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Four Fires Hotel near NMAI to open next year

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WASHINGTON - The Marriott Residence Inn being built adjacent to the
Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian by a joint venture
between four American Indian tribes is set to open the first week of
January.

External construction "topped out" in March, according to the Donohoe
Construction Co., the general contractor, and the hotel "is scheduled to
open early in 2005."

The builder said the hotel "is being developed by Donohoe Development Co.
of Washington, D.C., and will be managed by Hospitality Partners of
Bethesda, Md." BBGM, which has U.S. offices in Washington, New York and
Scottsdale, Ariz., is the architect.

The hotel is a joint venture of four tribes - the Oneida Nation of
Wisconsin, the Forest County Potawatomi Community of Wisconsin, the Viejas
Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, both
of California.

The tribes have a 56 percent equity position in the hotel, with the rest
coming from Donohoe and other investors, said Chris Bruch, Donohoe vice
president.

The hotel will open prior to Inauguration Day (Jan. 20) to get in on the
heavy sale of hotel rooms for that event, he said.

Right now, carpet is going in on the fourth and fifth floors, and furniture
will be in rooms by Christmas. A couple of weeks of training for employees
will precede the opening.

Bruch said that ground floor material in the hotel has been made out of the
same material used at NMAI, as well as the same color palette. Four display
boxes in the lobby will allow each tribe to exhibit information or
artifacts, and a foldout of tribal information will be in each room.

Bruch said the contractor is finishing a month ahead of schedule and under
budget, an accomplishment considering unusually wet weather.

The four gaming tribes decided to band together under the rubric Four Fires
LLC to diversify their economic development away from relying on gaming.
All have some type of economic development other than gaming, and two of
the tribes are already in the hospitality business. The Oneida have
previously developed a Radisson Hotel just adjacent to the Green Bay
airport, while the Forest County tribe has developed a hotel and convention
center called Indian Springs Lodge.

The extended-stay Residence Inn-Capitol is three blocks from NMAI, at 333 E
Street SW in Washington. "The 13-story, 233-suite Residence Inn will
include 2,400 square feet of meeting space, underground parking, a business
center, fitness center, indoor pool and sun terrace, gift shop,
breakfast/evening reception area, and additional amenities such as
fully-equipped kitchens in all guestrooms and a guest laundry area."

Although not yet open, the Residence Inn is listed on the Marriott.com Web
site, and it is possible to book rooms there starting in March 2005. Rates
available on various nights next March include $289 for a two-bedroom
suite, $229 for a studio, and $119 for a one bedroom suite with sofa bed
(hotel prices change depending on demand, which is why a one bedroom suite
could be less expensive than a studio on a given night).

"When visiting the nation's capitol," the Residence Inn-Capitol site says,
"how cool would it be to stay in a hotel within walking distance of the
newest attractions to the area like the National Museum of the American
Indian and World War II Memorial? You will be just blocks away from the
U.S. Capitol and only a short walk from the metro (subway) that can provide
you with hassle-free transportation to anywhere downtown in just minutes."

The hotel's Web page brags about its free high-speed Internet access,
complimentary buffet breakfast, laundry valet or self-service laundry
facilities, gift shop/newsstand, fax and copying services, and safe deposit
box at the front desk.

And it says the guest rooms will feature a work desk with lamp, voice mail,
TV/remote/cable satellite, in-room movies, full kitchen in all rooms, free
in-room coffee, iron and ironing board, hairdryer, and in-room safe.

Restaurants near the hotel include Banana Cafe, Cafe Mozo, Charlie Palmer
Steak House, Market Inn, and Phillips Flagship.

The cost estimate for the project has been put at $45 million. The project
was announced late in 2002 at the National Press Club here. The four tribes
called their unusual venture "the largest collaboration ever for American
Indian groups."