By Thomas Heath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, August 3, 2009
The first of more than 300 Hilton Hotels employees are to begin moving into the company's new world headquarters in Tysons Corner on Monday, adding a third hotel industry giant to the Washington region, after Marriott International in Bethesda and Choice Hotels International in Silver Spring.
Hilton, which has 3,300 hotels and 130,000 employees worldwide, will occupy about a third of the 11-story, 323,000-square-foot office building known as Park Place II. The hotelier is investing $17 million to outfit its new headquarters.
The company's senior leadership, executive staff, accountants, tax experts, human resources staff and spokespeople are moving from Beverly Hills, Calif., where Hilton had been headquartered since 1969.
"We are delighted to join the vibrant Fairfax County business community," Hilton president and chief executive Christopher J. Nassetta said in a statement.
Nassetta has close ties to Northern Virginia, having grown up in Arlington County. He has a home in Arlington and in the Annapolis area. He also previously led Host Hotels & Resorts, based in Bethesda.
Hilton received a $4.6 million incentive package from state and county government, beating out an offer by Montgomery County and the state of Maryland by more than $2 million.
Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine (D), in a statement, called Hilton's arrival "the latest indication that Virginia continues to be recognized as the best state for business."
Hilton, which began as a single hotel in Texas in 1919, is the third major company in recent years to announce a headquarters operation in Fairfax. Volkswagen moved its U.S. headquarters there, as did CSC, formerly known as Computer Sciences Corp.
Hilton owns, manages or franchises hotels ranging from the Waldorf Astoria in New York City to Embassy Suites Hotels. Its various brands include Hilton, Conrad Hotels & Resorts and Doubletree.
The hotel giant, which is a portfolio company in the publicly traded Blackstone Group, has corporate offices in Memphis, Orlando, Dallas and London.