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Bill Kimpton
Founder, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group, LLC
Biography

Bill Kimpton (1935-2001) began his now-legendary hotel business career in the sandbox. As a young boy playing Monopoly with his friends, it was not so much the acquisition of Property and collecting Rents that intrigued him about this popular American game. His passion was Hotels - purchasing the necessary Four Houses so that he could trade them to the Bank for a Hotel. He did this again and again. "I can remember holding Hotels in my hand," he said. So began the dream.

But before he made the leap to "real" hotels in 1981, Bill put in years of travel as an investment banker. He built his banking reputation by working with a number of emerging companies. Prior to 1980, Kimpton was a director and vice president of Lepercq de Neuflize, an international investment banking firm. Preceding Lepercq de Neuflize, Kimpton was a partner in Shuman, Agnew & Co., Inc., in Belvedere, California, where he was responsible for project finance. From 1969 to 1973, he was the manager in San Francisco, California of Lehman Brothers (now Shearson - Lehman Brothers American Express, Inc.). From 1966 to 1969, Kimpton was an associate with Lehman Brothers, Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. During his career in finance he helped Kentucky Fried Chicken expand from a $2 million company to one that eventually sold for $275 million. Bill also handled the financing for the exclusive Kapalua Bay Resort Hotel in Maui and in the 1970s helped raise $23 million for hotel impresario Harry Helmsley to renovate the Palace Hotel in New York.

Bill Kimpton's personal foray into the hospitality business began in San Francisco with the Clarion Bedford Hotel. He started with the philosophy that as travelers, "We are all insecure. It's just a matter of degree. A hotel should relieve travelers of their insecurity and loneliness. It should make them feel warm and cozy." So, with the success of the Bedford and its now trademark fireplace in the lobby, he laid the foundation for his unique style in which he transforms older, historic downtown buildings into charming, European-style accommodations where hospitality and service are paramount.

From the beginning, Kimpton paired his vintage hotels with high-profile destination restaurants, usually located adjacent to the hotel, rather than inside it, to retain a distinct identity. In each location, the restaurant's energized atmosphere complements the gracious ambiance of Kimpton's hotels. Today, the Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants Group, LLC, comprises 34 hotels and 28 restaurants in 11 cities in the U.S. and Canada.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Bill earned a Bachelors of Science in Economics from Northwestern University and was a graduate of the University of Chicago Lab School. His first job after college was selling IBM typewriters at the Chicago Board of Trade.

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Contact: Kathleen Bertolani, (415) 397-5572

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