September 12, 2007

Gaylord Entertainment Co. formally revealed expansion plans for the 1,511-room Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas. More than 200,000 square feet of meeting space will be added, as well as about 500 guest rooms, a resort pool and other recreational amenities. The project, which will cost about $315 million, will break ground next year and finish up in 2010.

Accor has sold its Red Roof Inn chain, which consists of 341 properties, to Citigroup's Global Special Situations Group and Westbridge Hospitality Fund for $1.3 billion. Accor now intends to concentrate on expanding Motel 6, its economy chain, in Canada and the U.S. Currently there are 928 Motel 6 properties; Accor will add another 200 by the year 2010.

The Atlanta Marriott Perimeter Center will open the Perimeter ballroom on Sept. 15. Connected to the 400-room hotel via walkway, the 3,200-square-foot event space can hold 300 attendees for a reception and 200 for a banquet. The center offers a total of 14,000 square feet of meeting space.
A $3 million ballroom renovation has been completed at the 371-room JW Marriott Hotel Buckhead Atlanta. The 9,000-square-foot Phoenix ballroom seats 1,100.
Disney's 1,008-room Contemporary Resort in Orlando is the 34th resort honored by Florida's Certified Green Lodging program, launched in 2004. The property, which has 115,000 square feet of event space, has installed programmable thermostats, energy-efficient lighting, low-flow toilets and faucets, and implemented a recycling program and a towel-and-linen reuse programs.

Crescent Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement to purchase the 293-room Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel in Florida. The closing of the transaction is expected later this month, and the management company is planning a $6 million renovation and expansion. The hotel will add 4,500 square feet of meeting and function space, for a total of 11,300 square feet, and will renovate the lobby and guest rooms.
A 7,750-square-foot, $1 million conference center will be built in Elizabethtown, Ky. The Lincoln Heartland Conference Center will be built by local hotelier 2009 Properties, adjacent to the 94-room Comfort Inn on Mulberry Street; 1,600 additional rooms are within a half-mile radius. The center will offer kitchen, catering and audiovisual services and will be permitted to serve alcohol, even though the county is dry. The space can be broken up into five rooms and seat more than 500 people banquet-style. Construction will begin next week for completion in May 2008.

Omni Hotels has purchased the building that houses the Omni Austin (Texas) Hotel Downtown. The property, just a few blocks from the Austin Convention Center, offers 375 guest rooms, 37 oversized condominium-style suites on the top five floors and about 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Ground was broken last week on the La Quinta Inns & Suites - Chicago Downtown. The property, inside the Loop in the financial district, will have 241 guest rooms, two meeting rooms, and a spa and exercise facility.

Noble Investment Group is acquiring the 483-room Hyatt Regency Milwaukee. The group will spend $18 million to update the property, which will continue to be operated as a Hyatt. The hotel has nearly 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Radisson Edwardian Canary Wharf in East London opened Monday. The property has 169 guest rooms, 17 suites, seven meeting rooms, a business center, a health club, a spa with six treatment rooms, a restaurant, a bar and an outdoor cafe.

A major expansion is underway at the 291-room Blue Bay Grand Esmeralda on Mexico’s Riviera Maya. Scheduled for completion in December, the resort will offer 984 rooms and a new convention center, the latter of which will hold up to 600 guests in a space divisible into three rooms. Also scheduled to open in December are an auditorium that accommodates 1,000 and a new spa.