BRANDING BRIEFS

Best Western International

The membership organization recently added the following properties: the 85-room Best Western Regency Inn in Franklin, OH; the 92-room Best Western Kent Narrows Inn in Grasonville, MD; the 63-suite Best Western Friday Harbor Suites in San Juan Island, WA; the 107-unit Best Western Pasco Inn & Suites in Pasco, WA; and the 44-room Best Western Oak Tree Inn in Macon, MS.

Carlson Hotels Worldwide

Country Inns & Suites by Carlson has become the newest sponsor of radio legend Paul Harvey's daily broadcasts on the ABC Radio network, covering 1,200 stations. The partnership runs through the end of the year.

Choice Hotels International

Next month, the Comfort Inn & Suites in Bellville, OH will open the 6,000-square-foot Splash Harbor indoor water park. In addition to a variety of water features, the facility will include a family gameroom.

New Choice openings include a 58-room Comfort Inn & Suites in Lancaster, CA; a 105-room Quality Inn Hotel in Nashville; and a 136-room Rodeway Inn in Hot Springs, AR.

Hilton Hotels Corp.

The Hampton brand opened its 1,300th property last month, a 228-room Hampton Inn in Washington, DC that's owned by affiliates of The JBG Companies. A few days later, Hampton opened its 1,301st hotel, a small-town prototype property in Americus, GA. Bran Hospitality owns that hotel.

Two nearby Hilton properties opened last month in Dulles, VA. The Buccini/Pollin Group opened a 90-suite Homewood Suites by Hilton and a 150-suite Embassy Suites Hotel. Hospitality Strategies, Inc. manages both properties.

A new Hilton Garden Inn opened in late March near Midway Airport in Chicago. Weglarz Co. owns and White Lodging Services manages the 174-unit property.

InterContinental Hotels Group

IHG recently added two conversion properties to its Holiday Inn system. A 101-room former Wingate Inn became the Holiday Inn, Addison, TX, while the former Huntsville (AL) Hilton became a Holiday Inn Select following a $3-million renovation.

Marriott International

Marriott ExecuStay, the company's corporate housing division, signed a franchise agreement with Suite Living, Inc. to operate Marriott ExecuStay properties in Tennessee cities Nashville, Memphis and Knoxville, and Mobile, AL.

The New York City-based Luxury Institute ranked the Ritz-Carlton Hotel chain as the top hotel brand in its Luxury Brand Status Index and among the top 10 luxury brands in all categories.

Le Meridien

A new Le Meridien resort opens in May in Sunny Isles Beach, FL. The 26-story property will feature 126 one-bedroom suites, 80 two-bedroom units and four penthouses with Jacuzzis and private rooftop terraces.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

Horizon Hospitality redeveloped a former Ramada Inn and converted it to a 196-room Four Points by Sheraton at the Birmingham, AL airport. The previous hotel was closed two years and underwent a $4-million renovation to become a Four Points. HP Hotels manages the property.

Rim Hospitality was awarded the management contract for the 489-room Sheraton Anaheim (CA). Ken Real Estate Lease, a Japanese real estate company, recently purchased the property.

The Related Group of Florida and Starwood formed a joint venture to develop a new St. Regis Resort & Residences in Bal Harbour, FL. The property will be built on the site of the existing Sheraton Bal Harbour, which will close in mid-2006. Lucien Lagrange Architects will design the project.

Nanjing International Group signed Starwood to manage its Westin Nanjing in China. The 300-room property opens in early 2009.

Suburban Franchise Systems

The Generation Cos. recently opened a 107-unit Suburban Extended Stay Hotel in Wilmington, NC. The property was formerly a HomeStay Inn.

US Franchise Systems

The Hawthorn Suites in Franklin, MA was named Hotel of the Year by US Franchise Systems. Owner Daniel Wolf of KW Hotel Corp. and GM Katrina D'Argenis received the award during the chain's recent annual convention.

WestCoast Hospitality Corp.

A former Doubletree Hotel in Portland, OR is now the Red Lion Hotel on the River-Jantzen Beach. North Pacific Management operates the 318-room franchised property.

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