Four Seasons Hotels' board of directors unanimously voted for
the chain to be acquired by majority stockholders Cascade
Investment for $3.8 billion. Cascade is made up of Microsoft's Bill
Gates and Kingdom Hotels International, a company owned by Saudi
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Following the transaction, which will
close by the middle of the year, Four Seasons will become a private
company. In a company-issued statement, Isadore Sharp, the chain's
chairman and chief executive officer, said the deal "is the best
way to preserve and expand the long-term strategy, vision and core
values of Four Seasons."
Ground was broken on Monday on a $600 million mixed-use
development in Hollywood, Calif., that will include the 305-room W
Hollywood Hotel & Residences. To open in mid-2009, the project
will include a separate building with 375 apartments for lease and
50,000 square feet of retail space.
Gaylord Entertainment Co. is planning a $400 million expansion
to the 2,881-room Gaylord Opryland Resort and Convention Center in
Nashville. The expansion would add more than 400,000 square feet of
meeting space and a 400-room hotel separate from the resort.
Completion is expected as early as 2010.
The 2007 Pittsburgh International Auto Show, scheduled to begin
last Saturday, has been postponed until April following an accident
at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. A large section of
concrete flooring collapsed on the second floor last week, sending
a truck and a steel beam spilling onto a water feature 30 feet
below. Other upcoming shows at the Pittsburgh center have been
forced to relocate, as the facility was closed indefinitely last
Tuesday for a series of safety inspections currently being
conducted by several outside firms.