February 22, 2006

Last week, InterContinental Hotels Group announced a multi-property deal in China that will expand its inventory by 4,500 guest rooms across its InterContinental, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express brands in that country. The agreement, between IHG and Chengdu International Exhibition & Convention Group, centers on six hotels in China's Sichuan province, located near the center of the country.

Morgans Hotel Group has announced an aggressive growth plan for the next several years that will increase its portfolio by one-third and double the number of rooms under its management. Included in the development initiative are two new hotels in Las Vegas, one bearing the Delano brand, the other Mondrian, to be completed in 2010; the $47.5 million acquisition of the 194-room James Hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz. (which is slated to close in April); and the expansion of the Delano in South Miami Beach, which will include the addition of 70 guest rooms and a restaurant.

The Drake Hotel in Chicago is in the process of refunding deposits and compensating guests who fell ill at the property earlier this month. A norovirus, which affects the stomach and intestines, infected more than 150 guests and employees during the first weekend of February. The hotel was immediately disinfected "from top to bottom," according to general manager Gregor Andreewitch. "As far as we're concerned, it's gone," he said, adding the source of the virus remains unknown. Terry Mason, commissioner of Chicago's Department of Public Health, stated shortly after the outbreak that there was "no evidence at all to suggest any ongoing transmission of the disease."