BRANDING BRIEFS

America's Best Franchising

ABF registered 14 new agreements and 15 newly opened hotels (1,012 rooms) in the first quarter. The company also approved five applications.

Best Western

Properties recently joining the membership organization include the 90-room Best Western Kelly Inn and Suites in Billings, MT.

Carlson Hotels

A new 82-room Country Inn & Suites by Carlson opened in March in Meridian, ID.

Extended Stay Hotels

HVM LLC, operator of Extended Stay Hotels, purchased a property in Findlay, OH. The hotel was formerly a Hawthorn Suites and will be re-flagged as an Extended Stay Deluxe.

Hilton Hotels

The 263-room Hilton Portorosa, Sicily, opened its doors as the second Hilton hotel in Sicily and the second Hilton resort in Italy.

The Waikiki (HI) Prince Kuhio became the Hilton Waikiki Prince Kuhio last month following the completion of a $65-million renovation. Stanford Hotels Corp operates the 601-room hotel.

The Hampton brand is on pace to open a record 140-plus hotels in 2007, surpassing its previous record of 127 openings, set in 1998.

Image Hospitality will develop and operate its second Hampton Inn & Suites in Waco, TX. The new hotel at Central Texas Marketplace will have 124 rooms.

The 179-room Hilton Garden Inn Seattle in Issaquah, WA opened last month. It is owned by Rowley Properties.

Crestline Hotels & Resorts was appointed by an affiliate of Presidential Hotel Investors as the management company for two new hotels under construction at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The 183-room Hilton Garden Inn and the 165-suite Homewood Suites Hotel are co-joined properties that are scheduled to open this summer.

Hilton Hotels Corp. signed with Mazrui Holding to open the Conrad Abu Dhabi, marking the luxury brand's opening into the U.A.E. capital. Due to open in late 2009, the hotel will become the Hilton's fourth property in Abu Dhabi.

Hospitality International

Hospitality International says two of its brands (Red Carpet Inn and Scottish Inns) won placement on the SBA Franchise Registry, a national online listing of franchise systems whose franchisees receive expedited loan processing when applying for financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Hyatt Hotels

The Hyatt Place Sterling/Dulles Airport-North (VA) recently opened. It features 134 guestrooms.

InterContinental Hotels

Vesta Hospitality is developing two properties in Glendale, AZ: a Staybridge Suites and a Holiday Inn Express & Suites with a total of 212 units. They are due to open in December.

The 91-room Hotel Indigo at the Alamo in San Antonio will open early 2008. The conversion property, owned by 1909 Ltd., will be managed by IHG's Americas operations division, The Hotel Management Group.

The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Wrightsville Beach, NC reopened following an extensive renovation that included its 184 guestrooms and public spaces.

Jumeirah Group

Jumeirah will manage a new seafront development on Palm Jumeirah, Dubai. The 213-unit luxury hotel, set to open in 2009, will be developed by Al Fattan Properties.

Mandarin Oriental

Related Cos. will manage the hotel component at the Grand Avenue development in downtown Los Angeles. The Mandarin Hotel property will occupy the first 20 floors of a 48-story tower designed by Frank Gehry. The 275-room hotel opens in summer 2010.

Marriott International

Interstate Hotels & Resorts opened the 150-room Ghent Marriott Hotel in Belgium. The newly constructed hotel is owned by Granit Korenlei, NV, a partnership between New York developer Harry Gross and Ghent developer Marc Wybraeke.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company will introduce a new resort brand, The Reserve, with the 2008 debut of Molasses Reef, a 125-room boutique hotel on the island of West Caicos in The Turks and Caicos Islands. The Reserve brand will feature signature, one-of-a-kind boutique resorts located in choice settings, each with a distinctive personality and sense of place, says the company.

A Fairfield Inn & Suites opened in late March in Temecula, CA. WRSJG owns and operates the 94-room property.

SBE Hotel Group

In early 2008, SBE Hotel Group will launch a new luxury hotel concept, SLS Hotels. The first SLS property will operate under management agreement with Starwood Hotels & Resorts. As part of the deal, the Le Meridien at Beverly Hills (CA) will undergo a complete transformation and emerge as SLS Los Angeles, part of The Luxury Collection, in early 2008.

Shangri-La Hotels

Shangri-La Hotels signed with Vancouver's Westbank and Peterson Group to manage the 220-room Shangri-La Hotel Toronto, opening in 2011.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

The 150-room aloft Mount Laurel (NJ) is slated to break ground this year. Grande Properties is the developer. Other aloft hotels are in development in Sydney, Australia; Bay Harbor Islands, FL; and India.

Les Trois Rocs will open the 142-room W Verbier Retreat, Switzerland in late 2009.

New York-based developer Moinian Group will operate the W New York-Downtown Hotel & Residences. The new-construction property will have 217 guestrooms and 222 residential units and opens in 2008.

The newly renovated Sheraton La Jolla (CA) Hotel opened last month. Formerly a Radisson, the 252-room hotel is owned and operated by Bartell Hotels.

Two new hotels opened in Shanghai: Sheraton Shanghai Hotel & Residences and Four Points by Sheraton Shanghai.

The Westin Beijing, Financial Street opened in late March.

Wyndham Hotel Group

The first Wyndham Hotel in China will open this year in Xiamen, Fujian Province. He Ping Li Hotel Company will manage the property.

Interstate Hotels and Resorts reflagged the Riverfront Hotel, New Orleans, as the Wyndham Riverfront New Orleans Hotel.

Super 8 Motel Barrie, Ontario, Canada opened recently. Superior Lodging Corp. is partner in the project.

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