October 10, 2007

The historic 244-room Rialto Hotel in Melbourne, Australia, closes this week to begin a multimillion-dollar transformation into an InterContinental hotel. The property, which currently has more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space, is expected to reopen in late 2008.

The former Holiday Inn Tysons Corner (Va.) was rebranded the Crowne Plaza Tysons Corner yesterday, following a major renovation by InterContinental Hotels Group. The 316-room hotel, IHG's fifth in the Washington, D.C., market, is adjacent to the Executive Conference Center and features 10,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants, a 24-hour business center, a 24-hour fitness center with an Olympic-size pool, and complimentary wireless Internet access in all public spaces.

According to the Denver Business Journal, a $70 million renovation is planned for the 1,225-room Adam's Mark Hotel in Denver, which will become a Sheraton when purchase by Oxford Lodging Advisory & Investment Group LLC is competed at the end of this month. The work will encompass the entire hotel, including its 133,000 square feet of meeting space. The refurbishment will not be completed until 2009, but the majority of rooms will be available during the Democratic National Convention, being held in the city Aug. 25-28, 2008.

The 222-room Beachside Resort & Conference Center opens in Key West, Fla., Oct. 15. The property offers 6,000 square feet of event space, including a ballroom seating 400. The seven-acre waterfront hotel also features two restaurants, two bars, a fitness center, a private beach, a pool and a helicopter pad. A 20-slip boat dock is planned for next year.
The Davidson Hotel will manage the 248-room Hilton University of Florida Conference Center in Gainesville, an IACC-certified meetings property. A $3.7 million renovation, which will begin in about eight months, will redo the bathrooms and add LCD-panel TVs in the guest rooms.

Noble Investment Group has acquired the 205-room Hilton Birmingham at Perimeter Park in Birmingham, Ala. A $5.5 million renovation is planned that includes upgrades to the 10,000 square feet of meeting space, refurbished restaurant and public areas, and enhancements to the guest rooms.

The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has purchased the 89-room Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, Wash., a half-hour east of Seattle. The property, set on 50 acres with a 4,400-square-foot spa and 5,000 square feet of meeting space, was purchased for an undisclosed price and will be managed by Columbia Hospitality.

The 150-room Dominican Brussels will open this month in Belgium. The property, a member of Design Hotels, has three meeting rooms.

The 298-room Hotel Metropole in Brussels has doubled its meeting rooms, from 11 to 22. The property also has added an Indian Garden breakfast room, which seats up to 200.

Swissotel Zurich has completed the addition of a new 14,000-square-foot convention center. The facility offers two ballrooms and 13 meeting rooms.

Ground has been broken on the first Aloft hotel in New York City. The 176-room Aloft Brooklyn will feature signature design elements of Starwood's lifestyle hotel brand, including guest rooms with high-tech amenities, a "re:charge" fitness center, the "w xyz" bar and the 24-hour "re:fuel" cafe. Completion is expected in 2009. Meeting space is yet to be determined.

Walt Disney Parks & Resorts will build build its first mixed-use family resort outside of its theme parks. The property will be built in Honolulu, Hawaii, on 21 oceanfront acres in the Ko Olina Marina development. The resort will have more than 800 units, including hotel rooms and Disney Vacation Club timeshare villas. The design will be finalized in 2008, with completion expected in 2011.