TRENDS AND NEWS FROM THE CHAINS

AmericInn

The 63-unit AmericInn Lodge & Suites is scheduled to break ground this summer in Princeton, IL with an expected opening in early 2008.

A 57-room AmericInn Lodge & Suites opened recently in Fort Dodge, IA.

Best Western

Properties recently joining the membership organization include the Best Western Historic Frederick (MD); Best Western Spartanburg Inn (SC); Best Western Diamond Inn, Three Hills, Alberta, Canada; Best Western Orangeville Inn and Suites, Orangeville, Ontario, Canada; and the Best Western Allentown (PA) Inn and Suites Business Center.

The Best Western Seaport Inn Downtown in Manhattan's (NY) South Street Seaport is now smoke-free.

Carlson Hotels

Carlson Hotels Worldwide added nine new properties recently. The new hotels include two Radisson SAS properties in Kazakhstan and Norway; two Radisson Hotels & Resorts properties in California and Arizona; a new spa hotel in Chile developed by Radisson Hotels Latin America; two Park Inn hotels in Michigan and Russia; and two Park Plaza Hotels & Resorts in India and China.

Hansji Hotels transformed the former Sunshine Hotel & Suites into the Radisson Phoenix (AZ) City Center. It opened last month.

Regent Hotels & Resorts made its Caribbean debut reflagging The Palms Turks & Caicos. The resort has 72 luxury guestrooms and suites.

Choice Hotels

All 433 domestic Comfort Suites-branded hotels are going smoke-free May 1. The smoking ban includes guest units and public spaces.

Choice announced that in 2006 domestic hotel franchise agreements with minority and first-time hotel franchisees increased 25 percent over the previous year, with Choice's emerging markets team adding 35 new franchisees in 2006.

Hyatt Hotels

The 121-room Hyatt Place Louisville-East (KY) opened last month, as did Hyatt Place Atlanta/Alpharetta/Windward Parkway (GA) with 127 rooms and Hyatt Place Atlanta/Cobb Galleria with 123 rooms.

Hilton Hotels

Richfield Hospitality added the Doubletree Hotel, Charlottesville, VA to its portfolio. Richfield and a group of investors, including Long and Cox Properties, Inc., acquired the 235-room hotel. The 179-room Doubletree Hotel Augusta (GA) opened last month following a $7-million renovation.

The former International Hotel, El Paso, TX is being redeveloped as a Doubletree Hotel. The 200-room property, operated by Hotel Don Quixote Ltd. and managed by Richfield Hospitality, Inc. is slated to open in spring 2009 following renovation.

The Hilton Maldives Resort and Spa will be rebranded as a Conrad, effective in December.

Hilton Garden Inns opened recently in Fort Washington, PA and Columbus, OH.

John Q. Hammons broke ground last month on the 280-suite Embassy Suites Hotel Fairview (TX) and adjoining 80,000-square-foot convention center. Opening is slated for January 2009.

The North Central Group is building a 149-room Hampton Inn & Suites at Westgate City Center in Glendale, AZ, with completion scheduled for December.

InterContinental Hotels

Hostmark Hospitality Group has assumed management of the 350-room Crowne Plaza Hartford (CT). Choa Vision, LLC owns the property.

The largest new-build Crowne Plaza in the U.S., with 300 rooms and suites. is due to open early 2009. The Crowne Plaza at Grand Isle Resort, MD, will be part of a $350-million resort complex attached to a 90,000-square-foot conference center.

IHG claims the world's largest hotel pipeline development with nearly 158,000 rooms, led by the Americas region. At the center of the growth was 380 new license agreements signed for the Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands.

The first Hotel Indigo in he northeastern U.S. will open in April 2008. The 102-room hotel, owned by Silicon Group, is located in Rahway, NJ.

The 153-room Holiday Inn, Denton, TX opened last month.

Marriott International

The Briad Group opened a new 100-unit Residence Inn by Marriott in Neptune (NJ) at Gateway Centre.

The 84-suite Residence Inn by Marriott, Salisbury, MD opened recently. It's owned and managed by Pinnacle Hotel Management.

The 151-room Residence Inn by Marriott Oklahoma City (OK) Downtown/Bricktown opened in March. It's owned by John Q. Hammons and operated by John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts.

A 145-room Courtyard by Marriott opened in Meridian, ID as did the 240-room Courtyard by Marriott Denver (CO) Cherry Creek.

CSM Lodging is rebranding The Depot, Minneapolis, MN, from a Courtyard by Marriott to The Depot, a Renaissance Hotel by Marriott. Remodeling should be completed by this fall.

Hotel Equities re-opened the SpringHill Suites by Marriott-Kennesaw, Atlanta, GA, following an extensive renovation.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts

The Westin Beijing, Financial Street, China opened last month. It features two 26-floor towers: one housing 486 hotel rooms and suites and the other with 205 residences.

Sheraton added two new hotels in Japan: the 492-room Sheraton Miyako Hotel Tokyo and the 575-room Sheraton Miyako Hotel Osaka.

Lazer Lodging Asset Management is now asset manager for the 205-room Sheraton College Park Hotel, Beltsville, MD.

US Franchise Systems

New Castle Hotels & Resorts acquired the 100-unit Hawthorn Suites in suburban Boston.

Wyndham Hotel Group

Puerto Rico's 600-room Rio Mar Resort, currently a Westin, will be reflagged next month as the Wyndham Rio Mar — a Wyndham Grand Resort.

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