BKD on the ground in Pennsylvania with Malin Bergquist

BKD logo colorBKD, LLP, one of the country’s largest CPA and advisory firms, has acquired Pennsylvania-based accounting firm Malin Bergquist & Company, LLP. Malin Bergquist will officially join BKD on October 1, 2013.

“Malin Bergquist and BKD are well-matched in many regards, starting with our cultural commonalities,” said BKD CEO Ted Dickman. “A shared focus on integrity and an innovative approach to exceptional service has enabled both firms to build a loyal client base that values professionalism, expertise and responsiveness.”

Founded more than 50 years ago, Malin Bergquist is home to a dedicated staff of 75 that serves a diverse mix of clients from offices in Erie and Pittsburgh. As a result of the combination, BKD welcomes eight new partners, including Malin Bergquist CEO Jeffrey Deane. Deane will serve as managing partner of BKD’s Pennsylvania offices, which will remain at their current addresses.

“We’re thrilled BKD has chosen to enter the Mid-Atlantic region with Malin Bergquist, and we look forward to growing our client base here,” Deane said. “BKD is a fantastic firm with knowledgeable advisors and extensive resources that will enable us to keep delivering the high-quality, personal service our clients have come to expect and deserve.”

BKD’s thought leadership spans many industries and service areas, including wealth management, private equity, corporate finance, business transition, international, forensics, valuation and technology. In addition to strong tax and employee benefit plan audit practices, Malin Bergquist serves foreign-owned and closely held businesses in the manufacturing, distribution, real estate and construction industries.

With the addition of Malin Bergquist, BKD now has 33 offices in 15 states and combined annual revenues of more than $425 million. The firm’s aapproximately 2,100 professionals, including 250 partners, serve clients in all 50 states and internationally. BKD provides tax, assurance and accounting outsourcing services as well as specialized consulting to health care providers, financial institutions, insurance, manufacturers, distributors, construction and real estate companies, energy providers and a variety of not-for-profit organizations and governmental entities, including colleges and universities.

BKD already serves close to 200 clients—many in the health care industry—in the Keystone State.

About BKD is the top-tier U.S. CPA and advisory firm that delivers its experience and service with a deep understanding of your business, your needs and what it takes to improve your business performance. BKD’s approximately 2,100 personnel, including approximately 250 partners, serve clients in all 50 states and internationally. To learn more, visit bkd.com.

Praxity, AISBL, a global alliance of independent firms, enhances BKD’s ability to serve the dynamic needs of multinational clients. Praxity provides the gateway to tax, assurance and consulting services delivered by alliance firms committed to the highest standards required in international business.

Boerne ISD names Bartlett Cocke General Contractors as construction manager at risk for all projects under the 2013 bond

Bartlett Cocke logoThe Boerne ISD Board of Trustees named Bartlett Cocke General Contractors as construction manager at risk for all projects to be addressed under the 2013 bond.

Bartlett Cocke, based in San Antonio, is “one of the premier school construction companies in the state,” Boerne ISD project manager Jim Martin said in making his recommendation to the Board at its regular monthly meeting. The company will be responsible for more than $68 million in construction projects for the district, including construction of the new Fabra Elementary campus, additions to both middle schools, and renovations across the district.

The Board previously approved contracts with OCO/Pfluger and SHW Group to provide architectural services for various projects within the bond package. Boerne ISD voters approved a $99.5 million bond in May by a margin of almost 3-1.

“We are in a great position, we really are,” said Superintendent David Stelmazewski. “We have a great contractor, great architects and a great bond management team. The bond passed in May and here we are in August with a great team assembled and work well underway.”

District officials expect schematic renderings for construction and renovation work at the Middle School North and Curington Elementary campuses to be ready within the next 30 days. A major component of the work at Middle School North includes additional classroom space to accommodate sixth grade’s move from the elementary campuses in 2015. A new competition gym to replace a 1950s vintage facility and renovation to other classroom and extracurricular areas will be included in the Middle School North work.

At Curington, expansions and renovations to the cafeteria, kindergarten area and administrative spaces are among the items to be addressed.

Bartlett Cocke also will be responsible for construction at Middle School South, which will add capacity for the pending sixth grade move. Construction on the Boerne High School campus will include enhancements to Career and Technical Education facilities, Fine Arts facilities and Physical Education/Athletics facilities.

The new Fabra Elementary campus will be on a 17-acre tract southeast of Northrup Park athletic complex between Johns Road and Ranger Creek Road east of Interstate 10. Student capacity will increase to 850 from the current 650 at the existing campus. The current Fabra facility, some portions dating back to 1948, will be repurposed for administrative and alternate campus uses.

