Carlson adds second Radisson Blu flagship hotel in the United States

Minneapolis, MN | September 22, 2010

Carlson, a privately held, global hospitality and travel company, today announced it has signed an agreement to develop a USD 130 million Radisson Blu hotel with Mortenson Development, Inc. in their Twin Cities home town.  The 501-room upper-upscale hotel will be a cornerstone of Mall of America’s Phase II upscale expansion. Construction of the hotel is expected to begin in December 2010 and its opening is planned for late 2012.

“This investment is part of our Ambition 2015 strategy that includes opening flagship Radisson hotels in key gateway cities in the United States,” said Thorsten Kirschke, global chief operating officer of Carlson Hotels.

The Radisson Blu Hotel at Mall of America in Minneapolis will be the second Radisson Blu to open in the United States, with Chicago’s distinctive Aqua skyscraper being home to the first Radisson Blu, expected to open in fall 2011. 

The Radisson Blu Hotel at Mall of America will be the first hotel connected by sky bridge to Mall of America® and will be situated on the south side between Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s department stores. The hotel will feature three of the new Radisson Room Styles including Urban, Naturally Cool and NY Mansion House. It will also feature a restaurant and lounge, spa and fitness facilities, and more than 23,000 square feet of meeting space, encompassing two ballrooms; and an indoor pool. The hotel will be off of Interstate 494, three miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and only 20 minutes from downtown via the city’s light rail system.

“We identified this location as a strong investment opportunity for one of Carlson’s flagship hotels in part because of the volume of U.S. and international visitors drawn to Mall of America annually,” noted Kirschke. “It is an international billboard for distinct global brands, as is Radisson Blu. It also presented a unique opportunity to partner with the high-end design aspirations of the mall and meet the need for additional upper-upscale hotel offerings in the market.”

Kurt Hagen, senior vice president, Mall of America said, “We have been working with Mortenson Development for nearly three years to develop an upper-end hotel that would be an integral part of the mall and we are excited that we found the ideal fit with Carlson. The addition of the Radisson Blu Hotel will be a strong new anchor for the mall and coincides perfectly with our upscale expansion that features many new and existing luxury tenants and all of the world-class additions that will be included in our Phase II expansion.” He added, “Carlson, along with its Radisson hotel brand, and Mall of America, are all great Minnesota brands that are recognized globally.”

Carlson announced its Ambition 2015 growth strategy earlier this year.  The strategy is fueled by an investment program of up to USD 1.5 billion focused on positioning Radisson in North America as a powerful, globally consistent first-class brand.  Recognized around the world for its contemporary design, Radisson Blu delivers upper-upscale hospitality.

Mall of America® is the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex and draws more than 42 million annual visitors, including more than four million international guests.  The Mall’s Phase II expansion plan includes high end mixed-use hotel, retail and medical facilities.

About Carlson

Carlson is a privately held, global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson encompasses more than 1,075 hotels, including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By CarlsonSM, Park Inn® and Park Plaza®; more than 1,000 restaurants, including T.G.I. Friday’s® and Pick Up Stix®; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 150,000 people.  http://www.carlson.com

About Mall of America®

Mall of America is the nation’s largest retail and entertainment complex. At 4.2 million square feet, MOA is home to more than 520 world-class shops; Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation’s largest indoor family amusement park; Underwater Adventures® Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; Moose Mountain Adventure Golf; Theatres at Mall of America® - a 14-screen movie theater with VIP theatre and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. For more information visit www.mallofamerica.com.

About Mortenson Development

Mortenson Development has been providing real estate development services to its customers since 1975. Mortenson’s services include project feasibility analysis, site selection and acquisition, planning, financing, ownership and implementation. www.mortenson.com.

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Contacts:

Joan Cronson or Molly Biwer, Carlson | 1 763-212-1418 or 1 763-212-2901| jcronson@carlson.com or mbiwer@carlson.com
Fiona McRobert, MS&L Group | 1 323-866-6025| fiona.mcrobert@mslwor ldwide.com
Heather Trembley, MS&LGroup | 1 323-866-6035 | heather.trembley@mslworldwide.com
Dan Jasper, Mall of America, Mall of America | 1 952-883-8829 | djasper@mallofamerica.com
Cameron Snyder, Mortenson Construction | 1 763-287-5493 | cameron.snyder@mortenson.com

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