January 19, 2005

Singapore-based Raffles International will manage a new hotel in Shanghai, China, under its Swissotel flag. The 478-room hotel, to be called the Swissotel Grand Shanghai, will open in 2007. It will be Raffles' first Shanghai property.

Sonesta International Hotels Corp. will develop a luxury resort on the beachfront site of the current 300-room Sonesta Beach Resort in Key Biscayne, Fla. Construction on the new 350-room hotel, which will replace the older property, will begin in August 2006; it will offer a spa, a gym, meeting space and restaurants. No date was given for the completion of the new property.

The 129-room Park Plaza Cardiff will open Feb. 3 in Wales. The property has 10 meeting rooms; a health club and spa will open in June.

City officials in Santa Cruz, Calif., began public hearings last night regarding a proposed hotel and conference center package valued at $100 million. Overlooking Cowell Beach and the municipal wharf, the 270-room headquarters hotel would replace the long-standing Coast Santa Cruz Hotel, which will be demolished if the plan is approved. The new facility would feature a 1,200-seat main event space.

The 244-room Westward Look Resort outside Tucson is now managed by Gemstone Resorts International. The property offers 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space.

Now open in San Antonio is the redesigned La Quinta Convention Center. Following a $30 million project, the property now offers 350 rooms and 8,000 square feet of meeting space.

Clinton Street Investments LLC, an affiliate of the Hotel Group Opportunity Fund II, has purchased the 263-room Sheraton Denver Tech Center from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. Starwood will continue to manage the property as a Sheraton.

The 300-room Seaview Marriott Resort & Spa in Galloway, N.J., 15 minutes from Atlantic City, announced last week the addition of a 9,900-square foot banquet facility, to include a 6,600-square-foot ballroom. The facility will open in May, bringing the propertyÕs meeting space to 27,000 square feet.
Groundbreaking took place Jan. 13 for the first Wingate Inn in Manhattan. The $20 million, 92-room business hotel will be near Madison Square Garden and is scheduled to open in late 2006. Wingate Inns include a boardroom and small meeting room.
John Q. Hammons Hotels & Resorts has announced plans to develop a four-story, 150-suite Residence Inn by Marriot near Kansas City International Airport in Kansas City, Mo. Construction will begin in summer 2005, and the grand opening is scheduled for 2006.

The Hyatt Regency Denver has been renamed the Grand Hyatt Denver. A $15 million renovation, ongoing since 2003, includes upgrades to the 511 guest rooms, the addition of 20,000 square feet of meeting space and a revamp of the existing space (to be completed this quarter), and a redesign of the lobby, to be completed in 2006. All told, the hotel has more than 62,000 square feet of meeting space.

Hilton Hotels Corp. has signed a contract with Bally Total Fitness Holding Corp. to provide certified trained personal trainers at the chain's domestic properties. The program, to launch Feb. 1, will include more than 5,000 personal trainers available to guests at an hourly rate, as well as a Bally-designed in-room mini-gym complete with yoga mats and hand weights.