hotels, Reports Full-Year 2003
Net Loss of $388 million Compared with a Loss of $161
million a Year Earlier; Full-year RevPAR Declines 3%
Hotel Operating Statistics
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ARLINGTON, Va., February 12, 2004--MeriStar Hospitality Corporation (NYSE: MHX), one of the nation’s largest hotel real estate investment trusts (REIT), today announced financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31, 2003:
  • The company’s net loss was $(62) million, or $(0.97) per share, for the 2003 fourth quarter, compared to a net loss of $(125) million, or $(2.76) per share in the 2002 fourth quarter. Net loss for full-year 2003 was $(389) million, or $(7.65) per share, compared to a net loss of $(161) million, or $(3.59) per share, for the previous year. The company’s net loss included the effect of asset impairment charges, net of additional income tax benefits, of $(32) million and $(316) million for the fourth quarter and full-year 2003, compared to $(79) million for both the 2002 fourth quarter and full year. 
  • Total revenues from continuing operations were $200 million in the 2003 fourth quarter and $844 million for the full year, compared to $204 million and $866 million for the same periods in 2002.
  • Funds from operations (FFO) was $(40) million, or $(0.59) per share, for the 2003 fourth quarter, compared to $(90) million, or $(1.83) per share in the 2002 fourth quarter. Full-year 2003 FFO was $(298) million, or $(5.55) per share, compared to $(35) million, or $(0.72) per share, for the same 2002 period. FFO included the effect of asset impairment charges, net of additional income tax benefits, of $(32) million, or $(0.47) per share, and $(316) million, or $(5.88) per share for the fourth quarter and full year 2003, respectively, compared to $(79) million or $(1.61) per share for both the 2002 fourth quarter and full year. 
  • Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation, amortization and other items) was $30 million and $164 million for the fourth quarter and full-year 2003, respectively, compared to $43 million and $216 million for the same periods in 2002. Adjusted EBITDA and FFO are non-GAAP financial measures that should not be considered as alternatives to any measures of operating results under GAAP. See note (b) for further discussion of these non-GAAP financial measures.
  • Fourth-quarter 2003 comparable revenue per available room (RevPAR) for the company’s 73 core hotels declined 2.2 percent to $61.56. Occupancy increased 0.9 percent to 63.9 percent and average daily rate (ADR) decreased 3.1 percent to $96.37. 
  • Full-year 2003 comparable RevPAR for the company’s 73 core hotels declined 3.0 percent to $68.61. Occupancy increased 0.7 percent to 68.1 percent and ADR decreased 3.7 percent to $100.76.
"We continued to see occupancy gains in the fourth quarter and achieved RevPAR growth in some of our key markets such as the Mid-Atlantic," said Paul W. Whetsell, chairman and chief executive officer. "However, average daily rate continued to lag the prior year resulting in declining RevPAR for the quarter. As we move further into 2004, we expect to see RevPAR improve with the strengthening of the economy and anticipate increases in both average rate and occupancy."

Whetsell noted that the company’s hotel operating margins continued to face pressure in the fourth quarter. "We are closely monitoring all hotel costs, but maintaining margins is very difficult when RevPAR declines. We expect to see operating margins stabilize or increase slightly in the second half of 2004 if RevPAR improves as anticipated." 

Acquisitions and Dispositions

The company sold nine hotels during the 2003 fourth quarter and 15 for the full year, for total gross proceeds of $128 million. "Since the close of the year, we have sold three additional assets for aggregate proceeds of $28 million," Whetsell said. "In addition, we withdrew eight assets from our planned disposition list because our liquidity has greatly improved and we expect to realize greater value by holding them as we move into an economic recovery. These hotels generate stronger cash flow than the average of hotels on our disposition list, and we believe we will benefit more from holding these hotels than by selling them." The company currently has 16 hotels with 4,131 rooms remaining in its disposition program and expects to complete the majority of the sales during the 2004 first quarter. The 16 properties are expected to generate gross proceeds of $110 million to $130 million.

"We are monitoring the acquisition market and have an active pipeline of opportunities," Whetsell said. "We have created substantial liquidity with $273 million of cash on hand and now have the flexibility to make accretive acquisitions. We are focusing mainly on larger properties located in major urban markets or high-end resort destinations with strong brand affiliations and significant meeting space." 

