February 06, 2008

The 312-room Great Cedar Hotel at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., reopened in full last Friday, following a small fire on Jan. 29, caused by an electrical heating device below the roof of the hotel. There were no injuries, and 22 rooms sustained water damage.

Fairmont Hotels & Resorts is deploying Passkey group reservations technology at all of its properties worldwide. By the end of this month, planners will be able to use Passkey for meetings and events at any Fairmont hotel. Using Passkey, attendees can reserve rooms through customized websites, with the data transferred directly to the hotel's central reservation system; planners gain real-time access to the hotel block pick-up and reservations data.

The Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma has announced plans for a $400 million entertainment resort in Oklahoma City that includes a 400-room hotel with a spa and meeting space, five restaurants, a casino with 2,000 slot machines, a 2,400-seat performance hall and a promenade offering various retail and entertainment venues. The tribe is in the process of purchasing 104-acres in the Northeast area of the city to build the development and is in talks with potential partners for the resort. A timeline has not been set for breaking ground or opening.
The Hawk's Cay resort in Duck Key, Fla., reopens on Friday after a $35 million renovation. All 177 guest rooms were redesigned, as were the lobby, the veranda and the sun terrace. The resort has 25,000 square feet of waterfront event space that can hold groups of up to 600, an 85-slip marina, five restaurants and a 7,000-square-foot spa. In the spring, the Alma restaurant and Beach Grill will open along with 100 villas.

The 171-room Norwalk Marriott Hotel in Norwalk, Calif., 19 miles east of Los Angeles International Airport, has completed a $4.5 million renovation of its lobby, bar, restaurant and 13,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 7,000-square-foot ballroom. The hotel is the brand's third to receive the Great Room overhaul, a project designed to transform public spaces into areas in which guests may work, dine and socialize.
A 100-room Baccarat Hotel and Residences, a Starwood Capital Group property, will be added to the eight-acre, $1.5 billion Streets of Buckhead redevelopment project in Atlanta. Ben Carter Properties, the hotel's developer, expects the property to open in 2010. Two weeks ago, the developers announced they were scrapping plans for the Hotel Monaco, a 282-room Kimpton property also planned for the Streets of Buckhead.

Omni Hotels is adding a new F&B element to its Sensational Meetings program, which creates customizable environments for three kinds of events: energetic meetings, challenging meetings and recognition meetings. Omni has designed a different combination of special lighting, scents and decor to facilitate the goals of each meeting type. The new menus, created in conjunction with the Culinary Institute of America, offer flavors like ginger, horseradish and rosemary for events designed to energize participants; soothing foods such as sushi, herb-roasted chicken and aromatic tea for challenging meetings; and celebratory foods like baked brie en croute with apricot marmalade for recognition meetings.

The 247-room Fairmont Towers, Heliopolis, has opened in Cairo, Egypt. The property has a spa, business center and eight meeting rooms. It is adjacent to the existing Fairmont Heliopolis, a 588-room hotel, which will undergo renovation this year.

Hotel des Artistes, a 12-suite boutique condominium hotel in Punta de Mita, Mexico, has opened its doors. A joint venture with Puerto Vallarta restaurateur Thierry Blouet, the property features the beachfront restaurant Cafe des Artistes del Mar, which seats 74 people. In the town's "restaurant row" on the Pacific coastline, the hotel offers a spa and an athletic club and can host groups of up to 40 on the rooftop patio lounge and pool. The town of Punta de Mita lies about 40 minutes north of Puerto Vallarta's airport, in the state of Nayarit.