BRANDING BRIEFS

America's Best Franchising

ABF signed an agreement with KI Group, Inc. to bring the Country Hearth hotel brand to India. The agreement calls for the development of at least 20 hotels throughout India, with an option to further develop the brand in other Asian Pacific markets. The hotels will be primarily new construction and developed in India's primary and secondary cities, such as Calcutta, Chennai, Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Pune.

Best Western

Properties recently joining the membership organization include the Best Western Coyote Point Inn, San Mateo, CA; Best Western South City Plaza Hotel, Grenada, West Indies; and Best Western Granite Inn, Nashua, NH.

Carlson Companies

Regent Hotels & Resorts opened The Regent Beijing, China, last month. It opened its first U.S. hotel, The Regent South Beach, Fl, last December. Developments in the Americas will continue in 2007 with the opening of The Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos; The Regent Bal Harbour, FL; and The Regent Boston Hotel at Battery Wharf.

Radisson Edwardian Hotels will open a new four-star deluxe property in Coventry, England, in May 2009.

The Rezidor Hotel Group plans to open The Al Diyafa Radisson Hotel, Makkah, Saudi Arabia in 2010. It also plans to open a Radisson hotel at Hamburg Airport, Germany in July 2009 and signed agreements for two new Park Inn hotels to open in Stockholm, Sweden and Leigh, Great Britain.

Choice Hotels

Sunburst Hospitality opened the Arlington (VA) Residence Court, an upscale extended-stay all-suite hotel in the Clarion Collection.

Gaylord Entertainment

A proposed $400-million expansion of the Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center, Nashville, TN, will add more than 400,000 square feet of convention and meeting space and a 400-room, luxury all-suite hotel adjacent to its current facility. It's slated for completion in 2010.

Hilton Hotels

The Hilton Warsaw Hotel and Convention Centre opens this month in Poland, while the Hilton Hefei opened last month in the Anhui Province of China.

Marcus Hotels and Resorts will manage the Hilton Hotel, Bloomington, MN, scheduled to open next January.

Hilton Hotels will manage the Hilton Aqaba, due to open in Jordan in 2010. Beginning in December, Hilton will manage a 202-room property in Guanacaste and a 410-room property in Puntarenas, the first Hilton- and Doubletree-branded resorts in Costa Rica.

Hampton Hotels openings in January include properties in Belle Vernon, PA; Chicago; Nanuet, NY; Statesville, NC; Ft. Myers/Estero, FL; Greenfield, MA; and Jackson, TN.

Embassy Suites Hotels approved its first property in Mississippi, the Embassy Suites Hotel Jackson/Ridgeland. It's due to open in the summer of 2008.

InterContinental Hotels

The InterContinental Moscow will open in 2010. Rossiyskiy Kredit Bank is developing and IHG will manage the 205-room property.

Key West Inns

Key West Inns announces its first conversion hotel, located in Southaven, MS, and the construction of a new Key West Inn & Suites in Rome, GA.

KSL Resorts

KSL Resorts added The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA and Barton Creek Resort & Spa in Austin, TX to its management portfolio. KSL Resorts was awarded the management contracts for the two resorts by ClubCorp, Inc. following the acquisition of ClubCorp by KSL Capital Partners last December.

Marriott International

The Carambola Beach Resort, St. Croix, U.S.V.I. will be rebranded as a Renaissance Resort this summer.

Recent openings include Courtyards by Marriott in Dayton, OH and Lake Placid, NY.

Residence Inns recently opened in Spartanburg, SC and Grand Junction, CO, while the Residence Inn Treasure Island, FL is slated to open this summer.

Preferred Hotels & Resorts

The Hotel Majestic, Barcelona, Spain, joined the membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts.

Lajitas (TX), The Ultimate Hideout, was recently inducted into the Preferred Boutique Collection.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Gatehouse Capital Corp. recently broke ground on the $600-million W Hollywood Hotel and Residences, slated for completion in 2009.

Beijing Yongtai Hotel Management will develop an aloft hotel in Beijing, China. The 200-room hotel is due to open in 2009.

Marcus Hotels and Resorts will manage the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis. The hotel will undergo a multi-million-dollar renovation beginning later this year.

The Istanbul Princess Hotel, Turkey, will re-open as the Sheraton Istanbul Maslak in mid-year, following an extensive renovation.

The Brigade Group will manage the new-build Sheraton Bangalore Hotel, India, which is expected to open in April 2009.

St. Regis Hotels & Resorts will make its debut in the Middle East with the new St. Regis Doha, slated to open in early 2010.

Vantage Hospitality

The Lexington Collection added three new Texas properties to its portfolio. Developers Mark and Miguel Guerra, owners of HDG Custom Builders, plan to open luxury properties in Victoria, Edna and Port O'Connor by the fourth quarter.

Wyndham Hotel Group

Wyndham Hotel Management signed an agreement with Glenview Hotel Partners LLC to manage the 253-room Wyndham Glenview (IL) Suites hotel.

Wyndham Hotel Group signed an agreement with Royal Orchid Hotels Ltd. of Bangalore, India, to develop 10 Ramada hotels in the Indian states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtr, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

WHG and its joint-venture partner, Corinthia Hotels International, announced plans by Istithmar Hotels of Dubai to invest 178 million Euros in Corinthia's principal owner, International Hotel Investments, to acquire and build upscale hotels in Europe and globally.

Super 8 Hotels (China) Co. Ltd. now has 110 properties either open or signed in 58 cities across China, of which 32 are open and operating.

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