April 09, 2008

The 231-room Hilton Bella Harbor on Lake Ray Hubbard in Rockwall, Texas, opened yesterday (tues.). The property, northeast of Dallas, offers a 5,000-square-foot spa and 25,000 square feet of meeting space. Lake cruises are available on the 40-foot catamaran, the SeaWolf.

According to several sources, the high-end Tamarack Resort in Tamarack, Idaho, is on the verge of foreclosure. Boise's Idaho Statesman reports that Credit Suisse is seeking the return of $250 million it loaned to the developers. While the bank has asked the court for a month-long delay in the foreclosure proceedings to fully assemble its case, Tamarack CEO Jean Pierre Boespflug told the newspaper he wants to restructure (two holding companies for the resort have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy). The resort itself still is open, including the 41-unit Lodge at Osprey Meadows; 140 units scattered in condominiums, estate homes, town homes, cottages and chalets; the 10,000-square-foot Arling Center conference facility; the Tamarack ski mountain, and the Osprey Meadows golf course. Construction on a resort village has been placed on hold. The planned Fairmont Tamarack is not part of the court cases; ground still is expected to be broken in the fall on the 305-room hotel-condominium property.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is building a new property in Vail, Colo. The Fairmont Vail, to open in 2011, will feature 128 rooms, a 10,000-square-foot Willow Stream Spa and 9,500 square feet of meeting space.

Sheraton Hotels & Resorts is initiating an aggressive global expansion. Some 54 hotels, representing 20,000 new rooms and $2 billion worth of investment, are in the pipeline to open by year-end 2009. Among the cities where Sheraton will soon be raising its flag are Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis and Phoenix. Internationally, the brand is expanding into Argentina, China, Egypt and Ireland, among other countries.

The 378-room Hilton Newark Airport has completed a $9 million renovation. The extensive facelift included nearly every aspect of the property: all guest rooms, the meeting facilities, the lobby, restaurants and lounges, the registration area and fitness room, in addition to other public spaces. The property offers 11,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hotelier John Q. Hammons has announced plans for a new hotel with about 200 rooms in a 7,500-acre development in Branson, Mo., two miles from the Branson Regional Airport. The airport is under construction and slated to open next year. The hotel, to open in 2010, will include an undetermined amount of meeting space and will be adjacent to two existing golf courses, with a third to be added in the future. The hotel has yet to be named or branded.