Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), along with RREAF Holdingsand New Castle Hotels & Resorts, broke ground on the Cambria Hotel in Charleston, S.C. The Cambria Charleston Riverview, a 126-room hotel is located at 84 Ripley Point Dr. on the Ashley River, and is slated to open early in 2019 and will be built by Freese Johnson Contractors of Atlanta.
The Cambria Charleston Riverview is perched on the marshes of the Ashley River, just minutes from Charleston's Historic District. The hotel's location provides quick access to everything that the area offers, in addition to the Medical University of South Carolina complex and the College of Charleston.
"The Charleston Riverview property is in a prime location right near downtown, making it the perfect fit for the modern traveler. We look forward to working with RREAF Holdings to build their first Cambria, and providing guests with an upscale lodging option where they can treat themselves while on the road," said Michael Lusick, vice president, upscale operations at Choice Hotels. "With Charleston being one of the fastest growing cities in the country, we're excited to continue the Cambria brand's rapid expansion in this key market. The Cambria Charleston Riverview will be one of three Cambria Hotels in the area, including Mount Pleasant, which also recently broke ground, and North Charleston."
To commemorate the occasion, local artist Norma Ballentine presented an original painting of the city's iconic pineapple, a symbol of hospitality and welcome, to the developers, RREAF Holdings, a privately held commercial real estate firm and New Castle Hotels & Resorts, a leading third-party hotel management firm.
"We traditionally focus our investments in Texas, Tennessee and the Florida panhandle, but we could not pass up the opportunity to enter a highly competitive market, like Charleston, and reset the bar for a compelling growth brand like Cambria Hotels," said Kip Sowden, CEO of RREAF Holdings. "We have every confidence that our development and operating partners will deliver an outstanding return to our investors."
"Charleston is acclaimed for its storied history, beautiful architecture, unique character and its classic southern hospitality. Charleston is also a high barrier-to-entry market," said Cord Middleton, Regional Partner, RREAF Southeast Region. "Our site, with its irreplaceable location on the Ashley River, provides an opportunity for a locally focused, upscale brand like Cambria to enter a market that might otherwise have been unattainable. That's a great benefit for investors and the travelling public alike."
The Cambria Charleston Riverview will include 1,300 square feet of multi-function meeting space, a full-service bar featuring local craft beer, and a state-of-the-art fitness center. The property also has spacious and comfortable rooms, along with spa-like bathrooms that offer contemporary fixtures, refined surfaces and abundant light.
"Tremendous air lift, and its distinctive character make Charleston a popular choice for both business and leisure travelers," noted Gerry Chase, president and COO of New Castle Hotels & Resorts, which will operate the hotel. "Travelers seek out local relevance when choosing hotels and now Choice Hotels' more than 33 million Choice Privileges members will have a brand new upscale option that pays tribute to the local culture when they visit this iconic city. There is a reason that both Travel+Leisure and Conde Nast readers rank Charleston the top city in the U.S. and Canada."
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