Sage Hospitality Secures Management Contract for Houston’s Hotel ICON, Texas’ First Autograph Collection Property

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Purchased in January 2011 by Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds and Centurion Partners, downtown landmark now in midst of $5-million renovation.

Hotel ICON

The Hotel ICON in Houston, Texas

“We are thrilled to expand our division of Premiere & Lifestyle properties with Hotel ICON and eager to roll out service and facility enhancements in the months ahead,” - Walter Isenberg, President and CEO of Sage Hospitality.

Denver-based Sage Hospitality, an established leader in hotel management, development and ownership, is pleased to announce it has entered into a new operations agreement with Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds (CJUF)and Centurion Partners to run Hotel ICON. A formal announcement was made by CJUF partner, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, at a VIP cocktail reception in Houston on October 17, 2011. The basketball legend and entrepreneur also revealed details about a new restaurant concept, LINE & LARIAT, and comprehensive repositioning program, including Hotel ICON’s selection by Marriott International, Inc. as the first Autograph Collection property in Texas, as well as a $5-million renovation, which is now underway.

“We are thrilled to expand our division of Premiere & Lifestyle properties with Hotel ICON and eager to roll out service and facility enhancements in the months ahead,” said Walter Isenberg, President and CEO of Sage Hospitality.

Internationally acclaimed, the 135-room Downtown Historic District landmark is located at 220 Main Street, just blocks from Buffalo Bayou and Allen’s Landing, the site of Houston’s 1836 founding. It is ideally situated within blocks of key business and leisure attractions, including the George R. Brown Convention Center, Theater District, Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, Market Square, Bayou Place, Discovery Green and Houston Pavilions. Guests also benefit from an adjacent light rail stop with door-to-door service to the Museum District, Hermann Park, Rice University, the Texas Medical Center and Reliant Park sports and convention complex.

Hotel ICON initially debuted in 2004, following a $35-million, two-year repurposing and painstaking refurbishment of the 1912 Union National Bank building, which had remained vacant and in a state of near disrepair for more than two decades prior. One of the earliest steel and concrete skyscrapers in the country, the 12-story structure was designed in the neo-classical style by the St. Louis firm of Mauran, Russell & Crowell.

An imposing brick and Bedford limestone façade is adorned with intricately carved Corinthian columns and keystones depicting Hermes, the Greek god of trade, commerce and good fortune –the feature graphic element of the hotel’s logo. Not only the headquarters for one of the state’s most important financial institutions, the building also counted wildcatter businessman, Jesse H. Jones, renowned architect, John Staub, and then fledgling firms, Brown & Root and Fulbright & Jaworski, among its early tenants.

With an extensive restoration of the exterior brickwork recently completed by the new ownership, attention will now be focused on enhancing and upgrading the interior spaces – already among some of the city’s most dazzling. The focal point of Hotel ICON is the full floor lobby, which is punctuated original architectural elements that include turn-of-the-century ironwork, egg and dart moldings and two rows of Doric columns, soaring nearly 30 feet.

Conceived by Kimberley Miller of Dallas and Shanghai-based, Design Duncan Miller Ullmann, the redesign – slated for completion in summer 2012 – seeks to bring a “Texas-sized jolt” of energy and sophistication to the gracious,and currently more European-leaning, grand dame. Representative of “today’s Texas,” the vibe will be inviting, unpretentious and respectfully fabulous.

Much like the great rooms of homes around the state – and as comfortable as a worn pair of boots – the bar and restaurant will be at the heart of the hotel. Food, drink and an open, welcoming spirit are the keynotes that instruct the revision. While the new design won’t be completed until spring 2012, LINE & LARIAT is already serving mouthwatering dishes that reflect the bounty of Texas’ coast, waterways, farms and ranches. And L&L Bar invites guests to saddle up for a distinctive brand of mixology that includes both iconic and contemporary craft cocktails, along with a selection of regional draught beers and fine wines.

Averaging 400 square feet, Hotel ICON’s guestrooms feature custom millwork and spacious bathrooms appointed with rain showers, garden tubs, Jacuzzis and antique claw-foot bathtubs. The penthouse level boasts the city’s only multi-story accommodations, including a tri-level suite with rooftop lounge and private terrace.

Additional amenities include BALANCE Urban Spa, which incorporates four treatment suites and offers a complete range of services for both men and women; an expansive and state-of-the-art fitness facility with around-the-clock access; and approximately 8,000 square feet of unique and flexible function space, including a 2,300-square-foot ballroom, underground Wine Vault, intimate Den and mezzanine level Loft.

For more information on Hotel ICON, please visit http://www.hotelicon.com. For more information on Sage Hospitality, please visit http://www.sagehospitality.com.

Media Contacts:
Sage Hospitality - Julie Dunn
julie(at)dunncommunications(dot)com
303-522-2659

Studio Communications
stuartr(at)studiocommunications(dot)net
713-524-2800

About Sage Hospitality
Founded in 1984, Sage Hospitality has strategically grown into one of the largest privately held hotel management and ownership companies in the nation operating a variety of large, full-service hotels as well as extended stay and select-service properties. Sage Hospitality's comprehensive portfolio includes major international brands such as Marriott, Sheraton, Renaissance, Hilton and Westin, and as well as independent boutique hotels. Sage Hospitality has further differentiated with the creation of the Sage Restaurant Group, which has created and is managing 10 unique restaurant concepts including the acclaimed Mercat a la Planxa in Chicago. For more information, please visit http://www.sagehospitality.com.

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Julie Dunn
Sage Hospitality
303-522-2659
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