by Tom Isler | February 01, 2006

Durham, N.C.
Building Frenzy
In October 2005, city fathers met to discuss a $53 million expansion of the Durham Civic Center; the plan would add an adjacent hotel. The 98-room Four Points by Sheraton opens this March. The Rizzo Conference Center wraps up an $18 million expansion in April that will add 60 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space. Under construction is the 2,800-seat Durham Performing Arts Center, to open in March 2008.

New Acquisitions
The 584-room Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, and its sister property, the 998-room JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, are being acquired by CNL Hotels & Resorts. A $10 million capital improvement program for the Ritz-Carlton will include a new 14,100-square-foot ballroom to open this fall. The Renaissance Orlando Resort has completed a $6.5 million renovation of its 48,228 square feet of meeting space and outdoor pool area.

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CA, Santa Clara
In December, the Westin Santa Clara was rebranded the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara, and a $10 million renovation project commenced. Adjacent to the Santa Clara Convention Center, the hotel has 505 guest rooms and 60,000 square feet of meeting space.

MN, Minneapolis
The Sheraton Minneapolis Midtown Hotel, the first featuring the chain’s new design, opened last December with 136 guest rooms and five meeting rooms. The new Sheratons are full-service and upscale, with residential-style guest rooms and bathrooms.

NV, Las Vegas
Half of the 1,350 guest rooms at the South Coast Hotel and Casino opened in December. The rest, plus a spa and fitness center and an event area, will be added this summer. The hotel has 150,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space, including an 80,000-square-foot exhibit hall.

NM, Albuquerque
The Sandia Resort & Casino finished a $122 million renovation and expansion that included the construction of a 228-room hotel and 35,000 square feet of meeting space. Sandia now offers 10 meeting rooms plus a 27,000-square-foot ballroom. The expansion also added the 12,000-square-foot Green Reed Spa.

PA, Coraopolis
The Wyndham Pittsburgh Airport has been redubbed the Pittsburgh Airport Marriott and will undergo a $10 million renovation beginning this month. The 316-room hotel, with 12,000 square feet of meeting space, will update all guest rooms, public spaces and more.

Hilton Washington Dulles Airport

Fortified. The Hilton Washington Dulles Airport in Herndon, Va., finished a $40 million, 18-month renovation and expansion project, which added 155 new guest rooms and 12,000 square feet of meeting space, bringing the hotel’s totals to 449 rooms and 40,000 square feet. The conference center can be secured for top-secret meetings and can host groups of up to 1,000. (703) 478-2900;

TN, Memphis
A three-year, multimillion-dollar renovation is complete at the 464-room Peabody Memphis. Work included the overhaul of all guest rooms and meeting rooms, as well as expansions of the exhibit hall and the grand ballroom. The property offers 80,000 square feet of meeting space.

TX, Dallas
In January, Hilton Hotels Corp. assumed management of the 1,610-room Wyndham Anatole Hotel and reflagged it the Hilton Anatole Hotel. The property has 341,000-plus square feet of meeting space, including a 1,000-seat auditorium, six ballrooms and 76 meeting rooms.

TX, San Antonio
A $5 million renovation is  complete at the Marriott Plaza San Antonio. Work included a redesign of all 251 guest rooms and suites as well as the hotel’s public spaces and restaurant. The hotel has 14 meeting rooms totaling 16,000 square feet.