Children’s Hospital of San Antonio selects #BartlettCocke General Contractors to manage project

Bartlett Cocke logoChildren’s Hospital of San Antonio selected San Antonio-based Bartlett Cocke General Contractors as construction manager to oversee building the $135-million, 415,000-square foot children’s hospital downtown. The selection was announced by Patrick Carrier, president and CEO for CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System.

“We are pleased to have Bartlett Cocke General Contractors as our construction partner in this landmark project,” said Carrier. “Not only is Bartlett Cocke General Contractors the largest commercial building contractor in San Antonio, they are also one of the best health care builders in the region and have previous experience constructing children’s health care facilities. They are a proven partner with the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System, having completed two significant projects within the last 24 months.”

The project includes fully renovating all 12 floors of the current building interior as well as the entire exterior façade on a campus which encompasses 10 acres in the heart of downtown San Antonio.

Bartlett Cocke General Contractors plans to use a heightened level of technology throughout the construction process to meet the unique challenges associated with transforming a landmark building into a fully-modern, world-class children’s hospital.

The team will use Building Information Modeling (BIM) on-site with computer tablets to enhance coordination among the building trades. The system allows the user to create a virtual building to flag challenging items in a simulated environment. “Bartlett Cocke General Contractors prides itself in building higher purpose facilities that provide lasting value in the communities we serve. We are very proud to be working with CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System on the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio as this landmark project will serve the highest of all purposes,” said Harry Moeller, president Bartlett Cocke General Contractors.

The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio has remained open throughout the process and will continue to treat children throughout the life of the project without any interruption in service.

Project architects for the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio are WHR Architects Inc., of Houston; Stanley Beaman & Sears, Atlanta, Ga; and Overland Partners Architects, San Antonio. The project engineering firm is Smith Seckman Reid, Inc. of San Antonio.

The newly transformed children’s hospital will include a larger emergency room specifically for children; private patient rooms; 12 operating rooms specifically designed for children; and improved parking facilities. Exterior construction is slated to begin in mid-August.

#CommuniCare Health Centers expanding across San Antonio

Communicare_logo side in colorPotranco Clinic FINALCommuniCare Health Centers, a non-profit healthcare organization, recently opened up its newest Pediatric clinic in the Sea World area of San Antonio. The campus, CommuniCare Health Centers-Potranco Pediatrics, located at 9594 Potranco Road, will provide pediatric care services to children in that area. Dr. Josue Molina is the Pediatrician at this location.

Madison Square Bldg_edit2In September, CommuniCare Health Centers will also be expanding into the downtown San Antonio area, in partnership with Baptist Medical Center. The clinic will be located in the Madison Square Building on Camden St., and will provide family medicine, pediatric and urgent care services.

“CommuniCare is excited to grow our services and strengthen our partnership with Baptist Medical Center. In this partnership, CommuniCare Health Centers will provide primary and urgent care services to individuals with non-emergent conditions for their care versus going to the Emergency Room. As well as being a medical home for those patients being discharged from the hospital that do not have an established primary care provider for their follow up care,” said Paul Nguyen, President and CEO of CommuniCare Health Centers.

About CommuniCare Health Centers:
CommuniCare Health Centers (CCHC) having served San Antonio for over 40 years now, is a full-service primary healthcare system offering Family Medicine, Pediatric Care, Women’s Health and OB/GYN care, Podiatry, Dental, Behavioral Health Services, and Urgent Care to residents in Bexar and Hays counties. In 2012, CCHC delivered more than 150,000 visits at three health centers in San Antonio and two in Hays County. CommuniCare has been accredited by the Joint Commission since 1999; an accreditation that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting national safety and quality of care performance standards. In 2012, CommuniCare was designated as a “Primary Care Medical Home” by the Joint Commission.

As a non-profit community health center, it serves those with Medicaid, Medicare, Private Insurance and those that do not have insurance, charging on a sliding-fee scale based on annual household income and family size. For more information on CommuniCare Health Centers please visit www.4all4life.org.

Amegy Bank finds booming opportunity with the Eagle Ford Shale

AmegyBank_RGB_rFor South Texas, and now the rest of the country, the Eagle Ford Shale has become a highly-recognized play in the oil and gas industry, as well as in the economy as a whole. In 2012, activity in the Eagle Ford Shale generated more than $61 billion in economic impact and supported more than 100,000 jobs. And, it doesn’t seem Eagle Ford is going anywhere anytime soon.

