November 14, 2007

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts will manage the 201-room luxury hotel and spa being built as part of Pinnacle Entertainment's Lumiere Place, a casino and entertainment complex in downtown St. Louis. The casino is expected to open before the end of this year, with the hotel to follow in early 2008. According to the Lumiere Place master plan, the complex will have 22,000 square feet of meeting space.

The International Spa Association has recalled its 2007 Global Consumer Studies, citing "a number of statistical and analytical errors associated with the research." In a press release, ISPA president Lynne Walker McNees said the organization has terminated its relationship with the research firm that conducted the study and offered refunds to everyone who had purchased the report. ISPA said data collected in previous years, as well as the 2007 ISPA Spa Industry Study to be released at the ISPA Conference & Expo this week, were not affected, as the information was collected by different companies. Some of the incorrect data most frequently noted includes the number of active spa-goers worldwide, the primary reasons for visiting spas worldwide and the most popular spa treatments worldwide. The organization will begin working immediately on a more comprehensive global report.

Dolce International has taken over management of the Aberdeen Woods Conference Center in Peachtree City, Ga. The 40-acre, 233-room property is now the Dolce Atlanta-Peachtree, offering 54,000 square feet of IACC-approved conference space, including 67 meeting rooms, three amphitheaters and a 3,500-square-foot atrium. The hotel and conference center now will undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation to be completed by the end of 2008 that will add a 6,000-square-foot ballroom and renovate all guest rooms.

The 147-room Proximity Hotel, which claims to be "The Greenest Hotel in America," opened last week in Greensboro, N.C. The hotel was built to be LEED-certified, and management currently is seeking platinum certification, the highest level available; if it succeeds, the Proximity will be the first hotel in the United States to do so. The property has 7,000 square feet of meeting space, a gym, an outdoor swimming pool and a restaurant called Print Works Bistro, a European-style establishment that uses locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.

MGM Mirage will build a US$3 billion, 1,200-room resort without a casino on 50 downtown waterfront acres in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, where gambling is illegal. The resort, to open in 2012, will be called the MGM Grand Abu Dhabi. It will have an arena big enough to seat between 10,000 and 12,000 people, as well as shops, convention facilities and restaurants.

The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association and the Fort Worth Convention & Visitors Bureau have added the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau to their sales partnership. Since July, the BACVA and FWCVB have been selling themselves as an East Coast/Midwest package; Sacramento extends the relationship to the West Coast. "When we developed this sales arrangement, we knew that adding a West Coast city was an important component to be successful so we could offer planners more geographical choices," said Tom Noonan, president and CEO of the Baltimore CVA, in a statement. The partner cities will share three salespeople and offer possible discounts for booking Baltimore, Fort Worth and Sacramento in a multiyear deal. If one of the cities isn't a good fit for a group, the sales staff will continue to push the other two destinations. Similar to the Baltimore and Fort Worth arrangement, Sacramento will add a dedicated salesperson to push all three destinations.

Pyramid Cos. will build a $450 million, 40-story "green" hotel and conference center on the south shore of Onondaga Lake in Syracuse, N.Y.æThough a groundbreaking date has not been set, construction will begin no later than Aug. 1, 2009; the project is expected to take 18 months to complete. The development marks the second phase of transforming the Carousel Center mall into a massive retail and entertainment center; ground was broken on the first phase, a 1.3-million-square-foot addition to the existing shopping mall, in March. The 1,342-room hotel tower will use a solar panel faade and hydroelectric turbines that collect rainwater from its roof to generate electricity, and plans to operate entirely on renewable energy sources. The amount of meeting space has not been determined.

Orient-Express has agreed to purchase the Donnell branch of the New York City Public Library at West 53rd Street. In its place, the company will construct a 150-room luxury hotel, to be named the '21' Hotel, as well as new library space. The hotel will offer dining and spa facilities, in addition to the expanded '21' Club, the company's existing restaurant and banquet business adjacent to the new property. The library will occupy approximately 28,000 square feet within the hotel's first three levels. Construction will begin in 2009, and the property will open in early 2011.

Revel Entertainment Group has received preliminary approval from the City of Atlantic City Planning Board for its proposed casino resort on 20 acres along the Atlantic City Boardwalk. The property will consist of two 1,900-room towers; 150,000 square feet of casino space; and 500,000 square feet of dining, retail and entertainment space, including a 5,500-seat theater. Revel will begin foundation work soon and expects the overall construction to take three years. The company hasn't determined yet whether both guest towers will be completed in the first phase.