April 07, 2004

Benchmark Hospitality last week changed the name of Manhattan's World Trade Institute Conference Center to the Downtown Conference Center at Pace University. The center, which reopened in September 2003 a few blocks from its original location that was destroyed in the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and was renamed to highlight its involvement in the redevelopment of lower Manhattan. A lobby, five meeting rooms and a 53-seat theater with desks will open on Monday, giving the center 33 rooms and more than 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Destination Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of the Resort at Squaw Creek in Olympic Valley, Calif., near Lake Tahoe. Over the next five years, $21 million will be spent renovating the 403-room property and its 33,000-square-foot conference center. Initial work on the guest rooms, lobby and meeting space is expected to be completed by winter.

Dolce International is taking over management of two Merrill Lynch conference centers in Manhattan. The day centers, which have no sleeping rooms, will be renamed the Dolce Downtown Conference Center and teh dolce Midtown Conference Center. The downtown property has 22,000 square feet of meeting space and the midtown center offers 12,000 square feet.