While the Eagle Ford Shale impacts its neighbors in different ways, there is no doubt that those around its 30-county spread are feeling the effects of the largest single oil and gas development based on capital expenditures in the world. For Amegy Bank, the growing activity in South Texas has opened doors to shale-related business and relationship opportunities with some of Eagle Ford’s biggest players.

Although Amegy Bank is feeling the value of a recent uptick in energy activity in and around Eagle Ford, working with the energy sector is a practice with which the bank is very familiar. Through its experienced energy team, Amegy Bank has grown its energy business to over $3.8 billion in commitments with more than 275 companies across the industry.

Now, Amegy Bank is seeing an opportunity to leverage both its expertise in the energy sector and its commitment to relationship banking to support smaller, local lenders that are challenged to meet the demands of their now financially hyperactive communities. This could include offering investment products and services to individuals whose assets have been positively impacted by the oil boom, or providing financing for larger commercial deals.

“As a bank that began with just one location more than 20 years ago, we understand the importance of relationship banking,” said President and CEO of Amegy Bank San Antonio David McGee. “The potential of the Eagle Ford Shale allows Amegy Bank to explore building partnerships with existing banks so they can continue providing hometown service to their customers while we all cultivate the economic impact of Eagle Ford in our local economies.”

About Amegy Bank
Amegy Bank is a leading Texas bank with $13 billion in assets. Founded in 1990, Amegy has a strong tradition of relationship banking, local decision making and financial expertise. Amegy specializes in banking businesses of all sizes, and has the resources to provide financing, investment management, treasury management solutions, international banking, as well as other specialized services. Equally important, the Bank offers individuals and families a wide range of depository, lending, mortgage, wealth management, trust and brokerage services. With more than 80 locations across Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, Amegy is dedicated to serving Texas communities, families and businesses. To learn more about Amegy, visit www.amegybank.com.

IBC Bank awards $19,000 in scholarships to area graduates

IBC Bank logoFor the 13th consecutive year, IBC Bank-San Antonio is promoting higher education by awarding a combined $18,000 in scholarships to 18 area high school graduates as they embark upon college and a new chapter of their adult lives. The students were awarded the A.R. Sanchez, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Award at a citywide reception Thursday, June 27 at IBC Bank-San Antonio’s Nakoma branch located off U.S. Highway 281.

IBC Bank-San Antonio began this market-wide scholarship initiative in 2001 to provide the opportunity for higher education to youth from low to moderate income households. Born into a humble family, Antonio R. Sanchez, Sr., the namesake of the scholarship award and the founder of IBC Bank, was a strong supporter of making higher education available to those interested in bettering their lives. Sanchez’s commitment to the power of learning lives on in the A.R. Sanchez Scholarship Award, which is bestowed annually upon deserving high school seniors in South Texas and the upper Gulf Coast area.

“The A.R. Sanchez, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Award tangibly demonstrates IBC’s ‘We Do More’ philosophy and reiterates the bank’s firm stance on promoting higher education in the community,” IBC Bank-San Antonio President and CEO Mike Sohn said. “These deserving high school seniors are the future business men and women of San Antonio, and we are proud to assist them in their pursuit of higher education.”

This year, IBC Bank-San Antonio presented a total of 18 A.R. Sanchez, Sr. Memorial Scholarship Awards, each valued at $1,000, across 11 area high schools. Scholarship award recipients included: Orlando Ordonez – Luling High School; Malaina Vargas – San Marcos High School; Ben Pelayo – Roosevelt High School; Valeria Sanchez, Sierra Zamarripa, Doris Pineda, and Brianna Luera – Fox Tech High School; Yael Garcia-Torrescano, Amanda Balderas – Robert E. Lee High School; Emerald Lopez and Jorge Cano – South San Antonio High School; Amber Rodriguez – James Madison High School; Amanda Collins – Douglas MacArthur High School; Evelyn Cray, Tony Dawson, and Rodney Miller-Whitby – Sam Houston High School; Narda Martinez-Saenz – International School of the Americas; and, Rigo Cardenas – Harlandale High School.

IBC Bank IMG_4554

In addition to their scholarship, students were provided a free “Get Smart About Credit” financial literacy course, presented by IBC Bank-San Antonio. Credit management techniques taught in this course empower students to develop strong financial habits for a lifetime. The course informed students about different types of credit, the importance of credit worthiness, keeping records for checking accounts and how to identify ways to save money.