Renovation Program

During 2003, the company invested approximately $36 million in hotel renovations and upgrades. "We will dramatically ramp up our renovation program in the next two years, investing an estimated additional total of $225 million by the end of 2005, including approximately $125 million in 2004," Whetsell noted. "We have implemented a unique, streamlined design and purchasing program that we believe will reduce our renovation costs by at least 15 percent, speed up the renovation process by approximately 20 weeks and minimize the time rooms are out of service."

Operating Performance in Significant Markets

The company reported positive RevPAR in six of its 12 major markets in the 2003 fourth quarter, led by a 3.4 percent gain in the Mid-Atlantic, which accounts for nearly 13 percent of total revenues. "We are seeing continued strength in leisure travel and stabilization and improvements in certain markets, but markets such as New Jersey and Chicago have not yet fully recovered," Whetsell said. 

Comparable RevPAR contributions in significant markets for the fourth quarter and full year 2003 were: 
 

Three months ended
December 31, 2003
Year ended
December 31, 2003
RevPAR
Percentage of 
Total 
RevPAR
Percentage of 
Total 
Change
Revenue
Change
Revenue
Mid-Atlantic 
3.4%
12.7%
-2.1%
11.8%
Atlanta 
2.4%
3.3%
-2.2%
3.2%
Northern California 
1.7%
5.6%
-5.3%
5.7%
Orlando 
1.2%
5.1%
-5.1%
5.2%
Southern California 
0.4%
6.7%
-4.4%
6.3%
Southwest Florida 
0.3%
7.4%
1.6%
9.3%
Colorado 
-0.4%
2.5%
-4.8%
2.6%
Tampa/Clearwater 
-2.9%
4.8%
2.1%
5.2%
New Jersey 
-3.4%
7.0%
-4.5%
6.5%
Chicago 
-11.1%
4.3%
-3.1%
4.2%
Houston 
-11.6%
4.3%
-10.7%
4.0%
Dallas 
-17.3%
2.8%
-7.7%
3.0%

Capital Structure

The company completed the following capital markets transactions during the 2003 fourth quarter:

  • Underwriters exercised their over-allotment option of 1.8 million shares in connection with an equity issuance of 12 million shares the company completed late in the third quarter, generating $12.4 million of additional proceeds. Total proceeds from the equity issuances were $95.4 million.

  • The company closed on a new $50 million senior credit facility, secured by six of the company’s hotels, and concurrently terminated an existing $50 million credit facility, which had no borrowings outstanding. The new three-year facility will carry an annual interest rate of LIBOR plus 450 basis points. 
  • The company repurchased $81 million of senior subordinated notes reducing the balance outstanding on the notes to $83 million.
"We made significant strides in improving our balance sheet in the fourth quarter," said Donald D. Olinger, chief financial officer. "As of year-end 2003, we had $273 million of cash and $50 million available on our credit facility. To date in 2004, we have repurchased $35 million of senior notes and $14 million of senior subordinated notes. We will continue to seek opportunities to further improve our balance sheet in 2004."

Long-Term Debt
 

Long-term debt as of December 31, 2003 and December 31, 2002 consisted of the following (in 000’s):
     
     
Interest
 
 
12/31/03
12/31/02
Rate
Maturity
Convertible Notes $ 3,705  $ 154,300 
4.75%
2004
Senior Subordinated Notes 82,768  203,205 
8.75%
2007
Senior Unsecured Notes 299,459  299,325 
9.00%
2008
Senior Unsecured Notes 248,848  248,637 
10.50%
2009
CMBS 309,035  314,626 
7.76%
2009
Convertible Notes 170,000 
9.50%
2010
Senior Unsecured Notes 396,437  395,978 
9.13%
2011
Mortgage Debt and Other 27,011  38,031 
8.89%
Various
CMBS 100,765 
6.88%
2013
  $ 1,638,028  $ 1,654,102     
         
Average Maturity
5.79 years
5.94 years
   
Average Interest Rate
8.9%
8.6%
   

Outlook 

The company provides the following range of estimates for the 2004 first quarter and full year based on first-quarter projected 2004 RevPAR of flat to an increase of 2 percent and full-year 2004 RevPAR increase of 3 percent to 4 percent (includes the effect of anticipated asset sales but excludes any acquisition or future debt repurchase assumptions):

  • Net loss of $(25) million to $(27) million for the first quarter and $(79) million to $(84) million for the full year; 
  • Net loss per diluted share of $(0.36) to $(0.40) for the first quarter and $(1.15) to $(1.22) for the full year;
  • FFO per diluted share (a) of $(0.02) to $(0.07) for the first quarter and $0.10 to $0.17 for the full year; and
  • Adjusted EBITDA (a) of $35 million to $38 million for the first quarter and $150 million to $155 million for the full year. Adjusted EBITDA and FFO are non-GAAP financial measures that should not be considered as alternatives to any measures of operating results under GAAP. See note (b) for further discussion of these non-GAAP financial measures. 
(a) See reconciliations of net loss to FFO per diluted share and net loss to Adjusted EBITDA included in the operating statement tables of this press release.

