March 01, 2006

InterContinental Hotels Group opened two Staybridge Suites, the company's extended-stay brand, in two new markets: Las Cruces, N.M. (87 rooms) and Newark, Del. (73 rooms); both opened this week. Another 18 Staybridge Suites properties are scheduled to open by year-end 2006.

The Procaccianti Group, which recently acquired the 311-room Wyndham Colorado Springs, will invest an estimated $11 million transforming the property into a full-service Marriott over the next 12 months. The new hotel will be known as the Marriott Colorado Springs.

The 287-room Rancho Bernardo Inn in northern San Diego County announced a $20 million renovation last week. Groups of up to 1,000 will be welcomed in a new ballroom, part of a 27,000-square-foot conference center to open in early 2007. By this October, the resort's third pool will be added, and the spa will be renovated. Also, all the rooms will receive platform beds, new furniture and flat-screen TVs by January 2007.

Ashford Hospitality Trust signed an agreement last week to buy the 338-room Pan Pacific San Francisco Hotel for $95 million. Over the next few months, the company plans to invest $10 million into the hotel and give it a luxury brand name. The hotel has 17,500 square feet of meeting space, though some of that might be converted to a restaurant, retail space or a spa.