BRANDING BRIEFS

Affinia Hotels

Denihan Hospitality Group opened the Affinia Chicago in late April. The former Fitzpatrick Chicago is DHG's first Affinia outside of Manhattan.

Americas Best Value Inn

Among 25 new hotels added to the system since the first of the year are properties in Quincy, IL; Starkville, MS; Crete, NE; Fremont, NE; Rockingham, NC; Nashville, TN; Amarillo, TX; Cleveland, TX; Denton, TX; Monahans, TX; Virginia Beach, VA; and two in Houston.

Best Western International

Properties joining the membership group include the Best Western Clovis (NM) Inn and Suites; the Best Western Culpepper (VA) Inn; and the Best Western Martinsville (IN) Inn.

Carlson Hotels

Allegiance Hospitality Corp. recently completed a $12-million renovation of two former Holiday Inns in Fort Worth, TX and converted them to the Radisson brand. Prism Hotels manages the properties, which each has 247 rooms.

Cendant Hotel Group

In early April, Cendant completed its acquisition of the Baymont Inn & Suites brand and franchise system from The Blackstone Group. The franchise system includes 115 properties. Cendant executive Keith Pierce will lead the brand.

Extended Stay Hotels

HVM LLC recently purchased three former Aspen Suites Hotels in Alaska and reflagged them as Extended Stay Deluxe properties. The properties, located in Juneau, Fairbanks and Anchorage, will be retrofitted with full kitchens.

Global Hyatt

The 48-year-old Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Country Club on the north shore of Puerto Rico will close at the end of May. Hyatt has managed the property since 1985.

Harrah's Entertainment

The hurricane-damaged Grand Casino Biloxi will reopen this summer following an extensive rebuilding and renovation project. The reborn facility will include a 500-room hotel, 300-seat buffet, steakhouse, pool, spa and casino.

Hilton Hotels Corp.

BCM Seaport LLC opened a 65-room Hampton Inn in the Seaport/Financial area of Manhattan. Hersha Hospitality Management operates the property.

Tecton Hospitality recently completed a $2.5-million renovation of its Hampton Inn in Morehead City, NC.

New Homewood Suites by Hilton properties opened in the past two months in Albany, NY and Chesapeake, VA. Each property is the brand's sixth Homewood hotel in its state.

The Doubletree Guest Suites Anaheim Resort/ Convention Center opened last month in southern California. Orangewood LLC owns and operates the 252-room property.

The Hilton Garden Inn that opens this month in Portsmouth, NH is the city's only hotel and the state's first major brand property to be 100-percent smoke-free. Olympia Hotel Management operates the 131-room property.

Shanghai Li Xing Hotel Co. will open a 362-room Conrad Shanghai in 2008. The property will be the third Conrad in China, with others in Beijing and Hong Kong.

InterContinental Hotels Group

New Crowne Plaza Hotels opened recently in Fredericton, NB, Canada; St. Paul, MN; Jacksonville, FL; and Fairfield, NJ.

The first Crowne Plaza Hotel in Russia will open in 2007 at the World Trade Centre in Moscow. The existing 572-room property will undergo extensive renovations to bring it to Crowne Plaza standards.

Dallas-based Hospitality Management Corp. signed a management contract to operate a Holiday Inn Express in Salado, TX, The 80-room property opens in August.

Franchisee Tushar Patel opened a 65-room Holiday Inn Express in Portales, NM.

The InterContinental Resort Taba Heights opened last month in a new destination resort area on the Red Sea in Egypt. The property has 503 rooms.

Marriott International

New full-service Marriott properties include the 352-room Halifax (NS, Canada) Marriott Harbourfront, the 312-room Atlanta Marriott Downtown and the 353-unit The Buttes, A Marriott Resort in Tempe, AZ.

Developer Charlie Biederman and partners will spend more than $75 million to convert an Embassy Suites Hotel in downtown Denver into the city's first Ritz-Carlton. The project will include 23 private Ritz-Carlton Residences on top of a 202-room Ritz-Carlton Hotel.

Prism Development Co. will build a 40-story Ritz-Carlton-managed residential tower on the Magnificent Mile in Chicago. The property will have 86 Ritz-Carlton Residences as well as parking, offices and retail space. The property opens in 2008.

Following a $112-million renovation, Sage Hospitality Resources will convert the Blackstone Hotel in Chicago into a 330-room Renaissance Hotel. The project will be complete in late-2007.

Developer John Q. Hammons will build a 10-story Renaissance Hotel in Colorado Springs, CO. The 320-room property will open in 2009.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Construction started in March on the 1,000-room Sheraton Phoenix Downtown near the city's convention center. The publicly-financed, $350-million property opens in late 2008.

Richfield Hospitality has assumed management of the Hotel Pontchartrain in Detroit. A $12-million renovation of the property is nearing completion, at which time it will become a Sheraton.

Columbia Sussex Corp. plans to renovate and convert its 707-room Wyndham Hotel at Baltimore's Inner Harbor into the Sheraton City Center. Renovations begin in August.

Following a $15-million renovation, a former Sheraton on the island of Fiji is now The Westin Denarau Island Resort & Spa. The 271-room property is Westin's first in the South Pacific.

Starwood re-signed a long-term management contract with Kyo-ya Co., Ltd. to manage six Sheratons. The portfolio includes four properties in Waikiki, Honolulu as well as the Sheraton Maui and the Palace Hotel in San Francisco.

Vatika Hospitality Private Limited is developing two Westins in India. The 300-room Westin Bangalore opens in 2009, while the 100-unit Westin Sohna Resort debuts this December.

The Procaccianti Group has reflagged its Harvey Hotel at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport as a Westin. The 506-room property recently received a $25-million renovation.

US Franchise Systems

The Microtel brand has a development backlog of 156 executed agreements and 98 applications on file. Twenty properties, representing 1,398 rooms, are under construction.

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