September 20, 2006

A new resort is being built in the Texas Hill Country along the Guadeloupe River in Hunt, directly west of Austin and northwest of San Antonio. Stablewood Springs Resort will offer 100 two- and three-bedroom villas on 150 acres of a 550-acre ranch. The villas are being sold separately as condos; owners may opt to can rent their villas through a program that will be managed by Dolce International. The property will open in early 2008 with a lodge, a restaurant, a spa, 4,000 square feet of meeting space and a golf course. Guests will have full access to the river.

The Hotel Europe in Killarney, Ireland, will close at the end of this month for a renovation. The project includes the addition of a 380-seat function room/auditorium and seven breakout rooms; all public areas will be refurbished. The 206-room property will reopen in April 2007. Additionally, a fitness center and a spa with 21 treatment rooms are being built, to be completed in September 2007.    

The 462-room Paradise Point Resort & Spa in San Diego announced the completion of a $9 million renovation that upgraded its 32,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 444-room Ritz-Carlton Atlanta Downtown is being purchased by Highland Hospitality Corp. for $79.5 million and will continue to be operated as a Ritz-Carlton. The sale is expected to close in October. The hotel has 19,000 square feet of meeting space.

Gameday Centers Southeastern LLC, a company known for building luxury sports condominiums close to college athletic facilities, announced last week it will spend $40 million to build the Volunteer Center, a 212-room condo-hotel in downtown Knoxville near the Knoxville Convention Center and the University of Tennessee's Neyland Stadium. Construction on the building, which will have six or seven stories, is scheduled to begin next spring, with completion expected in 18 to 24 months. When the Tennessee Volunteers are not in town, a number of the condos would be available for nightly rental.