April 27, 2005

Las Vegas-based MGM Mirage has completed the $7.9 billion acquisition of Mandalay Resort Group, also based in Las Vegas. The new company now owns and manages 24 hotel-casinos. In other news, Mandalay sold its 53.5 percent share in the MotorCity Casino in Detroit for approximately $525 million. That property is in the planning stages to build a 400-room hotel tower.

The Royal Kona Resort on the Big Island will embark on a major renovation that will be completed by the end of 2006. Landscaping of the 11-acre property will be improved and all 451 guest rooms overhauled. Other changes will be seen at the pool, and a new restaurant, Don the Beachcomber's Tiki Grill & Bar, will replace the Tropics Restaurant. The hotel will remain open during the project.

Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts opened its first hotel in India on April 22. The 162-room Traders Hotel, Chennai, has three executive floors, three restaurants, a bar, a pool and a 5,555-square-foot ballroom, among other amenities. The Shangri-La Hotel, New Delhi, will open later this year.

The 232-room Four Seasons Hotel Doha, on the Arabian Gulf in Qatar, opened on April 23. The property offers a private beach, a 110-berth marina, 17,980 square feet of meeting space and a spa with 12 treatment rooms.

The Oklahoma Publishing Co., which owns The Broadmoor hotel in Colorado Springs, Colo., has purchased the 91-room Hotel Jerome in Aspen, Colo. The purchase price of the 116-year-old property was not revealed.

The former Radisson Inn Colorado Springs (Colo.) is now the Academy Hotel. The 200-room hotel offers more than 7,000 square feet of meeting space.

West Paces Hotel Group, run by former Ritz-Carlton executive Horst Schulze, has been chosen to manage the 272-room Montelucia Resort & Spa in Paradise Valley, Ariz., between Scottsdale and Phoenix. The former La Posada resort is getting a $100 million makeover by owner Crown Realty & Development.

A $3.5 million renovation was completed in early April at the 242-room Sheraton Denver West Hotel. All rooms plus the propertyÕs 18,000 square feet of meeting space received the facelift. Later this year, work will begin on a renovation of the health club.

In its second year of rating hotel and resort spas, the Mobil Travel Guide has identified its first five-star spa. Spa Montage at the 262-room Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif., won the award, defined (a bit floridly) as providing Òconsistently superlative service in an exceptionally distinctive luxury environment with extensive amenities.Ó Three and four stars were bestowed on 69 other spas in the United States and Canada, up from 48 in the 2004 listings. The ratings are based on more than 450 attributes, measured during unannounced visits.
Raffles International will manage its first property in Dubai. The 240-room Raffles Dubai will open in 2007 in Wafi City, a shopping and entertainment district. The hotel will feature a RafflesAmrita spa, nine F&B outlets, seven meeting rooms, a ballroom and a Òsky gardenÓ with an orchid display at its center.