IBC Bank-San Antonio is a division of International Bancshares Corporation (NASDAQ: IBOC), an $11.5 billion multi-bank financial holding company headquartered in Laredo, Texas, with 217 facilities and 337 ATMs serving 88 communities in Texas and Oklahoma. IBC Bank-San Antonio has been serving the Alamo City community since 1986 and has a retail branch network of 30 locations throughout the area. More information is available at www.ibc.com. Visit us on our YouTube channel, IBCBankWeDoMore. Member FDIC/International Bancshares Corporation.

Significant changes taking shape in Terminal A: renovation project moving forward

icon-SAAS_horizontalWith phases 1 and 2 complete and progress continuing throughout Terminal A, passengers are already enjoying amenities that improve the travel experience.

IMG_7962Gates 11-16 have been updated with new wall finishes, lighting and ceiling treatments. New seating is in place with electrical and USB outlets on the chair for an enhanced customer experience.  The restrooms and the flooring in the area have also been updated and new way-finding signage and flight information display boards have been installed.

ta baggage renderingTwo thirds of the Terminal A baggage claim has been updated with finishes like those used in Terminal B. Additionally, the baggage claim area is being equipped with improved way-finding signage, visual paging, flight boards and an art feature.

Visitors to the airport will soon see changes to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) checkpoint. Reconfiguration and expansion of the queuing area is planned for quicker and more efficient processing of passengers.

During construction, the area is also set to temporarily relocate to allow for installation of new flooring. Airport officials are recommending passengers arrive early for flights as they may experience longer wait times during this transition.

Improvements are also taking shape in the ticket lobby.  Airline ticket counters areas are being updated with additional improvements to include new escalators and refurbishment of the elevators. To minimize interruption to passengers and tenants, the terminal renovations have been phased and have primarily occurred at night.

In addition to the Terminal A Renovations, San Antonio International is introducing new concepts for the concession and retail program. HMS Host International, the prime concessionaire for the airport, is managing the mix of local and national brands.

LaTapenadeAuntie Anne’s Pretzels and Cinnabon both operated by a San Antonio franchiser opened in May and La Tapenade, a Mediterranean-styled Café and Mission City Ice House opened in June. La Gloria, a local favorite owned by Johnny Hernandez, a San Antonio chef and the owner of catering company True Flavors is also included in the concession package and is set to open next month.  Hernandez is a joint-venture partner with HMS Host on several of the establishments.

Other outlets included in the program are The Fruteria, and national brand, Steak ‘n Shake. The only operator scheduled to be retained in the new arrangement, Famous Famiglia Pizzeria, is scheduled to begin improvements next month.

The new restaurants consist of well known national brands, local flavors and include new concepts unique to San Antonio International Airport. The restaurants are set to open in phases and will coincide with the Terminal A renovations.

Morningside Ministries staff honored for outstanding service to San Antonio seniors

MM Main logoAt LeadingAge Texas’ 54th Annual Meeting and Trade Show in Austin, locals will be honored for their outstanding contributions to provide quality aging services to San Antonio area seniors.

Patsy Johnson, a resident of Morningside Ministries at The Meadows will receive The Volunteer Achievement Award. When the resident theater group found itself having to purchase plays they deemed less than interesting, the theater director decided to ask her best friend – a fellow resident whose writing ability was remarkable – to write plays for their productions. After much hesitation, Patsy got to work. After Patsy brought down the house with her first production in 2011, she has produced 11 plays that are now awaiting publication.

“At age 78, something in my brain responded. To date I have written 16 plays. As an eighty year old confined to a power chair for mobility because of muscular dystrophy, I feel blessed to have found such challenging creative outlets,” said Patsy.

Anne Shinn, an employee of Morningside Ministries has been referred to as having “a servant’s heart”. Serving as the Dining Services Director for the past 24 years, Anne is honored with the Dietary Services Award. Her accomplishments include three complete dining room renovations. What’s more, Anne invites prospective residents to a “tasting” event to sample delicious bites from Morningside’s five chefs on staff.

Two employees of The Village at Incarnate Word will also be awarded for their outstanding service to their senior living community. Rita Revilla has just celebrated 50 years in the Environmental Services Department with Incarnate Word and will receive the Environmental Service Award for her amazing work. Rita reigns supreme in laundry and has no intention of slowing down. “I feel good keeping busy,” she said. “The more I do, the better I feel. I like everything here and I am very happy.”

