Boston Edison Co. and three other
Massachusetts companies agreed last week to pay more than $9
million toward the cleanup of hazardous materials on and around the
site of the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, under a
settlement agreement with Massachusetts Attorney General Tom
Reilly. The Massachusetts Convention Center Authority and the
Boston Redevelopment Authority filed a complaint in 1996 alleging
that Boston Edison was using the South Boston land as a junkyard
for electronics that contained PCBs, harmful chemical mixtures that
were banned in the 1970s. The settlement money will be used
primarily to reimburse the state and the MCCA for past cleanup
work, but some money will fund efforts to eradicate remaining
subsurface contamination from a small parcel of land near Cypher
Street. The land on which the convention center was built and on
which the Westin Boston Waterfront is being constructed has been
completely cleaned, according to a spokesperson for the MCCA.
Rezidor SAS Hospitality will open its
first three Missoni-branded properties in Kuwait, Edinburgh and
Dubai. The 200-room Hotel Missoni Kuwait, which will be part of the
Symphony Complex, will open in mid-2007; the 130-room Hotel Missoni
Edinburgh, on the Scottish capital's Royal Mile, and the 250-room
Hotel Missoni Dubai, which will be part of the Palm Island Jumeirah
resort, both will open in late 2008. Each property will have a spa,
a fitness center and conference facilities. Rezidor SAS plans to
open 30 Missoni properties by 2010.
As a result of a merger of Duke Energy
and Cinergy Corp., the Cinergy Center in Cincinnati henceforth will
be known as the Duke Energy Center. The facility, which was
expanded and renovated, stages its grand reopening in June.
On Monday, Pinnacle Entertainment
acquired all the shares of rival hotel-casino company Aztar Corp.
in a $2.1 billion deal. The merger will give Pinnacle 12 casino
hotels in the United States, comprising approximately 8,800 hotel
rooms. Hotel brands under the new company's umbrella include
Boomtown, Casino Magic and Tropicana. The buyout still has to be
approved by Aztar shareholders. Pinnacle officials also hinted that
the flagship 1,874-room Tropicana Resort & Casino in Las Vegas
will begin a major renovation and expansion within the next two
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is
planning to build a hotel and residence tower in St. Paul, Minn.,
to open in fall 2008. The Westin Saint Paul Hotel & Residences
will include 250 guest rooms, 82 residences and 12,000 square feet
of meeting space. The property will anchor a mixed-use development
known as The Bridges of Saint Paul that will include office and
retail space, restaurants and a museum attraction known as
"Mythica: The Center for World Mythology and Human Journey."
Loews Hotels announced Monday that it
will assume management of the 353-room Madison hotel in Washington,
D.C., around April 1. Guest rooms of The Madison, A Loews Hotel,
will be given new flat-screen TVs and soft goods. The hotel has
played host to every president since John F. Kennedy.
According to the Business Travel Monitor, released yesterday by
American Express Business Travel, the average fare paid for U.S.
domestic flights dropped to a six-year low of $216 at the close of
2005. Meanwhile, hotel and car-rental prices, as well as
international airfares, reached new six-year highs. Simplified
fares and more low-fare competition are to blame for the drop in
domestic fares, said Andy McGraw, senior vice president and general
manager of American Express Business Travel North America. Yet,
domestic fares are rising; in the fourth quarter of 2005, the
average domestic fare paid edged up 3 percent to $223 one way,
compared with $215 one way for the same period in 2004. Over the
course of 2005, the average domestic fare paid rose 10 percent.