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Wednesday, October 28, 2020
Event News Fort Worth Hilton owners acquire Ashton Hotel

Fort Worth Hilton owners acquire Ashton Hotel

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Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

Marice Richter

The Ashton Hotel, a historic boutique hotel in downtown Fort Worth, has been sold to a new owner.

Ashford Hospitality Trust of Dallas, owner of the nearby Hilton Hotel, recently bought The Ashton Hotel for an undisclosed price.

The elegant 39-room hotel at 610 Main St. is a landmark property and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Ashton Hotel Partners, an investment group that includes Vintage Capital Partners in Fort Worth, put the hotel on the market earlier this year after owning it for almost seven years.

“The numbers were good and we found a good buyer so we are pleased,” said Matt Mildren, majority owner and managing partner of Ashton Hotel Partners. “We are very happy. It was a good investment for us.”

Monty Bennett, chairman and CEO of Ashford Hospitality Advisors, said the firm is pleased to own another Fort Worth property.

“When we saw that the Ashton was for sale, we thought it would be a great opportunity to double down on our investment in Forth Worth and take advantage of some operating synergies with our existing property,” Bennett told the Business Press.

“I love Fort Worth. We’ve owned the Fort Worth Hilton for many years and are glad to be a part of the community,” Bennett said.

Ashton Hotel Partners bought the hotel in 2007 from Fort Worth business owners and philanthropists Shirlee and Taylor Gandy. The Ashton firm invested about $1 million renovating the hotel, which has had a booking rate of about 80 percent, Mildren said.

Bennett said Ashford plans to initially invest at least a couple of million dollars in improvements. The firm will also “slim down” the hotel’s food and beverage operation, which has been unprofitable, he said. During Ashton Partner’s ownership, the hotel hosted several celebrities, including comedian Bill Cosby, golf legends Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, and billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates.

The hotel is comprised of two historic buildings. The six-story building was originally The Fort Worth Club. Built in 1915, it is the only Fort Worth building of Italianate style with wrought-iron balconies and cast stone.

The two-story Winfree Building, which houses the Ashton’s meeting rooms, was built in 1890 as a law office. The White Elephant Saloon occupied the Winfree Building from 1896 to 1907.

The two buildings were attached in 1937. A downtown Fort Worth historical redevelopment project restored the original façade of the buildings and made major interior improvements.  

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