May 12, 2004

Highland Hospitality Corporation, a new lodging real estate investment trust, has purchased the 491-room Dallas/Fort Worth Airport Marriott in Irving, Texas, for $59 million in cash from the Host Marriott Corporation. Marriott International will continue to operate the hotel. The hotel offers 18,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Hyatt Regency Denver, one of the headquarters hotels for Meeting Professionals International's World Education Congress this summer, has completed a multimillion-dollar renovation to all 511 rooms. Soft goods were upgraded, high-speed Internet access was added and the bathrooms were redone. The property offers 41,000 square feet of meeting space.

The Westin Tabor Center in Denver has completed the second phase of a three-part, $8 million renovation. All 430 rooms have been redecorated and equipped with flat-screen TVs. The third phase, to begin at the end of this year, will renovate 18,000 square feet of meeting space on the property's mezzanine level, including the 7,448-square-foot Continental Ballroom. The rest of the hotel's 24,000 square feet of meeting space already has been upgraded.

Toronto-based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts will add three properties in the Middle East. Scheduled to open in 2006 is the 552-room Fairmont Cairo, which will include four restaurants and a business center; the 300-room Fairmont Palm Hotel & Resort in Dubai, featuring a 15,000-square-foot Willow Stream spa and extensive meeting space; and the 265-room Fairmont Abu Dhabi Resort & Villas in Abu Dhabi, offering 60,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor function space, seven restaurants and a Willow Stream spa. The three properties join the Fairmont Dubai, which opened in 2002.

The 742-room Doubletree Hotel at the entrance to Universal Orlando reopened Friday. The property, with 60,000 square feet of meeting space, was formerly a Radisson. In the next two years, a $14 million renovation will update the guest rooms and meeting space, and add a full-service spa.

Rezidor SAS, the European, Middle Eastern and African franchisor for Carlson brand hotels, has three projects lined up for its boutique-style Hotel Cerutti brand. This fall will mark the opening of the 75-room Hotel Cerutti Vienna. In early 2005, the 137-room Hotel Cerutti Dubai will open in the emirate's Media City. Following these, the 350-room Hotel Cerutti Kuwait will open its doors in mid-2006.

The banks of Dubai Creek will be home to the 238-room Park Hyatt Dubai when it opens in 2005, adjacent to the Thomas Bjorn-designed Dubai Creek Golf and Yacht Club. Along with three waterside restaurants, the property will offer a ballroom that accommodates 500, as well as four meeting rooms.

Palace Resorts is continuing its aggressive brand expansion in Mexico, with plans to rename four new properties by the end of this year. They are the 260-room Hotel Sierra Cancun, the Riviera Maya's 185-room Hotel Continental Plaza Playacar, Conzumel's 174-room Hotel Plaza Las Glorias Cozumel and the 362-room Hotel Sierra Nuevo Vallarta. The hotels will all operate under their current names until their end-of-year rebranding.

The 215-room Miramonte Resort and Spa in Indian Wells, Calif., last week opened a new 12,000-square-foot spa. A Tuscan-inspired facility, the Well offers 19 treatment rooms, four therapeutic mud bars and a Watsu pool. Minutes from Palm Springs, the property features 12,000 square feet of function space and a 4,648-square-foot ballroom.