(b) This press release includes various references to FFO and Adjusted EBITDA. Substantially all of our non-current assets consist of real estate, and in accordance with GAAP, those assets are subject to straight-line depreciation, which reflects the assumption that the value of real estate assets, other than land, will decline ratably over time. That assumption is often not true with respect to the actual market values of real estate assets (and, in particular, hotels), which fluctuate based on economic, market and other conditions. As a result, management and many industry investors believe the presentation of GAAP operating measures for real estate companies to be more informative and useful when other measures, adjusted for depreciation and amortization, are also presented.

In an effort to address these concerns, NAREIT adopted a definition of Funds From Operations, or FFO. NAREIT defines FFO as net income (computed in accordance with GAAP) excluding gains (or losses) from sales of real estate, real estate-related depreciation and amortization, and after comparable adjustments for our portion of these items related to unconsolidated partnerships and joint ventures. Extraordinary items and cumulative effect of changes in accounting principles as defined by GAAP are also excluded from the calculation of FFO. As defined by NAREIT, FFO also does not include reductions from asset impairment charges. The SEC, however, recommends that FFO include the effect of asset impairment charges, which presentation we have adopted. We believe FFO is an indicative measure of our operating performance due to the significance of our hotel real estate assets, and that it can be used to measure our ability to service debt, fund capital expenditures, and expand our business. We also use FFO in our annual budget process.

EBITDA represents consolidated earnings before interest, income taxes, depreciation and amortization and includes operations from the assets included in discontinued operations. We further adjust EBITDA for the effect of capital market transactions that would result in a gain or loss on early extinguishments of debt, as well as the earnings effect of asset dispositions and any impairment assessments, resulting in the measure that we refer to as "Adjusted EBITDA." We exclude the effect of gains or losses on early extinguishments of debt as well as the earnings effect of asset dispositions and impairment assessments because we believe that including them in Adjusted EBITDA does not fully reflect the operating performance of our remaining assets. 

We also believe Adjusted EBITDA provides useful information to investors regarding our financial condition and results of operations because Adjusted EBITDA is useful in evaluating our operating performance and our capacity to incur and service debt, fund capital expenditures and expand our business. Furthermore, we use Adjusted EBITDA to provide a measure of unleveraged cash flow that can be isolated on an asset by asset basis, to determine overall property performance and to measure our ability to service debt. We believe that the rating agencies and a number of our lenders also use Adjusted EBITDA for those purposes. We also use Adjusted EBITDA as one measure in determining the value of acquisitions and dispositions and, like FFO, it is also widely used in our annual budget process. 
 

MeriStar Hospitality Corporation
Statements of Operations
(Unaudited, in thousands, except per share amounts)



                             Three Months Ended      Year Ended
                                 December 31,        December 31,
                               2003       2002      2003     2002

 Revenue:
     Hotel operations:
        Rooms               $121,619   $124,982   $539,084  $559,634
        Food and beverage     58,973     60,124    222,608  223,411
        Other hotel
         operations           15,373     14,946     68,332  66,755
     Office rental, parking
      and other revenue        3,537      3,613     13,810  15,893
                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------
 Total revenue               199,502    203,665    843,834  865,693

 Hotel operating expenses:
    Rooms                     33,646     32,521    137,804  135,285
    Food and beverage         42,148     41,143    161,749  158,201
    Other hotel operating
     expenses                  9,890      8,977     41,089  37,928
 Office rental, parking and
  other expenses                 637        767      2,784  3,004
 Other operating expenses:
     General and
      administrative          37,641     38,204    147,924  148,019
     Property operating
      costs                   30,842     29,304    129,270  127,017
     Depreciation and
      amortization            26,457     28,358    105,451  109,196
     Property taxes,
      insurance and other     14,097     13,355     67,162  59,186
     Loss on asset
      impairments              8,160      6,925    163,390  6,925
     Impairment of
      investment in
      affiliate               25,000          -     25,000  -
     Write-down of note
      receivable with
      Interstate Hotels &
      Resorts                      -     14,517          -  14,517

