November 01, 2006

The 340-room JW Marriott Grand Rapids (Mich.) will open next fall. The new-build property, which will be owned and operated by Amway Hotel Corp., a subsidiary of Alticor, will have 20,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 12,470-square-foot ballroom. The hotel will offer a helipad for jet-setting guests.

About $12 million will be spent at the Royal Palms Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, Ariz., to create 70 rooms surrounding a Mediterranean-style courtyard. When the project finishes up at the end of this year, the resort will have a new total of 119 rooms. Included will be seven new spa suites.

Sage Hospitality Resources, in partnership with JP Morgan, has purchased the 196-room JW Marriott Denver at Cherry Creek for $72 million. The property has about 5,500 square feet of meeting space and a 9,000-square-foot spa. Sage also has been chosen to manage Arizona's 210-room Sheraton Phoenix Airport Hotel, the 164-room Pueblo (Colo.) Marriott and the 292-room Ogden (Utah) Marriott. Sage now owns or operates 47 hotels in 21 states.

The executive director of the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association is urging its 85 members not to place copies of the November issue of Philadelphia Magazine in guest rooms. According to the PhiladelphiaInquirer, Ed Grose, the GPHA's executive director, said the magazine's cover story on the city's recent crime wave was detrimental to Philadelphia's hospitality industry and is harmful to its image, because the article does not specify the neighborhoods where the crimes were committed. So far two hotels, the 364-room Four Seasons Philadelphia and the 583-room Loews Philadelphia, have decided not to display the issue.

The Preferred Hotel Group, which includes Sterling Hotels and Summit Hotels & Resorts, has added 24 members to its portfolio, bringing the total to 350 hotels worldwide. Of the new members, 10 properties are international, including hotels in Italy, Jakarta, London and Prague.

The 295-room Embassy Suites Huntsville opens in Alabama today. The $40 million property has approximately 7,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 4,782-square-foot Big Spring Ballroom. A skybridge links the hotel to the 170,000-square-foot Von Braun Center, the city's convention facility.

Two new Hyatt Place hotels -- Hyatt Corp.'s business-oriented brand -- opened in Atlanta on Oct. 26. The Hyatt Place Atlanta Airport-South has 123 rooms and 1,600 square feet of meeting space, while the Hyatt Place/Perimeter Center features 150 rooms but no meeting space.

Hilton Hotels Corp., in a deal with Tianjin Industrial Group Co., will manage a 360-room property in Tianjin, the fourth-largest city in the People's Republic of China. The Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Tianjin, with 26,900 square feet of meeting space, will open in late 2007. Other amenities will include a business center, a fitness center and several F&B outlets.

Outrigger Enterprises Group has been chosen by HTH Corp. to manage the 837-room Pacific Beach Hotel in Waikiki, Oahu. The management change takes effect on Jan. 1. The hotelÕs name will remain the same, and no renovations are scheduled at this time. The Pacific Beach Hotel has more than 22,000 square feet of meeting space.    
UNITE HERE Local 5 union leaders and the Hyatt Regency Waikiki (Oahu) Resort and Spa reached a tentative contract agreement last Thursday. The terms of the contract, which include wage increases of $2.40 an hour over four years for non-tipped employees and $1.20 an hour for tipped employees, will be voted on by workers this Thursday.

A 33,000-square-foot spa opens today at Turning Stone Resort & Casino in Verona, N.Y., 30 miles east of Syracuse. Skana: The Spa at Turning Stone has 12 treatment rooms, including two suites, a 10,000-square-foot fitness center with indoor pool, and a Native American sweat lodge with a fire pit. The resort offers 100,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 45-room Duane Street Hotel will open early next year in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City. Rooms will feature hardwood floors, Egyptian cotton linens, flat-screen TVs and expandable work desks. The hotel also will feature a 40-seat Asian fusion restaurant, a 24-hour business center and in-room spa services.

The $700 million, 870-acre Rum Cay Resort Marina will be managed by luxury brand RockResorts. The first phase of the resort, to open in the first quarter of 2008, will include a marina and residences. After that, a 100-room condohotel, 80 villas and a spa will be built, along with retail outlets and more residences. Rum Cay is in the southeastern part of the Bahamas, near San Salvador.