Debbie Gonzales, honored with the Community Service Award has been the Connections Coordinator for The Village at Incarnate Word since 2004. Making the community outreach program her passion, Debbie has created a well-balanced program including wellness, recreation, spiritual and healing activities and workshops that really make a difference in the quality of life for the seniors in the community.

Morningside Ministries Senior Living Communities and The Village at Incarnate Word are both mission-driven, faith-based, non-profit organizations that provide seniors retirement living options with the highest quality of care. Both organizations are members of LeadingAge Texas and have been serving the San Antonio area for over 50 years.

Additionally, Morningside Ministries won Website of the Year Award from LeadingAge Texas.

“Morningside Ministries is honored to receive the award for Website of the Year. We are very flattered that an organization such as LeadingAge Texas would recognize our company for this prestigious accolade.

The goal of our website is to provide a service to those in need of help or guidance. Our website allows Morningside Ministries to continue to carry out it’s mission to “Care for Those Who Cared for Us.” We are privileged to have this recognition and we look forward to growing our web presence in the years to come.”

Helping support a home away from home for families with seriously ill children

jBankLogoThe skills that make a good bank manager can also be valuable in supporting organizations that contribute to our community’s quality of life. Jefferson Bank’s managers and employees participate in many social initiatives throughout the city, and Phyllis Trager’s work with Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio (RMHCSA) is an excellent example.

Trager, Vice President and Banking Center Manager of Jefferson’s Alamo Heights Banking Center, knew of RMHCSA through the bank before they asked her to join their board two years ago. RMHCSA provides a home away from home for families who have a child being treated at a local hospital. Ronald McDonald House Charities of San Antonio operates three facilities in Bexar County and two in Laredo: free-standing houses in the Medical Center and on Lewis Street, and in-hospital facilities at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio, Laredo’s Doctor’s Hospital and Laredo Medical Center.

Soon after she joined the RMHCSA board, Trager became better aware of the value of Ronald McDonald House operations.

A few years ago, one of Trager’s fellow employees went into emergency preterm labor, and the baby was airlifted to Houston.

“When I heard that, I called Ronald McDonald House and found out there was a facility near the hospital where their baby was going to be. They ended up staying there for over 30 days. It’s not where you want to be – you want to be home with your child and have everything be ok, but when you need them, the Ronald McDonald Houses are there,” she said.

Like many RMH facilities, San Antonio’s centers offer families a combination of private and public spaces. Each family has access to a kitchen where they can cook for themselves. There’s a game room and other public spaces to relax. Recently, Trager said, televisions were donated to the houses so that every family can have a TV in their private suites. Ronald McDonald Houses are an economical alternative to hotels.  They offer the benefit of staff and the company of other families facing the emotional challenges of a child with a serious illness. It is a community of support and understanding.

“It’s just amazing the stories you hear. Ronald McDonald Houses are really vital to families with ill children.”

RMHCSA is facing a significant opportunity right now. Pediatric hospitals are blooming all over San Antonio. Christus Santa Rosa has dedicated its entire downtown campus to Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. UT Health Science Center San Antonio has joined forces with Vanguard Health System and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia to build a new children’s hospital in the Medical Center. The free-standing hospitals join Methodist Children’s Hospital, which has provided pediatric acute care since 1998.

The concentration of children’s hospitals will bring families from all over Texas, Mexico and beyond. To meet the need, RMHCSA is looking at a parcel in the South Texas Medical Center for an expanded facility. In addition, RMHCSA is moving to a brand new, larger space as part of the renovations at Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. This home should becompleted by 2014.

$35-million Expansion/Renovation Under Way at Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa

Project will double available function space, upgrade guestrooms and expand water park as part of 20th Anniversary Celebration in 2013

hyatt hill country logowoodbine development logo

Woodbine Development Corporation today announced details of a $35-million expansion and renovation of its Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa in San Antonio. The project will essentially double the resort’s indoor function space, triple its pre-function space, add new outdoor function space, enhance and freshen guestrooms and landscaping, as well as expand the ever-popular water park to include a FlowRider®  wave machine and a tower slide. Woodbine is managing the project, with WATG and Wimberly Interiors providing interior design services; HKS Hill Glazier Studio as architect of record; Rialto Studio, Inc., managing landscape improvements; and Hardin Construction Company, L.L.C., as general contractor. The entire project will be completed by fall 2013, with portions of the project completed in the spring of 2013. The resort opened as Texas’ first true destination resort in February 1993 and will celebrate 20 years of successful operation in 2013.

