BRANDING BRIEFS

AmericInn International

Ray Mac Energy opened a 54-room AmericInn Lodge Suites in Borger, TX. The property is the flag's first unit in the state.

Best Western International

Recent additions to the membership group include the Best Western Monroe Inn & Suites in Williamstown, NJ; the Best Western Toronto Airport Carlingview in Ontario; the Best Western Peach Tree Inn in Fitzgerald, GA; the Best Western South Saint Paul (MN) Hotel and Conference Center; the Best Western Midwest City (OK) Inn and Suites; and the Best Western Plantation-Sawgrass (FL).

Crillon

Starwood Capital Group last month launched Crillon, a new international luxury hotel brand. Starting with its flagship property, the six-star Hotel de Crillon in Paris, the brand intends to add units in major gateway cities and resorts around the world. Former Starwood Hotels CEO Barry Sternlicht is chairman and CEO of Starwood Capital.

Carlson Hotels Worldwide

Carlson Hotels added 100 properties among its five brands in 2005. The system generated $6 billion in sales, up 18 percent from 2004. At the end of '05, the company had 992 hotels in 69 countries.

The first Park Plaza Hotel in China opened in early January. The 216-room Park Plaza Beijing is in the city's Wangfujing commercial and shopping district.

Tianjin Urban Construction Group will develop a Radisson Plaza Hotel in Tianjin, China. The 237-room property will open in July 2007.

Cendant Hotel Group

The former Toyo Hotel in Osaka, Japan reopened after a comprehensive renovation as the Ramada Osaka. A Morgan Stanley real estate fund owns the 548-room hotel, which its subsidiary Panorama Hospitality manages.

Extended Stay America

A 113-room Extended Stay America will be built in the San Francisco suburb of San Raphael, according to the owner of the land, Fred Grange. Construction will begin in the first half of 2006.

Hard Rock Hotels

Lifestar Hotels, a venture between Sol Melia and Hard Rock Café International, will open the first Hard Rock Hotel in Europe in Madrid. The 192-room property opens this spring.

Hilton Hotels Corp.

The former Hyatt Regency Houston Airport was re-flagged in November as a Doubletree. Florida-based Driftwood Hospitality Management owns and operates the 314-room property.

Other recent openings for the brand include the Doubletree Hotel Dearborn (MI), the Doubletree Beach Resort Tampa Bay/North Reddington Beach (FL), the Doubletree Hotel Atlanta Northwest-Marietta and the Doubletree Hotel Pittsburgh Airport.

A partnership between First Bristol Corp. and Old Bayside Partners bought a former 155-room Ramada Inn in Norwood, MA and will convert it to a 139-room Hampton Inn. Saunders Hotel Group will manage the property, which opens in June.

A Hilton Garden Inn opened in late January in Madison, MS. MMI Hotel Group owns and operates the 134-room property.

The RLJ Companies will develop a new Hilton Hotel in downtown Norfolk, VA. The project includes 240 hotel rooms, 50 residential condo units, a 500-vehicle parking garage and retail and meeting space. The project opens in 2008.

New Hiltons include the Hilton President in Kansas City, MO and the Hilton San Francisco Financial District. The 213-room Hilton President was created from a former hotel that's been closed for 25 years. The 549-room Hilton in San Francisco had previously been a Holiday Inn Select.

InterContinental Hotels Group

Crowne Plaza recently added two properties: a 310-room hotel in Mexico City and a 197-room property in Southbury, CT.

Hospitality Properties Trust will convert a former independent property in Baltimore to the InterContinental Harbor Court Baltimore. The mixed-use property, which opens this spring, includes 195 guestrooms, 175 residential condo units, an office building and a 530-space garage. InterContinental Hotels will manage.

A new 71-unit Candlewood Suites will open later this year near the air and cruise port terminals in Fort Lauderdale, FL. 84 Investments, Inc. is developing the property, which Luckey's Management will operate.

Jumeirah

Dubai-based Jumeirah opened its first U.S. property, the Jumeirah Essex House in New York City. The 515-room property is celebrating its 75th anniversary as a hotel.

La Quinta

The La Quinta Inn & Suites Stevenson Ranch will open in April in Santa Clarita, CA. Ocean Park Hotels, Inc. owns and operates the 112-unit property.

Marriott International

A former Wyndham in Pittsburgh is now the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott. Goldman Sachs Group owns and Interstate Hotels & Resorts operates the property.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Following a major renovation, a former independent hotel in Orlando will open this summer as the Sheraton Orlando North. A partnership between AMC Delaney Group and Paramount Hotel Group owns the 390-room property, which Paramount will manage.

The Westin Arlington Gateway opens March 1 in suburban Washington, DC. The JBG Companies owns and Westin Hotels operates the 336-room property.

Sheraton will manage two new-construction hotels in China: the 350-room Sheraton Zhongshan Hotel in Guangdong and the Sheraton Dameisha Resort in Shenzhen.

US Franchise Systems

Recent openings include a 56-room Microtel Inn & Suites in Bartlesville, OK and a 102-room Microtel Inn & Suites in Tunica, MS.

Partners Stu Platt and George Karadanis broke ground last month on a Microtel Inn & Suites near the Strip in Las Vegas. The 112-room property opens in October.

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