BRANDING BRIEFS

Best Western International

The new-construction, family-owned Best Western Pelican Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale, FL opened last month. The Kruse family owns and operates the 156-unit property.

Other recent additions to the membership group include the 100-room Best Western Mill River Manor in Rockville Centre, NY and the 143-unit Best Western Palwaukee Inn Hotel & Conference Center in Wheeling, IL

Cendant Hotel Group

Moscow-based Hermitage Hospitality Ltd. signed a master license agreement to franchise Days Inns properties in Russia and the other 14 countries of the former Soviet Union. The company plans to develop 45 Days properties in the next five years.

Choice Hotels International

Franchisee Jong Cho converted a former Days Inn in Centralia, WA to an Econo Lodge hotel. The property has 82 units.

Other recent openings include a 71-room Sleep Inn, Inn & Suites in Lexington, VA; a 66-room Quality Inn & Suites in Bellville, OH; a 130-room Quality Inn in Merriam, KS; Rodeway Inns in Jacksonville, FL and Ridgecrest, CA; a Clarion Hotel in Billings, MT; and The Golden Hotel, a Clarion Collection property in Golden, CO.

Hilton Hotels Corp.

John Q. Hammons will spend $3 million to renovate his 255-suite Embassy Suites Hotel in Lincoln, NE. The project, which will be complete in April, focuses on the lobby and bedding packages in the suites.

The Mian Cos. plans to build a 120-unit Homewood Suites in Camarillo/Oxnard, CA. The property will be adjacent to the company's 166-room Hilton Garden Inn that opens next month. It also owns beachfront property in Ventura, CA on which it plans to develop a Hilton Garden Inn.

InterContinenal Hotels Group

Following a $5.5-million renovation, a former Holiday Inn Select at the Phoenix airport reopened in late December as a Crowne Plaza. Lodgian, Inc. owns and manages the 299-room property.

The Kessler Collection

The remodeled Beaver Creek Lodge in Beaver Creek, CO reopened in mid-December. Owner Richard Kessler purchased the 72-suite luxury property last August. The Kessler Collection includes luxury and upscale properties in Florida, Colorado and Georgia.

Marriott International

The Howard Group recently broke ground on two properties — a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn — at Grand Boulevard, a $200-million mixed-use complex at the entrance of the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort in Sandestin, FL. The two properties, with a total of 294 guest units, open later this year.

Sun Hung Kai Properties will build Ritz-Carlton Hotels in Hong Kong and Shanghai. The Ritz in Hong Kong will occupy the upper 13 floors of a 100-story mixed-use tower, making it the tallest hotel in the world.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Following a $3-million renovation, a former Holiday Inn in West Des Moines, IA was rebranded as the Sheraton West Des Moines.

O&S Holdings LLC is developing the 200-room Westin Huntsville (AL). The hotel and conference center includes 40 residences on the top floors of the 12-story complex.

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