Kahler Corp., owners and operators of the University Park Hotel, said it is in negotiations with Pearson Enterprises of Salt Lake City to purchase the downtown Salt Lake Hilton Hotel.

Kahler spokesman Phil Thorp said parties haven't settled on a price, but expect to reach a final agreement sometime next month.The 352-room Salt Lake Hilton was completed in 1975 for about $12 million.

Pearson acquired the hotel, located at 150 W. 5th South, from Condie & Clark Co. The Hilton employs 380 people.

Pearson, a family-owned corporation whose chairman is Duane Pearson, also owns Hilton hotels in Ogden and the Salt Lake International Center, and the Tri-Arc Hotel in Salt Lake City.

Pearson also has a management contract for a Best Western Hotel in Midland-Odessa, Texas.

Kahler Corp., based in Rochester, Minn., entered Utah last year by acquiring the 220-room, $15-million University Park Hotel from Pearson and The Boyer Co., which had jointly developed the project at the University of Utah's Research Park.

Kahler owns five hotels in Rochester, serving the Mayo Clinic. It also owns hotels in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.; Fort Worth, Texas; Chandler, Ariz.; Morgantown, W.Va., and Denver.