“We’re elated that we can bring these new enhancements to this very special property,” said John Field Scovell, CEO and President of Woodbine. “While much of what this resort offers is about tradition, we want to reward our loyal guests with new experiences and capture group customers who needed more function space than we were able to provide in the past.”

The resort’s indoor function space is being increased from approximately 35,000 square feet to approximately 70,000 square feet, including the addition of a 20,000-square-foot ballroom. Guests will access the new state-of-the-art space either through the existing function space corridors or via a new motor court and separate entrance. The grand ballroom will be divisible into eight breakout rooms, each with its own entrance. Generous pre-function space will be added and connected to the existing Hill Country Ballroom space, as well.

“The space echoes the classic Hill Country design of the hotel with tall windows, forged iron light fixtures and natural stone details. The pre-function areas recall the look of Texas’ regional barns with timber trim and bead board ceilings,” said Susan Bruce, ASID, Senior Associate, WATG and Wimberly Interiors. “Guests can meet and mingle while relaxing in leather rocking chairs as they wait for their session to begin. The new carpeting reflects stylized wildflowers, and the lighting mimics country lanterns.”

Exterior function space added with the expansion includes a 7,260-square-foot landscaped courtyard, complete with a Texas-sized, stacked limestone working fireplace. The courtyard design was inspired by discussions with some of

the area’s top wedding planners and includes iron light fixtures and casual wicker seating. Additionally, a 5,000-square-foot event lawn will be connected to the new ballroom and promises to be a spectacular venue for such events as an outdoor awards dinner, upscale reception or afternoon team-building event.

The ballroom addition includes a motor court with separate entrance where guests will have the opportunity to be dropped off curbside. The meeting space will be completed in fall 2013.

All 500 guestrooms and suites will be transformed into classic modern accommodations, with a Texas Hill Country twist. The new décor will appeal to convention, leisure and business travelers alike. Wimberly Interiors’ design inspiration was the natural beauty of the Texas Hill Country, blending the charming rustic aesthetic with a tailored palette and refined details. The addition of new Hyatt Grand Bed mattresses, complete re-tiling of the tub surrounds, a decoratively framed and well-lit mirror with freestanding, oversized, granite-top vanity, are just a few of the features to be offered in every room.

The guestroom corridors will provide a journey for the guest along a trail that is inspired by natural elements, with textured wall coverings that give homage to the lasso – one of the rancher’s most important tools; bronzed metal wall sconces that reflect shadows similar to sunlight streaming through the native Live Oak trees; and carpeting that is evocative of a creek that is blanketed with freshly fallen leaves.

The guestrooms will embrace the concept of a sophisticated, stylish ranch embellished with Texan motifs. The concept of the lasso will be reinterpreted from the corridors with texturized wall covering in the guestrooms, complemented by linen draperies. The carpeting will feature a modern silhouette of a rustic diamond pattern. A luxurious chenille throw, made exclusively for the resort, will replicate the pattern of “Papa Ed” Wiseman’s favorite horse blanket. Papa Ed was the patriarch of the Rogers-Wiseman family that owned the resort site and thousands of acres of surrounding ranchland for more than 100 years. Guestroom art will continue to incorporate vintage family photos with hand-tinted backgrounds, as well as “ranch brand” art in suites.

An additional phase of the enhancement project will really make waves among the hotel’s leisure guests. A wave machine and tower slide will be added to the resort’s ever-popular water playground, which is being expanded from four acres to five acres.

Hill Country will become the first Texas hotel and only one of three hotels in the United States to have a FlowRider® wave machine on its property. The exciting new attraction simulates a “barrel-less” wave; complete with a sloped wave surface with 40,000 gallons of water being driven up at a rate of about 18,000 gallons per minute. “This will become yet another core benefit of vacationing at Hyatt Regency Hill Country and will solidify our resort as the premier destination for families looking to travel within and to Texas,” said Gino Caliendo, the resort’s general manager. “While regional water parks may offer kneeboarding, we are thrilled to be the only location in Texas with a stand-up boarding option.” 

The wave machine spans an impressive length of 54 feet and is 22 feet wide, with a water depth of between 3 to 4 inches. Hotel guests can choose bodyboarding, kneeboarding or stand-up boarding. The FlowRider® will be heated seasonally, meaning guests can enjoy this adrenaline-packed thrill ride all year long. Per the manufacturer’s suggestions, riders need to be at least 42 inches (3 feet, 5 inches) tall to boogie board and 52 inches (4 feet, 3 inches) to stand-up ride/surf.