                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------
 Operating expenses          228,518    214,071    981,623  799,278
                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------

 Operating (loss) income     (29,016)   (10,406)  (137,789) 66,415

 (Loss) gain on early
  extinguishments of debt       (489)         -      4,085  -
 Change in fair value of
  non-hedging derivatives,
  net of swap payments             -       (235)         -  (4,446)
 Loss on fair value of non-
  hedging derivatives              -          -          -  (4,735)
 Minority interest income,
  net                          1,941      8,609     17,877  10,574
 Interest expense, net       (35,668)   (33,956)  (141,443) (136,880)
                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------

 Loss before income taxes
  and discontinued
  operations                 (63,232)   (35,988)  (257,270) (69,072)

 Income tax benefit            2,713        488      3,293  1,398
                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------

 Loss from continuing
  operations                 (60,519)   (35,500)  (253,977) (67,674)

 Discontinued operations:
    Loss from discontinued
     operations before tax
     benefit                  (2,454)   (90,075)  (135,798) (94,342)
    Income tax  benefit          909        699        911  768
                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------

  Loss from discontinued
   operations                 (1,545)   (89,376)  (134,887) (93,574)
                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------

 Net loss                    (62,064)  (124,876)  (388,864) (161,248)

 Dividends declared on
  unvested restricted stock        -          -          -  (4)
                            --------- ---------- ---------- ----------
 Loss available to common
  stockholders              $(62,064) $(124,876) $(388,864) $(161,252)
                            ========= ========== ========== ==========

 Weighted average number of
  diluted shares of common
  stock outstanding           63,893     45,172     50,807  44,931
                            ========= ========== ========== ==========

Loss per diluted common
 share                        $(0.97)    $(2.76)    $(7.65) $(3.59)
                            ========= ========== ========== ==========
 
 
 

Funds From Operations:
(in thousands, except per share amounts)

                     Three Months Ended             Year Ended
                        December 31,                December 31,
                      2003         2002          2003         2002

    Net loss      $(62,064)   $(124,876)    $(388,864)   $(161,248)
    (Gain) loss on
     disposal of
     assets           (416)      14,793         2,356       21,197
    Depreciation
     and
     amortization
     of real
     estate assets  25,002       28,941       105,902      115,786
    Minority
     interest to
     common OP
     unit holders   (2,083)      (8,750)      (17,177)     (11,139)
                  ---------   ----------    ----------   ----------

 Funds from
  operations      $(39,561)(a) $(89,892)(b) $(297,783)(a) $(35,404)(b)
                  =========   ==========    ==========   ==========
 Weighted average
  number of
  diluted shares
  of common stock
  and common OP
  units
  outstanding       66,946       49,042        53,630       48,900
                  =========   ==========    ==========   ==========

 Funds from
  operations per
  diluted share     $(0.59)(a)   $(1.83)(b)    $(5.55)(a)   $(0.72)(b)
                  =========   ==========    ==========   ==========
 

 (a) Funds From Operations included the effect of asset impairment
     charges, net of additional tax benefits realized during the
     fourth quarter of 2003, totaling $31.5 million, or $(0.47) per
     diluted share, for the three months ended December 31, 2003 and
     $315.5 million, or $(5.88) per diluted share, for the year then
     ended.

 (b) Funds From Operations included the effect of asset impairment
     charges of $79 million, or $(1.61) per diluted share, for the
     three months and year ended December 31, 2002.
 
 
 

EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA are comprised of the following:
     (in thousands)

                         Three Months Ended         Year Ended
                             December 31,           December 31,
                           2003       2002         2003       2002
                       --------- ----------   ---------- ----------

 Loss from continuing
  operations           $(60,519)  $(35,500)   $(253,977)  $(67,674)
 Loss from discontinued
  operations             (1,545)   (89,376)    (134,887)   (93,574)
                       --------- ----------   ---------- ----------

 Net loss              $(62,064) $(124,876)   $(388,864) $(161,248)
                       ========= ==========   ========== ==========
 

 Loss from continuing
  operations           $(60,519)  $(35,500)   $(253,977)  $(67,674)
 Interest expense, net   35,668     33,956      141,443    136,880
 Income tax benefit      (2,713)      (488)      (3,293)    (1,398)
 Depreciation and
  amortization (c)       26,457     28,358      105,451    109,196
                       --------- ----------   ---------- ----------

 EBITDA from continuing
  operations             (1,107)    26,326      (10,376)   177,004

