October 17, 2007

Donald Trump has launched a hotel chain, the Trump Hotel Collection. The brand's forerunner, the 167-room Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, will be joined by the 339-room Trump International Hotel & Tower Chicago, scheduled to open in December, and Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas, which opens early next year. Several other properties are in the development pipeline, including the 400-unit Trump SoHo Hotel Condominium New York, slated to open in spring 2009, and the $500 million, 261-room Trump International Hotel & Tower in Toronto's business district, for which ground was broken this week. The Toronto property will open in 2010. Each member of the Trump Hotel Collection will feature The Spa at Trump and Trump Attaché, a combination concierge and butler service program that provides individualized service for each guest.

MGM Mirage will construct a $4.5 billion-to-$5 billion resort and casino on 72 acres of land at Renaissance Point in Atlantic City. According to chairman and CEO Terry Lanni, the project was in part motivated by the success of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, next door to the development site; MGM Mirage owns 50 percent of the Borgata. The proposed resort will have three towers, slated to be Atlantic City's tallest. The complex would house more than 3,000 guest rooms; a casino with 5,000 slot machines, 200 table games and a large poker room; a 1,500-seat theater; restaurants and nightclubs; a spa; 500,000 square feet of retail space, and a convention center. MGM Mirage expects to break ground in 2008 for a 2012 opening.

In a quarterly earnings call, Marriott International divulged plans for a large Las Vegas resort and casino project. Although the deal is still in its formative stages, the property would be built on about 15 acres of Marriott land across the street from the Las Vegas Convention Center. The company expects to construct a 3,500-room resort, 500,000 square feet of meeting space and a 75,000-square-foot casino. Marriott already has invested about $230 million in the project and currently is identifying possible partners. The company does not expect to manage the casino. Construction is slated to begin in about a year, to be completed 30 to 36 months later.

A $3 billion development called Konterra is planned for Prince George's County, Md. The 2,200-acre project in Laurel, Md., scheduled to break ground in 2009, will feature a 600-room hotel, 4,500 residential units, 1.5 million square feet of retail space, 3.8 million square feet of office space and a golf course. The first phase is expected to open in 2011.

The Fairmont Dallas is undergoing a $14 million renovation, changing the property's guest room total from 551 to 545. The rooms already have been upgraded with flat-screen TVs; new furnishings, bedding and mattresses; and wireless Internet access. Phase two of the project, which begins Nov. 1, will gut floors 17 through 19, turning 47 rooms into Fairmont Gold, the brand's luxury hotel within a hotel; the six rooms being taken out of service will become the lounge, check-in and concierge areas for the luxury customers. Fairmont Gold is scheduled to debut in February.

An updated report released last week by research firm Lodging Econometrics quantified the feverish pace of hotel construction in the Asia-Pacific region. More than 1,550 properties are being built or in the pipeline, including 782 hotels representing nearly 223,000 guest rooms in China alone. Fifty-one hotels with more than 12,300 guest rooms are on track to open in Beijing before the end of next year, and five other cities in China each have at least 20 projects in development. In a separate announcement, Marriott International said it will open 59 hotels in Asia-Pacific by the end of 2010, including 20 in China and 16 in India.

The 249-room Grand Del Mar (Calif.) has opened for business. The $270 million resort, operated by Manchester Grand Resorts, includes the Tom Fazio-designed, 18-hole Grand Golf Club, a 50,000-square-foot clubhouse, a signature restaurant, a 21,000-square-foot spa and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.