March 22, 2006

Richfield Hospitality announced the addition of the 310-room Hotel Ponchartrain in Detroit to its management portfolio. The company will spend more than $12 million to renovate the property by October, when it will open as a Sheraton. The property, which is adjacent to the Cobo Center, tentatively will be named the Sheraton Pontchartrain at Cobo. The hotel has 13 meeting rooms in addition to a 6,500-square-foot ballroom.

Marcus Hotels and Resorts has embarked on two restoration projects of historic hotels. Last week, Marcus announced it had agreed to purchase the 186-room Westin Columbus in Columbus, Ohio, and would remodel the guest rooms and food-and-beverage facilities, as well as other hotel features. The property is near the convention center and connected to the 933-seat Southern Theatre performing arts center. Marcus' second project, the Skirvin Hotel in Oklahoma City, Okla., should be completed and ready to open next February.

On March 16, Omni Hotels assumed management of the La Mansion del Rio Hotel and Watermark Hotel & Spa hotels, both in San Antonio. Omni already runs the 326-room Omni San Antonio, as well as another seven hotels in the state, while later this summer the company begins work on a property in Fort Worth, Texas. The Omni La Mansion del Rio has 337 rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space, while the Watermark Hotel & Spa, which will retain its name, has 99 rooms and 2,500 square feet of meeting space. Guest room renovations are being considered for the La Mansion property.

The Royal College of Surgeons Edinburgh, Scotland, will open the Quincentenary Hall meetings facility in July, and the 77-room Ten Hill Place hotel in November.

Radisson Hotels & Resorts unveiled last week a new set of menu items for its restaurants and banquets, developed with the Culinary Institute of America. The Tasteful Choices menu insert offers 15 new items that are both flavorful and more healthful than most current offerings. Items are labeled as one or more of the following: overall healthy and light, low carbohydrate, lower fat, and rich and flavorful. Some examples: the lobster, mango and avocado salad; and roasted salmon with cheddar grits.