U.S.-based Hilton Hotels Corp.
announced an agreement Dec. 29 to acquire the lodging assets of
U.K.-based Hilton Group plc, which are collectively known as Hilton
International, for $5.71 billion. Hilton Group's gambling business,
not part of the transaction, will be renamed Ladbrokes plc. Hilton
Hotels Corp. will be the largest lodging company in the world, with
nearly 2,800 hotels and 475,000 rooms in 80 countries. The
transaction is expected to close this quarter.
Bankrupt carrier Independence Air will
cease operations as of 7 p.m., Jan. 5. More than 2,700 employees
and 37 destinations will be affected, along with ticket holders for
future flights. The company is now seeking bankruptcy court
approval to refund customers holding reservations for flights
scheduled after Thursday, but banks and debt-holders will vie for
that same money. "This is a profoundly sad day for all of us," said
Kerry Skeen, chairman and CEO of Independence Air. "We could not be
more proud of our employees and everything they have
The board of directors of the
Convention Industry Council intends to distribute a request for
proposal for the association's future management. CIC president and
CEO Mary Power explained that the announcement does not indicate
any discontent with Association Management Group, which has led the
group for the past seven years, but it is an act of due diligence.
"We're a different group now," said Power. "It's a good thing once
in a while to take a look at who your vendors are." Bids will be
solicited in the next few months, and the CIC board hopes to secure
a new contract by May.
The Society of Incentive and Travel
Executives will hold its 2006 Executive Summit at the Fiesta
Americana Grand Coral Beach Hotel in Cancun, Mexico. The event,
which will take place March 6, traditionally is held in an emerging
incentive destination; the organization selected the established
incentive locale to show its support for the area, which was
ravaged by Hurricane Wilma in October. The seminar will feature
topics such as disaster recovery, emergency preparedness and
promoting destinations in the wake of disasters.
Mandarin Oriental announced the sale of
The Mark, New York, for $150 million, to New York City real estate
moguls Izak Senbahar and Simon Elias. The sale is expected to close
by the end of the month; the 177-room hotel will not remain a part
of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.