BRANDING BRIEFS

Americas Best Value Inn

The brand added more than 25 new properties with nearly 1,800 rooms since the beginning of the year. Some of the new locations include Riverside, AL; Carlisle, AR; Tahoe City, CA; Westley, CA; Montrose, CO; Cairo, GA; Mount Vernon, IL; Great Bend, KS; Leavenworth, KS; Bardstown, KY; Sulphur, LA; and Romulus, MI.

AmericInn

A 60-room AmericInn Lodge & Suites opened last month in Jonesborough, TN. Blue Sky Hospitality owns and Three Rivers Hospitality manages the property.

Best Western International

New additions to the membership group include the Best Western Victoria (TX) Inn and Suites; the Best Western Berlin (NJ) Inn; the Best Western Chincoteague Island (VA); the Best Western Antelope Inn in Red Bluff, CA; the Best Western All Star Inn and Suites in Chatsworth, CA; the Best Western Westlock (AB); and the Best Western Van Buren (AR) Inn.

Budget Host

The Texas-based referral group added five affiliates, including conversion properties in Texarkana, TX; Stroudsburg, PA; North Branch, MN; and Eureka Springs, AR. In addition, a new-construction Budget Host Inn & Suites is planned for a central Texas location.

Carlson Companies

Carlson has merged its two luxury brands — Regent Hotels and Radisson Seven Seas Cruises — under the Regent umbrella. The cruise line is now known as Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

Choice Hotels International

Developer Vitorrio De Stefano last month opened the Clarion International on the Caribbean island of Curacao. Universal Hotels & Resorts manages the 200-room property, which is Choice's seventh in the Caribbean region.

Hilton Hotels Corp.

Following a $10.5-million renovation, a former Radisson reopened last month as the Hilton Fort Worth (TX). New Fort Tower I Hotel LP owns and Ashford TRS operates the 294-room property.

A joint venture between Hilton, Apollo Real Estate Advisors and Rida Development Corp. will build a 1,400-room Hilton at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. The 18-story property will open in 2009.

Hilton recently assumed management of the Anatole Hotel in Dallas. Owned by Crow Holdings, the former Wyndham property will receive a $30-million renovation over the next two years.

Between 90 and 100 Hampton-branded properties will open this year. About 80 percent of the additions to the flag will be Hampton Inn & Suites properties. The chain's 1,400th hotel will open during the fourth quarter.

Marshall Management recently opened two new-construction Hampton properties in Virginia: a 121-unit Hampton Inn & Suites in Fredericksburg and a 72-room Hampton Inn in Farmville.

A new Hilton Garden Inn opened last month in West Des Moines, IA. Fred Thurman owns and Great Plains Lodging operates the 131-room property.

The 241-room Conrad Indianapolis opened in late March. The property is the brand's fourth in the U.S. and the first to be constructed from the ground up.

InterContinental Hotels & Resorts

Hospitality Development Group plans to develop Palazzo del Lago, an $800-million destination resort near the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando. Centerpiece of the resort will be the InterContinental Resort & Residences Orlando, a 1,260-unit hotel and condo hotel.

Dallas-based Hospitality Management Corp. took over management of the 84-room Holiday Inn Express Austin-North in Pflugerville, TX.

Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

The Hotel Palomar Dallas will open in August in the Park Cities neighborhood of Dallas. The former Mockingbird Hilton is undergoing a $90-million renovation of all 185 guest-rooms and the addition of a spa and chef-driven restaurant. Realty America Group and Behringer Harvard are the developers, and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants will operate the property.

Loews Hotels

The Buccini/Pollin Group and PMHS chose Loews Hotels to operate The Madison, a landmark Washington, DC hotel. The property will be called The Madison, A Loews Hotel.

Marriott International

The former Park Hotel in Charlotte is now the Charlotte Marriott SouthPark. A unit of JWM Family Enterprises recently purchased the 192-room property.

New Courtyards by Marriott opened last month in Panama City, FL and Washington, DC.

The Ritz-Carlton, Sanya, the brand's first resort in China, will open in 2008 along the South China Sea in Hainan Province. The property will have 451 rooms, suites and villas and a 30,000-square-foot spa.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

The Westin St. Paul Hotel & Residences will be centerpiece of a mixed-use development project along the Mississippi River in St. Paul, MN. The lodging property will have 250 guestrooms and 82 residences. JLT Group is developer and owner, while Wischermann Partners will manage.

The Carlyle Group and Davidson Hotel Co. will convert the Colonnade Hotel in Coral Gables, FL to a Westin. The 157-room hotel was built in 1926.

Starwood will manage a 558-room Westin hotel in the Chaoyang district of Beijing, China. The property, which opens in 2008, will be the sixth Westin in mainland China and the second in Beijing.

The Cocoa Beach Surf Co. last month opened a 75-room Four Points by Sheraton in Cocoa Beach, FL.

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.

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.

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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