February 09, 2005

The Los Angeles branch of hospitality-employee union Unite HERE resumed negotiations with eight hotels on Monday, seemingly to little avail. While union leaders dropped their controversial demands for a two-year contract, other requests for higher pay and better benefits were denied. "This proposal," said Fred Muir, spokesperson for the Los Angeles Hotel Employer's Council, "was not intended for us to take seriously." While the parties are scheduled to reconvene on Thursday, both sides claim to be slow to compromise further. "Maybe there are blue skies ahead," said Muir. "Judging by Monday's session, though, it doesn't look like that will be soon."

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced last week that it will manage the 256-room Headquarters Plaza hotel in Morristown, N.J., beginning this summer, following a six-month renovation of public spaces and its 17,000 square feet of meeting space. The hotel will be known as the Hyatt Morristown at Headquarters Plaza.

The 338-room InterContinental Carlton Cannes in France has opened a new 10,763-square-foot reception space, the Zephyr Centre; it hosts up to 1,400 for receptions and 700 for seated events. The property also has renovated 12 of its 13 pre-existing meeting rooms. With the new facility, the Carlton now has a total of 16 meeting rooms.

Last month, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants LLC sold Denver's 489-room Hotel Monaco to PRISA Hotel LLC for $43.5 million. Kimpton has agreed to continue running the hotel for the next 10 years. The property offers about 4,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 295-room San Marcos Resort and Conference Center in Chandler, Ariz., will undergo a $3.2 million renovation, including a new roof, updated technology, upgrades to the golf course and refurbished bathrooms in the guest rooms. Room renovations will begin in November. The property, southeast of Phoenix, offers 35,000 square feet of meeting space.

Sonesta International Hotels will manage a new property in Orlando. Ground will be broken Feb. 16 on the Sonesta Orlando at Tierra del Sol Resort, which will have 972 two-, three- and four-bedroom vacation homes and condominiums, all available for rental. Also on the site will be a 100,000-square-foot events facility with a spa, a gym and its own concierge; several restaurants; banquet space, and a large water park. The resort is due to open in mid-2006.

French hotel chain Accor will manage the first hotel being built at the Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok. The $70 million Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel will open in July; the airport itself opens in September.

The 285-room Holiday Inn University Park Hotel in West Des Moines, Iowa, will be undergo a $3 million renovation and will be reflagged the Sheraton West Des Moines. The property, owned by John Q. Hammons Hotels, will have upgraded guest rooms and suites, plus a refurbished atrium lounge and meeting space.