Host Marriott buys hotel for $50 million


Host Marriott Corp. yesterday announced a $50 million acquisition of the San Antonio, Texas, Marriott Riverwalk Hotel, its first major purchase this year under a program intended to enhance the company's full-service hotel chain.

As part of the purchase, the Bethesda-based hotel owner assumed a $19 million mortgage. The 500-room hotel, across from the city's convention center and a major retail mall, will continue to be operated by Marriott International Inc., the other company created by the October 1993 split of Marriott Corp. The hotel becomes Host Marriott's fourth Texas project.

Host Marriott projects the 16-year-old San Antonio project will generate earnings before noncash charges of $7.4 million this year. In 1994, Host Marriott reported total earnings before noncash charges, such as interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, of $376 million on revenues of $1.5 billion.

Host Marriott, which controls 99 hotels and airport concessions valued in excess of $3 billion, believes that full-service, upscale hotels represent its best opportunity for growth. Last year, the company spent $530 million to acquire 18 properties as part of its effort to upgrade its portfolio, said Robert T. Souers, a Host Marriott spokesman.

Host Marriott stock closed yesterday at $10.125, up 12.5 cents.

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