March 29, 2006

Detroit's Greektown Casino is planning to build a $200 million, 400-room hotel and parking garage that will be connected to its current location on East Lafayette Avenue, which also will be expanded. The purchase of a municipal parking garage is expected to close "within days," according to a casino spokesperson. Plans call for the hotel, complete with spa, pool, fitness center and a 1,300-seat theater, to be constructed on top of the reconstructed garage. A rezoning hearing is scheduled for April 6. If the plan is approved by the city, the hotel would open in mid-2008.

A 200-room hotel and restaurant and an adjacent 135-condominium tower could be on the way for downtown Minneapolis. Hempel Properties and Morrissey Hospitality Companies Inc. plan to present preliminary designs for the 401 Hotel and Residences to the city next month, with the goal of breaking ground in the fall. William Morrissey, president of MHC, said the hotel would be an independent, midpriced, upscale property with approximately 4,000 square feet of meeting space, to be built in the existing Midland Bank Building, near city hall. Morrissey said the project could cost $100 million.

Starwood Hotels and Resorts announced last week the opening of a Bliss spa at the 258-room W Los Angeles-Westwood. The 7,000-square-foot spa has 10 treatment rooms, a high-tech manicure/pedicure lounge and an area for outdoor poolside massages. This is the seventh Bliss spa worldwide; the eighth will open along with the 252-room W Dallas-Victory Park in June.

The 400-room Embassy Suites Hotel-Lake Tahoe Resort, in South Lake Tahoe, Calif., announced Monday the completion of a multimillion-dollar renovation. Meeting space was expanded by 2,500 square feet to a total of 10,000 square feet and wireless Internet was installed.