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MEXICO CITY-A development firm already responsible for introducing several major US hotels to Latin America has signed a partnership to deliver Hampton Inn properties throughout this emerging country. Tenedora Augusta inked the agreement with Hilton Hotels Corp., creators of the Hampton Inn brand.

“Tenedora Augusta is a proven hotel developer with a successful track record and will continue to help us expand the Hampton flag in the pivotal Mexican marketplace,” says Tom Keltner, chief executive for Hilton’s Americas & Global Brands division. Keltner notes that Tenedora Augusta already operates three Hampton Inn hotels in the country, those being in Monterrey, Saltillo and Torreon.

Tenedora Augusta President Victor Zorrilla says the association with Hilton is helping his firm “quickly establish a leading market position” as one of Mexico’s premier hospitality industry builders and operators. The company is a specialist on higher-end hospitality product, controlling a current portfolio of 1,720 rooms in eight hotels. “As the Mexican economy continues to expand, the need for top-tier hotels rises exponentially,” says Zorrilla, explaining that his firm is angling to dominate that segment going forward. The ownership of Tenedora has facilitated the arrival of several hotel chains to the region in recent years, including Courtyard by Marriott and Doubletree.

Consistency has been an issue for some lodging enterprises in Latin America, and Zorrilla says the company wants to provide a level of service that can be relied upon by both locals and travelers. According to Hilton officials, Tenedora’s performance heretofore should provide comfort. “All guests can be assured that they will encounter the same quality product in each new market,” says George Massa, Hilton’s senior director of development for the Mexican region.

The freshly minted agreement calls for Tenedora to build at least a half-dozen Hampton Inn or Hampton Inn & Suites hotels during the next three years in such markets as Cancun, Guadalajara, Monterrey and Tijuana. Zorilla’s group will receive preferred development rights for meeting certain goals and timetables, leading to future activity. Along those lines, Keltner terms the pact “another major step” in Hilton’s plan to align itself internationally with partners established in targeted regions. By securing a local expert, the firm hopes to improve development timetables and identify promising markets.

Hilton already has eight Hampton Inns in Mexico, but Massa says the country will see a substantial increase in that footprint through the end of the decade. Hilton is already in 78 countries, with 2,800 hotels and 480,000 rooms flying such flags as Embassy Suites, Hilton Garden Inn and the Waldorf-Astoria Collection.

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