 Minority interest
  income, net            (1,941)    (8,609)     (17,877)   (10,574)
 Valuation adjustments:
       Loss on asset
        impairments       8,160      6,925      163,390      6,925
       Impairment of
        investment in
        affiliate        25,000          -       25,000          -
 Financing
  transactions:
      Write-down of
       note receivable
       with Interstate
       Hotels & Resorts       -     14,517            -     14,517
      Loss (gain) on
       early
       extinguishments
       of debt              489          -       (4,085)         -
      Change in fair
       value of non-
       hedging
       derivatives, net
       of swap payments       -        235            -      4,446
      Loss on fair
       value of non-
       hedging
       derivatives            -          -            -      4,735
 Organizational
  structure charges           -      3,244(d)         -      3,244(d)
                       --------- ----------   ---------- ----------

Adjusted EBITDA from
 continuing operations  $30,601    $42,638     $156,052   $200,297
                       ========= ==========   ========== ==========
 

Loss from discontinued
 operations             $(1,545)  $(89,376)   $(134,887)  $(93,574)
Interest expense
 (income), net               86       (109)         328       (525)
 Income tax benefit        (909)      (699)        (911)      (768)
 Depreciation and
  amortization            1,371      4,018        9,130     17,406
                       --------- ----------   ---------- ----------

 EBITDA from
  discontinued
  operations               (997)   (86,166)    (126,340)   (77,461)

 Valuation adjustments:
       Loss on asset
        impairments       1,200     71,807      131,647     71,807
 (Gain) loss on
  disposal of assets       (416)    14,793        2,356     21,197
                       --------- ----------   ---------- ----------

 Adjusted EBITDA from
  discontinued
  operations              $(213)      $434       $7,663    $15,543
                       ========= ==========   ========== ==========

 Adjusted EBITDA, total
  operations            $30,388    $43,072     $163,715   $215,840
                       ========= ==========   ========== ==========
 

 (c) Depreciation and amortization included the write-off of
     unamortized deferred financing costs totaling $1.5 million and
     $1.6 million for the three months ended December 31, 2003 and
     2002, respectively, and $3.3 million and $3.1 million for the
     years then ended, related to our early extinguishments of debt
     during each of the years.

 (d) We incurred these costs in connection with the formal separation
     of management functions from Interstate Hotels & Resorts.  These
     charges are included in general and administrative expenses on
     the statements of operations.
 

Operating Information:
   (Room revenue in thousands)

                             Three Months Ended       Year Ended
                                December 31,          December 31,
                              2003       2002       2003       2002

     Continuing Operations
      (85 properties) (e):
          Room Revenue      $121,619   $124,982   $539,084   $559,634
          Rooms Sold       1,297,662  1,290,825  5,515,644  5,495,118
          Rooms Available  2,095,172  2,095,833  8,314,775  8,320,859
           Occupancy            61.9%      61.6%      66.3%      66.0%
           ADR                $93.72     $96.82     $97.74    $101.84
           RevPAR             $58.05     $59.63     $64.83     $67.26

     Disposition Assets
      (12 properties) (e):
          Room Revenue        $8,954     $9,751    $40,743    $45,279
          Rooms Sold         128,602    131,817    569,631    580,904
          Rooms Available    264,960    264,960  1,051,200  1,051,200
           Occupancy            48.5%      49.7%      54.2%      55.3%
           ADR                $69.63     $73.97     $71.53     $77.95
           RevPAR             $33.79     $36.80     $38.76     $43.07

     Core Assets
      (73 Properties) (e):
          Room Revenue      $112,665   $115,231   $498,341   $514,355
          Rooms Sold       1,169,060  1,159,008  4,946,013  4,914,214
          Rooms Available  1,830,212  1,830,873  7,263,575  7,269,659
           Occupancy            63.9%      63.3%      68.1%      67.6%
           ADR                $96.37     $99.42    $100.76    $104.67
           RevPAR             $61.56     $62.94     $68.61     $70.75
 

 (e) We currently own 89 hotels, four of which are planned for
     disposition and included in discontinued operations.  We have an
     additional 12 properties included in our disposition program.
     For comparative purposes, we have included operating information
     for the 85 assets in continuing operations as well as the 73
     assets that will remain in our portfolio once our disposition
     program is complete.
 
