BRANDING BRIEFS

Best Western International

The Best Western Sundowner Inn opened last month in Hot Springs, SD. The 51-room property was formerly a Comfort Inn.

Other recent additions to the brand include the Best Western Stateline Lodge in West Siloam Springs, OK; the Best Western University Inn in Berkeley, CA; the Best Western Eagle Ridge Inn & Suites in Pueblo, CO; the Best Western Trail Lodge Hotel & Suites in Eau Claire, WI; the Best Western University Inn in Murray, KY; and the Best Western Atlanta Six Flags in Austell, GA

Carlson Hotels Worldwide

Hospitality Properties Trust signed Carlson to manage 12 HPT properties currently operating as Prime Hotels. By July, four of the properties will convert to the Radisson brand, three to Park Plaza and five will become Country Inn & Suites by Carlson. Each property will undergo renovations costing between $1 million and $4 million.

Hospitality Management Corp. assumed management of the Radisson Hotel in Spartanburg, SC. The Tabani Group owns the 200-room property.

Cendant Hotel Group

The former Inn of Albert Lea (MN) recently converted to a full-service Ramada following an extensive renovation. HVS/American Hospitality Management Co. operates the 79-room property.

A 246-room Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel opened in March in Anchorage, AK. The former Holiday Inn is the brand's first property in the state.

Choice Hotels International

A groundbreaking ceremony was held in March for a new 72-unit Comfort Suites in Ripon, WI. Ripon Hotel Group in partnership with Royal Ridges of Ripon owns the property, while WHG Companies will operate it.

Jay Shah of Jai Khodiyar, Inc. is the new owner and operator of the 58-room Econo Lodge East in Albuquerque, NM.

Recent openings in the Choice system include the Quality Inn & Suites Fiesta Park Area in San Antonio; a Quality Inn near the San Antonio airport; a Sleep Inn, Inn & Suites in Wisconsin Rapids, WI; and the Rodeway Inn Swiss Holiday Resort in Eureka Springs, AR.

GuestHouse International

Franchisee Atul Kumar opened a 57-room GuestHouse International Hotel & Suites in Calexico, CA. Another franchisee, Magan Patel, recently opened a GuestHouse International Inn & Suites in Shreveport, LA.

Hilton Hotels Corp.

The Doubletree Alana Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu last month completed a $2.9-million renovation. All 313 guestrooms and suites in the property were refurbished.

The Hilton Hartford (CT) reopened in early March following an extensive $33-million renovation. Owners of the 392-room property are 315 Trumball Street Associates LLC, a partnership that includes the Waterford Group, Slavik, Inc., Albermarle Hotels Associates and Glenn A. Jette.

Two new Homewood Suites by Hilton opened in March: a 123-suite property in Audubon, PA near Philadelphia and a 95-suite hotel in Birmingham, AL.

Developer John Q. Hammons opened a $40-million Embassy Suites Hotel in Albuquerque. John Q. Hammons Hotels, Inc. manages the 261-suite property.

InterContinental Hotels Group

Staybridge Suites is headed to the United Kingdom. IHG recently signed agreements with two U.K. companies to manage properties they're developing. The first Staybridge properties to open in the country will be a 124-suite property in Brentford, London and a 113-unit hotel in South Bank, London.

Bern Hotels & Resorts plans to renovate its 150-room Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Panama City, Panama and rebrand it as a Crowne Plaza.

Recent Holiday Inn Express openings include an 80-room property in Omaha, NB and a 119-unit property in Springfield, MO.

Marriott International

The 281-room Ritz-Carlton Phoenix recently completed a $4.5-million guestroom refurbishing project. The upgrade included new bedding and artwork and upgraded bathrooms.

A new 616-room Marriott opened at the end of March near the Louisville, KY convention center. Kentucky Hotel Convention Partners LLC owns and White Lodging Services operates the 17-story property.

Atlific Hotels & Resorts is the operator of a new 137-unit Residence Inn that opened in March near the Toronto airport.

The city of Glendale, AZ signed an agreement with John Q. Hammons to build a privately financed 320-room Renaissance Hotel. Hammons and the city are also expected to partner on an adjacent 80,000-square-foot conference center. The hotel will open in late 2006.

Sage Hospitality won the management contract to operate the JW Marriott Denver at Cherry Creek. The 196-room property opened last June.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Brentwood Hotels announced plans to build two new hotels near the Baltimore-Washington Airport: a 203-room Sheraton and a 260-room Westin. LTD Management Co. will operate the properties.

A renovated Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort & Spa opened last month on Hawaii's Big Island. Owners Koa Hotel Ltd. and Kamehameha Schools spent $70 million on a two-year renovation of the 521-room resort.

Two new Four Points by Sheraton opened recently in Puerto Rico. The 107-room Four Points Palmas Del Mar Resort on the island's southeast coast opened in March, while the 126-unit Four Points Caguas Real Hotel and Suites has been operating since last November.

Mid-America Development Partners and Harp Group broke ground in March on the Westin North Shore Hotel in Wheeling, IL. The 441-room property opens in early 2007.

US Franchise Systems

The Hawthorn Suites in Franklin, MA was named Hotel of the Year by US Franchise Systems. Owner Daniel Wolf of KW Hotel Corp. and GM Katrina D'Argenis received the award during the chain's recent annual convention.

Value Place

Dallas-based Quanah Properties will build seven Value Place properties in Texas and California. Construction begins this summer on the first properties in Fort Worth, Grand Prairie and Duncanville, TX.

WestCoast Hospitality Corp.

A former Doubletree Hotel in Portland, OR is now the Red Lion Hotel on the River-Jantzen Beach. North Pacific Management operates the 318-room franchised property.

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