Meetings & Conventions: Newsline
Int’l. Chains Eye U.S.
Sofitel in Chicago
verseas hotel chains are
steadily increasing their presence in the United States, targeting
international travelers and meetings business in a number of major
In June, Sofitel, the luxury division of Paris-based Accor, will
add two new hotels to its U.S. portfolio: the 415-room Sofitel
Water Tower in Chicago and the 237-room Sofitel Lafayette Square in
Washington, D.C. Last year, the brand opened properties in New York
City and Philadelphia.
The chain has purchased land in Dallas and San Francisco and is
looking to build in New Orleans and Boston.
In April 2001, Singapore-based Raffles International Hotels
& Resorts snapped up Swissôtel and its five properties in the
United States. “We want to grow the Swissôtel brand in North
America, and also Raffles, which is not as well known as it is in
Asia and Europe,” said Jennie Chua, president and CEO of
Bermuda-based Mandarin Oriental Hotels plans to open in New York
City and Washington, D.C., in 2003 and 2004, respectively. The
chain also would like to be in Chicago and Los Angeles, said
Wolfgang Hultner, CEO.
Last month, London-based Le Méridien announced plans to build
its first U.S. Art + Tech property in Minneapolis. “It will
introduce the United States to a dramatically different hotel
product,” said Jurgen Bartels, Le Méridien’s CEO.
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