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Tap Project Partners With Strategic Hotels for 2009 UNICEF Clean Water Campaign
Date:3/10/2009

Westin St. Francis, Hotel Del Coronado, Washington Four Seasons and seven additional hotels join effort to raise funds for UNICEF

NEW YORK, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Luxury hotel owner, Strategic Hotels, today announced that it will become a 2009 national partner of the UNICEF-supported clean water campaign known as the Tap Project. Now in its third year, this award-winning, lifesaving initiative helps UNICEF provide clean water to children around the world.

Strategic will promote the Tap Project in all of its U.S. hotels inclusive of nearly 50 restaurants and five thousand hotel rooms. Strategic's properties include the venerable Westin St. Francis, Loews Santa Monica, Hotel Del Coronado, Scottsdale Fairmont Princess, Chicago Intercontinental and the Washington D.C. Four Seasons.

"Water has been a critical focus area of the hotel industry for many years, especially in those geographies hit hard by drought and water shortages," stated Laurence Geller, CEO of Strategic Hotels. "It's critical that our industry continue to take a leadership position on water issues and to aggressively promote the dire need for clean and safe drinking water in the developing world."

Based on a simple, tangible and turn-key concept, the Tap Project was given life two years ago on World Water Day (March 22). Limited to just New York City at the time, restaurants asked their patrons to donate $1 or more for the tap water they usually enjoy for free. With 300 restaurants participating in its inaugural year Tap raised $100,000 and helped to provide 4 million children in Laos, Iraq and Angola with access to clean drinking water. Also in its first year, the Tap Project was awarded the much coveted Titanium Lion at the International Advertising Festival in Cannes, France.

"Strategic's participation marks another important milestone for the Tap Project," said Caryl Stern, president and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "Forming a partnership with a hotelier that has focused its attention towards green systems - inclusive of water - will accelerate our ability to help more children faster and ultimately reverse the 25,000 daily deaths of these children from preventable causes. Strategic's geographic reach in highly influential markets will be a great benefit to our 2009 campaign."

Strategic's hotels participating in the 2009 program follow:

San Francisco: Westin St. Francis and Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay

Los Angeles: Loews Santa Monica

Orange County: Ritz Carlton Laguna Nigel

San Diego: Hotel Del Coronado, Hyatt Regency La Jolla

Phoenix/Scottsdale: Fairmont Princess

Chicago: Fairmont, Intercontinental, Marriott Lincolnshire

Miami: Intercontinental

Washington D.C.: Four Season's

Last year, the Tap Project proved once again to be a phenomenal success with more than 2,300 restaurants from 44 states officially registered to participate in the 2008 Tap Project. "We hope that by providing UNICEF with access to our hotels, we can help to make a difference for many thousands of children who would otherwise suffer," added Laurence Geller.

UNICEF works in more than 90 countries around the world to improve access to safe water and sanitation facilities in schools and communities, and to promote safe hygiene practices. Over the past 15 years, more than a billion people gained access to improved drinking water and sanitation facilities thanks to UNICEF's efforts. However, every day, 4,200 children still die of water-related diseases. UNICEF's goal is to reduce the number of these needless deaths to zero. With $1, UNICEF can provide 40 liters of safe drinking water, which is enough to give one child safe drinking water for 40 days.

About Strategic Hotels

Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. owns and provides value-enhancing asset management of high-end hotels and resorts in the United States, Mexico and Europe. The company currently has ownership interests in 19 properties with an aggregate of 8,346 rooms. For a full list of current properties and for further information, please visit the company's website at http://www.strategichotels.com.

About UNICEF

For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world's leading international children's organization, working in over 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water, education, protection and emergency response saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. While millions of children die every year of preventable causes like dehydration, upper respiratory infections and measles, UNICEF, with the support of partnering organizations and donors alike, has the global experience, resources and reach to give children the best hope of survival. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicefusa.org.


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SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF
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