 
 

Selected Balance Sheet Data:
   (in thousands)

                                                       December 31,
                                                    2003        2002

     Common shares and operating partnership
      units outstanding                            69,908      49,033
     Property and equipment, net               $2,086,889  $2,559,937
     Restricted cash                               42,523      20,365
     Cash and cash equivalents                    230,884      33,896
     Total assets                               2,488,189   2,798,020
     Long-term debt                             1,638,028   1,654,102
     Total stockholders' equity                   653,613     878,286
 
 
 

Reconciliation of 2004 forecasted net loss to funds from operations
per diluted share and net loss to EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA:
 (in thousands, except per share amounts)

                                                 Three Months Ending
                                               March 31, 2004 Forecast

                                                 Low-end      High-end
                                                 of range     of range

 Forecasted funds from operations:
     Forecasted net loss                         $(27,367)   $(24,534)
     Adjustments to forecasted net loss:
          Depreciation and amortization of real
           estate assets                           24,000      24,000
         Minority interest to common OP unit
          holders                                  (1,332)     (1,209)
                                               ----------- -----------
Funds from operations                             $(4,699)    $(1,743)
                                               =========== ===========

      Weighted average number of diluted shares
       of common stock outstanding                 68,105      68,105
      Common OP units outstanding                   3,114       3,114
                                               ----------- -----------
 Weighted average number of diluted shares of
  common stock outstanding and common OP units     71,219      71,219
                                               =========== ===========

Funds from operations per diluted share            $(0.07)     $(0.02)
                                               =========== ===========

 Forecasted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA:
      Forecasted net loss                        $(27,367)   $(24,534)
      Interest expense, net                        35,600      35,600
      Loss on early extinguishments of debt         2,540       2,540
      Income tax benefit                             (417)       (374)
      Depreciation and amortization                25,835      25,835
                                               ----------- -----------

EBITDA, total operations                           36,191      39,067

     Minority interest income                      (1,191)     (1,067)
                                               ----------- -----------

Adjusted EBITDA, total operations                 $35,000     $38,000
                                               =========== ===========
 

                                                 Year Ending December
                                                  31, 2004 Forecast

                                                  Low-end    High-end
                                                  of range   of range

 Forecasted funds from operations:
     Forecasted net loss                         $(83,802)   $(79,080)
     Adjustments to forecasted net loss:
          Depreciation and amortization of real
           estate assets                           95,000      95,000
         Minority interest to common OP unit
          holders                                  (3,788)     (3,582)
                                               ----------- -----------
Funds from operations                              $7,410     $12,338
                                               =========== ===========

      Weighted average number of diluted shares
       of common stock outstanding                 68,839      68,839
      Common OP units outstanding                   3,114       3,114
                                               ----------- -----------
 Weighted average number of diluted shares of
  common stock outstanding and common OP units     71,953      71,953
                                               =========== ===========

Funds from operations per diluted share             $0.10       $0.17
                                               =========== ===========

 Forecasted EBITDA and Adjusted EBITDA:
      Forecasted net loss                        $(83,802)   $(79,080)
      Interest expense, net                       135,600     135,600
      Loss on early extinguishments of debt         2,540       2,540
      Income tax benefit                           (1,276)     (1,204)
      Depreciation and amortization               100,585     100,585
                                               ----------- -----------

EBITDA, total operations                          153,647     158,441

     Minority interest income                      (3,647)     (3,441)
                                               ----------- -----------

Adjusted EBITDA, total operations                $150,000    $155,000
                                               =========== ===========

Arlington, Va.-based MeriStar Hospitality Corporation owns 89 principally upscale, full-service hotels in major markets and resort locations with 24,169 rooms in 23 states, the District of Columbia and Canada. The company owns hotels under such internationally known brands as Hilton, Sheraton, Marriott, Westin, Doubletree, Holiday Inn and Radisson. For more information about MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, visit the company’s Web site: www.meristar.com.

This press release contains forward-looking statements about MeriStar Hospitality Corporation, including those statements regarding future operating results, the timing and composition of revenues and expected proceeds from asset sales, among others. 

###

Contact:
MeriStar Hospitality Corporation
Bruce Riggins
VP, Strategic Planning & Analysis
(703) 812-7223
www.meristar.com

 
Also See: MeriStar to Spend Approximately $225 million On Renovations At Its Core 73 Hotel Properties Over the Next Two Years; Taking Advantage of Size and Scale to Accelerate Renovations and Reduce Costs / February 2004
Meristar Reports RevPAR for the 2001 Fourth Quarter Declined 24.1%; Occupancy fell 15.6% to 55.8% / Jan 2002
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