August 02, 2006
In New York City, the Hilton New York and the Waldorf=Astoria have reached a labor agreement with the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council. The six-year contract will give employees wage increases of 4 percent per year for the first three years and 3.5 percent for the final three years. Union members voted Monday to ratify the contract, 988 to 23. "That might give you an indication of how good the contract was for us," said a spokesperson for the council. "We're going to have six years of prosperity without any interruptions." Hilton Hotels Corp., which owns both hotels, also came to an agreement with national union UNITE HERE on a five-year plan to improve labor relations at Hilton hotels nationwide.

Ground was broken July 31 on the expansion of the Trump Taj Mahal Casino Resort. The Atlantic City resort is adding a 786-room, $250 million hotel tower, to open in summer 2008, for an overall total of 2,036 guest rooms.

This month, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts begins a $50 million project that will end with the rebranding of The Lodge at Koele on Lanai, Hawaii. The property will be closed down for the renovations, which will extend to all 102 rooms and public areas and include the addition of a game room. The property will reopen in mid-November as the Four Seasons Resort Lanai, The Lodge at Koele, when work on half the rooms an all the public space is finished. Renovations to the rest of the rooms will be completed by February. Meanwhile, ground was broken at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay on a $10 million pavilion last week. The venue, called the Hale Halawai, will offer 10,188 square feet of function space and is scheduled for completion in September 2007.

United Airlines will sell its nonstop service between New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and London's Gatwick Airport to Delta Air Lines. The agreement, subject to Department of Transportation approval, will allow Delta to operate daily roundtrip flights to England by the end of this year.

Cendant Corp.'s separation into four separate companies is complete. Realogy Corp., Cendant's former real estate services division, and Wyndham Worldwide Corp., Cendant's hospitality division, began trading as their own companies this week on the New York Stock Exchange. Later this month, Cendant's travel distribution services division, Travelport, will be sold to the Blackstone Group. Cendant's vehicle rental division will become the Avis Budget Group. All of the companies will be headquartered in Parsippany, N.J. Cendant shareholders now hold stock in Realogy and Wyndham, rather than the overall company.