Hotel Indigo Athens Project Team to Donate $100,000 to UGA Music Business Program

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A unique gift demonstrates sustainable development initiatives in support of the Athens music community.

I applaud the ingenuity of this gift and the commitment it represents to the UGA Music Business Program on the part of the Hotel Indigo project team. It's another example of Hotel Indigo's dedication to responsible development practices that bodes well for the local economy and the future growth of the Athens music scene.

The Project Team bringing Hotel Indigo to downtown Athens, Ga. has committed to donating $100,000 to the University of Georgia Music Business Program at the opening of the Hotel in August of 2009. The Project Team, consisting of the hotels' developers, investors, general contractor, architects, engineers, interior designers, attorneys, consultants, and others, have each agreed to donate a portion of their fees generated by the project to the Program.

As part of its association with the UGA Music Business Program, Hotel Indigo Athens will work with students enrolled in the Program to assist in the management of the site's three music venues and provide internship opportunities. Bruce Burch, director of the UGA Music Business Program, said, "We are very excited about this partnership with Hotel Indigo and believe our students will get some valuable hands-on experience working with their team. They are a great addition to the Athens music scene."

Barry S. Rutherford, with the project's co-developer Rialto Property Partners, said "It has been a basic tenet of our development process to give back to the community in a way that demonstrates not only our commitment to environmentally sustainable goals, but also in ways that will enhance the quality of life for the people of the local communities in which we develop. The continued success of the UGA Music Business Program will re-enforce and grow Athens' reputation as a major music center in the U.S. and will be a strong attraction for intellectual and financial capital to come to the Athens community. In addition, our internal studies suggest the total amount of direct spending generated in the local economy associated with Hotel Indigo Athens and its guests will add approximately $980,000 through occupancy and sales taxes both directly and indirectly to the county's tax collections, providing an approximate 1% increase to the general revenues of the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government."

The UGA Music Business Program is an academic partnership of UGA's Terry College of Business and Hodgson School of Music. Founded in 2006, the program was developed as a response to the burgeoning growth of the music industry in Georgia, anchored by Atlanta and Athens.

Robert T. Sumichrast, dean of the Terry College, said, "I applaud the ingenuity of this gift and the commitment it represents to the UGA Music Business Program on the part of the Hotel Indigo project team. It's another example of Hotel Indigo's dedication to responsible development practices that bodes well for the local economy and the future growth of the Athens music scene."

"We're obviously delighted about this gift to the UGA Music Business Program," said Garnett S. Stokes, dean of the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. "This is an important program for UGA, and this level of support is a marvelous example of visionary involvement with a growing area of study on our campus."

Hotel Indigo Athens is located in downtown Athens at 500 College Avenue. Construction began in August of 2008 and Hotel Indigo Athens is scheduled to open August 2009. As previously announced, The Project Team for Hotel Indigo Athens diverted funds typically reserved for a "groundbreaking" ceremony to support Nuçi's Space and The Athens Land Trust.

About the Hotel Indigo Athens Project Team
To find out more about the Hotel Indigo Athens project team, please visit the following: Project Development - Rialto Property Partners, LLC/Atlanta, Ga. (http://www.rialtopropertypartners.com); Melaver Inc./Savannah, Ga. (http://www.melaver.com); Financing - BB&T U.S. (http://www.bbt.com), Rialto Hospitality Investors Group/Atlanta, Ga.; Architects - Surber, Barber, Choate, and Hertlein /Atlanta, Ga. (http://www.sbcharch.com); General Contractor - JM Wilkerson/Marietta, Ga. (http://www.jmwilkerson.com); Interior Design - Ellen Hanson Designs/New York, N.Y. (http://www.ellenhansondesigns.com); Project Engineering - HESM&A (http://www.hesm.com); Electrical Engineering - PowerWorks/Charlotte, N.C. (http://www.powerworks.com); Legal - Cohen, Pollack, Merlin, & Small, P.C./Atlanta, Ga.; Construction Consultants - Deas Construction/Suwanee, Ga. (http://www.deasconstructioninc.com), and Urban Eats/Atlanta, Ga. (http://www.urbaneatsatlanta.com).

About the University of Georgia Music Business Program
The purpose of the UGA Music Business Program is to develop business leaders for the music industry. An academic partnership of the Terry College of Business and the Hodgson School of Music, the program creates an intellectual synergy beyond what students can achieve in either the business or music degree programs separately by integrating content from a variety of disciplines. Success in the business of music requires knowledge of business fundamentals, the music industry, creative content development and management, artist management, production and technology combined with hands-on experience. This interdisciplinary certificate program draws together these diverse and distinct areas of content into a coherent curriculum, providing students an opportunity that they otherwise would not have and supplies the music and entertainment industries with better prepared professionals. To find out more visit UGA Music Business Program.

About Hotel Indigo Athens
Located five blocks from the University of Georgia's campus, the boutique hotel will have 130 eco-luxury guestrooms and is anticipated to be among the first three hotels in the world to achieve LEED® Gold-Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council. Hotel Indigo Athens will offer a complete boutique experience. Elegant features include residential-inspired guestrooms, hardwood floors and spa-like showers, which are all part of the Hotel Indigo design. In addition, the hotel will have an outdoor garden lounge and terrace, an art gallery, as well as a music venue adjacent to the hotel. A 3,000-square-foot Presidential Suite located on a "Concierge Level" featuring floor-to-ceiling windows will also be included in the boutique hotel.

The site of Hotel Indigo Athens will encompass an entire city block and anchor the north end of the downtown district. The hotel is in close proximity to shopping, restaurants and nightlife, as well as within walking distance to the Classic Center, the UGA campus and Sanford Stadium. For more information please visit Hotel Indigo Athens.

The newest member of InterContinental Hotels Group, Hotel Indigo is the industry's first branded boutique experience. It is uniquely designed to appeal to guests who desire affordable luxury, personal service and an alternative to traditional hotels without sacrificing any of the business amenities they have come to expect.

Contact:
Amy Hibler
Rialto Property Partners
(267) 879-7112

Keith Perissi
UGA Music Business Program
(706) 542-7668

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