“Flow boarding may resemble surfing, but it is really a combination of skateboarding, wakeboarding, boogie boarding, snowboarding and surfing, a perfect blend that will appeal to all board sport enthusiasts,” said Ray Lauenstein, business development manager at Aquatic Development Group, developer of FlowRider®.

In addition to the wave machine, the resort is adding a much-anticipated 22-foot-tall tower slide, perfect for guests ages 5 and up. The addition of these enhancements offers more exciting options and an additional acre to the hotel’s existing four-acre water park. Currently, the water park includes a 950-foot Ramblin’ River, an activity pool equipped with water volleyball and basketball, an adults-only Texas-shaped pool, 2 hot tubs and a zero-entry kiddie wading pool.

The wave pool and slide area will be surrounded by an extensive deck with seating and plenty of room for spectators, and an area for guests to pick up refreshments and snacks. The complex also will include a combination restroom and changing area.

“Families have consistently returned to Hyatt Regency Hill Country for almost 20 years because of our authentic hospitality, provided by an incredible staff, exciting activities and amazing water features. Our guests will be excited with these additions as they only add to memories created here,” Caliendo added. “All the water pumped through the wave pool and slide will be recirculated to align with the hotel’s resource conservation pledge.”

The final enhancements to the resort include extensive exterior landscaping and energy-efficient LED lighting. Lighting of the public walkways and the up-lighting of native Live Oak trees will give the resort additional illumination and a beautiful glow in the evening. Retaining walls are being added to reduce soil erosion in key areas, and throughout the resort a professional arborist is assisting with the replacement of invasive plant and tree species with native Texas plants that are heat tolerant and drought resistant.

“Returning guests will be amazed at the transformation being made in the resort’s landscape. We are consciously editing the grounds to retain the beauty of native Texas Hill Country while adding subtle touches of refinement to please the most discerning guest,” said Jim Gray, principal at Rialto Studio and original landscape architect for the resort. “I am honored to be involved in this renovation project that is refreshing original designs we implemented two decades ago and making them more sustainable.”

About Hyatt Hill Country
Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa is situated on 300-scenic acres in San Antonio, Texas, on the edge of Texas’ Hill Country. The 500-room resort currently features more than 35,000 square feet of indoor function space; at completion of the expansion, this will increase to more than 70,000 square feet. Resort amenities include Windflower – The Hill Country Spa, with 21-treatment rooms, secluded swimming pool and whirlpool, and world-class services; a __-acre water park with 950-foot flowing river pool, adult pool, active pool and kiddie pool; multiple food and beverage outlets, including Antlers fine-dining restaurant, Springhouse Cafe, Charlie’s Long Bar Saloon, Cactus Oak Tavern, the General Store and Papa Ed’s Pool Bar & Grill. Guests can enjoy superb epicurean dining or cocktails with colleagues overlooking a lushly landscaped 27-hole Arthur Hills-designed golf course. For more information visit www.hillcountry.hyatt.com.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation, headquartered in Chicago, is a leading global hospitality company with a proud heritage of making guests feel more than welcome. Thousands of members of the Hyatt family strive to make a difference in the lives of the guests they encounter every day by providing authentic hospitality. The Company’s subsidiaries manage, franchise, own and develop hotels and resorts under the Hyatt®, Park Hyatt®, Andaz®,Grand Hyatt®, Hyatt Regency®, Hyatt Place® and Hyatt HouseTM. Hyatt House is changing its brand identity from Hyatt Summerfield Suites®. Hyatt Residential Group, Inc., a Hyatt Hotels Corporation subsidiary, develops, operates, markets or licenses Hyatt ResidencesTM and Hyatt Vacation Club®, which is changing its name to Hyatt Residence ClubTM. As of December 31, 2011, the Company’s worldwide portfolio consisted of 483 properties in 45 countries. For more information, please visit www.hyatt.com.

