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NEW YORK CITY-Arlington, VA-based Interstate Hotels & Resorts has signed a contract to manage the 102-room Best Western Bowery Hanbee Hotel in Lower Manhattan/Chinatown here. The newly built property at 231 Grand St. is owned by Ben Wong, founder and principal owner of New York City-based Wok and Roll Restaurants. Interstate now manages a total of nine hotels in New York City.

Located at the intersection of the Bowery and Grand Street, the eight-story Best Western has amenities including a complimentary continental breakfast, an exercise facility and a business center. Guestrooms feature high-speed Internet access. “New York is a critically important US market, and we continue to expand our presence there,” says Thomas Hewitt, CEO at Interstate. “The Best Western is our first hotel on the vibrant Lower East Side and our first project with Ben Wong, a well respected and progressive entrepreneur. Our management pipeline remains quite active, with current owners being an important source of new business.”

Leslie Ng, CIO of the firm, says that the “growing New York portfolio also includes five hotels that we operate elsewhere in the state, bringing our total to 14 hotels statewide. This cluster strategy allows us to take advantage of significant operating synergies and economies of scale. New York remains one of the most robust markets in the nation, and we continue to drive performance for our owners.”

According to Interstate’s website, other Manhattan hotels managed by the firm include: Wingate by Wyndham Manhattan Midtown at 235 W. 35th St.; Courtyard Times Square South at 114 W. 40th St.; Comfort Inn Manhattan-Murray Hill at 42 W. 35th St.; the Roosevelt Hotel New York City at 45 E. 45th St.; Hilton Times Square at 234 W. 42nd St.; and the Residence Inn Times Square at 1033 Avenue of the Americas.

The firm owns seven hotels, has 47 hotels as joint venture properties and has 167 hotels under third party management. According to the firm’s second-quarter 2008 results, RevPAR rose 4% for all managed hotel properties, compared to an average industry gain of 1.2%. The firm added nine management contracts as of June 30, 2008, and signed a contact to manage its first property in India, an under-construction hotel in Vizag. The firm also opened its first US Starwood branded Aloft hotel in Rancho Cucamonga, CA, developed and co-owned with JV partner, the John Buck Co.

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