July 18, 2007

The circa-1795 Bedford Springs Hotel in Bedford, Pa., reopened on July 12. Closed for the past 21 years, the 216-room property has been reborn following a $120 million renovation. Managed by Benchmark Hospitality International, the hotel offers a 20,000-square-foot, IACC-approved conference center, the 30,000-square-foot Springs Eternal Spa and the fully restored Bedford Springs Old Course.

This year's meetings and conventions bookings are way up in Kansas City, Mo., according to the Kansas City Convention and Visitors Association. During the first half of 2007, more than 225,000 room nights were booked, nearly 100,000 more than were secured during the first half of 2006, a 79 percent increase. The number of meetings booked reached 169, 40 more than were booked during the first six months of last year. The economic impact of these meetings is expected to be $146 million, 50 percent more than the impact of meetings booked during the first half of 2006. A spokesperson for the CVA attributed the increased sales to improvements to the city's nine-square-block convention district, the new 46,000-square-foot ballroom that opened earlier this year as part of the Kansas City Convention Center's $135 million renovation, and an increase in hosted site inspections for meeting planners.

The Broward County Board of County Commissioners is accepting proposals to develop, construct and manage a 1,000-room hotel adjacent to the 600,000-square-foot Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. The board has identified three possible sites for the property, which will allow prospective developers to evaluate and recommend a specific location. Responses to the request are expected by Sept. 13, with a development team to be selected by Nov. 1. Completion of the property is scheduled for 2011.

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has affirmed the slots gaming license awarded to the Mount Airy Resort & Casino by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board. The court's decision allows the developers of the property to complete work on the $412 million resort, which is scheduled to open in the fall. The 188-room property will offer 2,500 slot machines, a spa, restaurants, a nightclub, shopping and a small conference center for up to 100 participants. An additional 212 guest rooms, a pool, and more casino space are expected to be completed by the end of 2008.

The Charleston (S.C.) Marriott, the first Marriott in the city, opened July 11. The 340-room property has 15,000 square feet of meeting space and a restaurant called Saffire, which serves a menu of organic American food.

The new look of the Renaissance M Street Hotel in Washington, D.C., debuted July 13 following a $25 million makeover, part of Marriott International's $2 billion overhaul of the brand's 140 properties worldwide. The hotel features 355 guest rooms and 12,030 square feet of meeting and event space.

The 4,408-room Luxor resort in Las Vegas is undergoing a major transformation designed to give the resort an urban chic look, de-emphasizing the original Egyptian theme throughout the property. The first phase of the renovation will add new nightclubs, bars and restaurants that will open before next spring; the casino floor also will be remodeled. Retail areas will be renovated next year, followed by a guest room overhaul beginning in 2009. News reports peg the cost of the renovations at $300 million, but Luxor would not confirm that amount.

The 378-room Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel, formerly a Radisson, officially opened last week after a renovation. The hotel has approximately 18,000 square feet of meeting space and is less than half a mile from the expanding Indiana Convention Center.