Forward-Looking Statements
Statements in this press release, which are not historical facts, are “forward-looking” statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements include statements about our plans, strategies, financial performance, prospects or future events and involve known and unknown risks that are difficult to predict. As a result, our actual results, performance or achievements may differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as “may,” “could,” “expect,” “intend,” “plan,” “seek,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential,” “continue,” “likely,” “will,” “would” and variations of these terms and similar expressions, or the negative of these terms or similar expressions. Such forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon estimates and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by us and our management, are inherently uncertain. Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, among others, general economic uncertainty in key global markets, the rate and pace of economic recovery following economic downturns; levels of spending in business and leisure segments as well as consumer confidence; declines in occupancy and average daily rate; hostilities, including future terrorist attacks, or fear of hostilities that affect travel; travel-related accidents; changes in the tastes and preferences of our customers; relationships with associates and labor unions and changes in labor law; the financial condition of, and our relationships with, third-party property owners, franchisees and hospitality venture partners; risk associated with potential acquisitions and dispositions and the introduction of new brand concepts; changes in the competitive environment in our industry and the markets where we operate; outcomes of legal proceedings; changes in federal, state, local or foreign tax law; foreign exchange rate fluctuations or currency restructurings; general volatility of the capital markets and our ability to access the capital markets. A more complete description of these risks and uncertainties can be found in our filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K. We caution you not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, which are made as of the date of this press release. We undertake no obligation to update publicly any of these forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, new information or future events, changes in assumptions or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking statements, except to the extent required by applicable laws. If we update one or more forward-looking statements, no inference should be drawn that we will make additional updates with respect to those or other forward-looking statements.

About Woodbine and Hunt Realty
Woodbine Development Corporation is a 39-year-old full-service real estate company focused on development, investment/acquisition and asset management opportunities across the United States. The company specializes in hotels, resorts and golf courses; multiuse land and mixed-use developments; and real estate services provided to corporations, non-profit organizations and individuals. Woodbine has been involved with more than $2 billion in commercial real estate projects, including development, ownership and/or asset management of more than 6,000 hotel rooms, 18,000 acres of land and 126 holes of championship golf. To learn more, visit www.woodbinedevelopment.com.

Woodbine Investment Corporation is an affiliate of Woodbine Development and was created to take advantage of displaced capital markets and to acquire distressed and under-capitalized assets in primary and select secondary markets. The company is seeking to acquire independently owned and operated assets that are unencumbered by management and have significant operational and property investment upside. The company recently acquired The Governor Hotel in Portland, OR, as a part of this effort.

Woodbine’s financial/investment partner is Hunt Realty Investments, Inc. (“HRI”). Hunt Realty serves as the centralized real estate investment management resource for Hunt Consolidated, Inc., which is part of the Hunt family of companies directed by Ray L. Hunt. For more information, visit www.huntrealtyinvestments.com

About HKS Hill Glazier Studio
HKS Hill Glazier Studio specializes in the design of hotels and resorts including sophisticated urban hotels, unique destination resorts, world-class golf clubhouses and luxurious spas. With hospitality construction under way on five continents, HKS’s hospitality practice is ranked as one of the top in the nation and the world, according to BD World Architecture, Hotel Business and Hospitality Architecture + Design. Over the past two decades, the firm has designed projects in 41 countries garnering numerous awards and coverage in national and international publications. For more information, visit www.hksinc.com.

About WATG + Wimberly Interiors
WATG and Wimberly Interiors are the premier hospitality design consultancy in the world, according to surveys by Hotel Design and Hotel & Motel Management magazines. Hospitality Design magazine’s survey of companies ranked WATG’s corporate culture among the top in the world: best career advancement, best firm philosophy, best client list, best list of projects, and most innovative. By offering a full range of design services in the areas of strategy, planning, architecture, landscape, and interiors specific to the travel and tourism industry, WATG has become the world’s largest niche firm. Since its founding in 1945, WATG and Wimberly Interiors have designed destinations in 160 countries from its offices worldwide. For more information, visit www.watg.com.

About Hardin Construction Company
Founded in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1946 Hardin Construction Company, LLC has been a leader in the industry for over 66 years, providing comprehensive construction services. Hardin’s projects span 29 states, Mexico, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Hardin currently maintains offices in Atlanta, Georgia; Orlando, Florida; Tampa, Florida; Austin, Texas; and Raleigh, North Carolina. Hardin provides general contracting, program management, construction management and design/build services that are tailored to our customers’ needs and project requirements. Services included are estimating, value engineering, constructability review, scheduling, procurement strategy development, FF&E procurement, safety program, quality assurance and project control systems.

About Rialto Studio
Rialto’s founding partners and principals; James Gray, Kenneth Fowler, and Peter Hinton represent more than 80 years of combined professional experience. The three spent years working with renowned Texas architect O’Neil Ford, well-known for his belief that successful design was created with a team approach not based upon the single purview of one discipline. This experience forms the core of Rialto’s design philosophy. Founded in San Antonio in 1998, the firm has designed some of San Antonio’s most important and enduring places including Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa, Hyatt River Walk Hotel, River Center Mall, and the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Expansion. For additional information, please visit www.rialtostudio.com http://www.rialtostudio.com .