BRANDING BRIEFS

Accor North America

Accor is looking for a long-term partner to help it expand the Sofitel brand in North America. The company plans to sell six of its 11 Sofitels in North America and maintain an interest in them as part of joint-venture relationships. The remaining properties will retain their current ownership and management structures.

Best Western International

Properties recently joining the membership group include the Best Western Scenic Hill Resort in Beulah, MI; the Best Western Salmon Arm Inn in Salmon Arm, BC, Canada; the Best Western Smithfield (NC) Inn; the Best Western Shelbyville (IN) Inn; the Best Western Quanah (TX) Inn and Suites; the Best Western Park Inn in Saratoga Springs, NY; the Best Western Aquarium Inn in Jenks, OK; and the Best Western Yellowstone Crossing in Laurel, MT.

Cendant Hotel Group

The third new-construction Days Inn in Canada this year opened recently in Oromocto, NB. The Oromocto First Nations tribe owns the 81-room property.

Desires Hotels

Desires, the boutique division of Tecton Hospitality, signed a contract to manage the Astor Hotel in Miami Beach. The 40-room Art Deco hotel is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Hilton Hotels Corp.

Following a $12-million renovation a former Ramada Plaza Suites has become the Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh City Center. The Elmhurst Group owns and Prospera Hospitality Services manages the 316-room hotel.

In another conversion, a former Wyndham Garden Hotel in suburban Milwaukee has become the Doubletree Hotel Milwaukee/Brookfield. CH Realty II/Brookfield Hotel Operating LLC owns the 177-room property, which Aimbridge Hospitality manages.

Beechwood Development and Paine Field Hotel Development recently opened a 102-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Seattle suburb of Everett.

In September, the Hampton Inn & Suites sub-brand celebrated its 10th anniversary. Currently, there are 210 Inn & Suites properties within the 1,300-unit Hampton brand.

InterContinental Hotels Group

A new-construction, next-generation Holiday Inn hotel opened in September in the Savannah, GA suburb of Pooler. Pooler Laxmi, Inc. owns and Images Hotels manages the 102-room property.

Recent Holiday Inn Express openings include the first one in New York City (in Midtown Manhattan) and an 81-unit Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites in Pleasant Prairie, WI.

Continental Development Corp. plans to build a 32-story, 550-room InterContinental Hotel near the Moscone Convention Center in San Francisco. Recent overseas openings of InterContinental Hotels include a 300-room resort on the Pacific coast of Panama and a 287-room center-city property in Dusseldorf, Germany.

Hospitality Management Association broke ground in September on a new Candlewood Suites property in O'Fallon, IL. The hotel opens next spring.

La Quinta Corp.

Marshall Management, Inc. signed a contract to manage a 76-room La Quinta Inn & Suites in the Albany, NY suburb of Latham.

Grace Hotels opened an 87-room Baymont Inn & Suites in Las Vegas. The property is the 100th Baymont-branded franchise property and the chain's first unit in Las Vegas.

Marriott International

U.S. private equity firm Capital Partners FZ LLC will build two new Marriott properties at its RiverWalk mixed-used development in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The new hotels, which will open in 2008, are a 300-room Courtyard by Marriott and a 120-unit Marriott Executive Apartments.

Alticor, parent company of Amway Corp., will build a JW Marriott Hotel in Grand Rapids, MI. The 24-story, 340-room property will open in late 2007. Amway Hotel Corp. will manage the hotel.

Kansas-based True North Hotel Group will develop a 114-unit Residence Inn in Yonkers, NY. The property will open in late 2006.

Shaner Hotel Group will build a Fairfield Inn in Augusta, GA next to a Holiday Inn it owns and operates. The 80-room property will open late next year.

Preferred Hotel Group

The membership group added four hotels in the Asia-Pacific region: Azur in Queenstown, New Zealand; The Imperial Palace in Seoul, Korea; The Shila in Seoul; and The Fullerton in Singapore.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Suns Legacy Hotel Investors will build a W Hotel in downtown Phoenix next to the America West Arena. The property, which will open in 2008, will include 190 hotel rooms, 170 W Residences, a signature restaurant and bar and a 10,000-square-foot Bliss Spa and fitness area.

A late-September groundbreaking marked the beginning of construction on The Westin Lombard, Yorktown Center in suburban Chicago. Mid-America Hotel Partners is developer of the 18-story, 500-room hotel and conference center.

Flagstone Property Group will develop a 350-room Westin hotel on Miami's Watson Island. The property, which opens in 2008, is part of the $480-million mixed-use Island Gardens project.

A former Radisson in Myrtle Beach, SC recently converted to the Sheraton Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Interstate Hotels & Resorts operates the 402-room property.

Western Hotel Properties plans to spend $32 million to renovate a former independent hotel to the Sheraton Park Hotel at the Anaheim (CA) Resort. The 490-room property is next to the Anaheim Convention Center and one block from Disneyland.

The 145-room Sheraton Salta, the eighth Starwood property in Argentina, opened early last month. Grupo 1818 and Ideurban Consultores announced plans to build the first St. Regis Hotel in Latin America. The St. Regis Mexico City will have 189 hotel rooms and 100 private residences.

The Four Points by Sheraton Plainview, the brand's first hotel on Long Island, New York, opened in late September.

333 South Service Road LLC owns the 103-room hotel.

Value Place

Columbia, SC-based CC Development Group will develop three Value Place properties in the Columbia area. Construction will begin before the end of the year on the first hotel, a 121-unit property in Elgin, SC.

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