Westin rebrands Loews Las Vegas
The former Loews Lake Las Vegas in Henderson, Nev., has been reflagged as the Westin Lake Las Vegas after a $4 million renovation. Operated by Pyramid Hotel Group, the 493-room hotel opened in 1999 as the Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort and became a Loews in 2006. The property offers more than 94,000 square feet of meetings space.
Breezes Trelawney to close May 31
SuperClubs said it will close the 349-room Breezes Trelawney Resort & Spa in Jamaica on May 31 in preparation for "an impending sale to an overseas hotel operator." The company said it will contact guests booked for June 1 and beyond to make alternate arrangements.
SkyTeam upgrades global agent site
The SkyTeam alliance updated its Skyteam.biz Web portal for travel agents in English and French and will follow with 11 other languages by the end of the year. In addition to information about products and services, such as airport lounge information, the site includes an e-learning application called the SkyTeam e-Academy.
Alaska opens high-tech terminal
Alaska Airlines moved into its "airport of the future" in Terminal 6 at Los Angeles, featuring a remodeled check-in area that eliminates traditional ticket counters and offers touch-screen kiosks for check-in and baggage tagging. The design, already in use in Seattle and Anchorage, reduces wait-times and improves the flow of passengers and baggage through the terminal, the airline said.
Hyatt to reflag Cambodian hotel
Hyatt agreed to rebrand the 107-room Hotel De La Paix, a top-rated luxury boutique property in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The hotel is expected to close June 30 for renovations and reopen as a Park Hyatt in the first quarter of 2013. The hotel, which opened in 1957 and was completely redesigned by noted designer Bill Bensley in 2005, will be Hyatt's first in Cambodia.
Puerto Rico return seen for Hyatt flag
Hyatt will return to Puerto Rico after a nine-year absence with the 2014 opening of a hotel-casino in Bayamon, 15 miles southwest of San Juan. The site for the 156-room Hyatt Place Bayamon and El Tropical Casino is next to the Luis A. Ferre Science Park.
Renaissance flag coming to Chile
Marriott's Renaissance brand plans to open its first hotel in Chile next year, a 181-room hotel under development in Santiago. The property is part of a mixed-use complex near shopping and entertainment in the city's Vitacura district.
Egencia acquires Scandinavian firm
Egencia, Expedia's corporate travel agency, agreed to acquire VIA Travel, which Egencia describes as the largest travel management company in Scandinavia.
Founded in 1991, VIA Travel has offices in Norway, Denmark, Sweden and Finland. In addition to corporate travel, the company offers services for corporate groups and meetings, leisure travel and marine transport. Terms were not disclosed.
Friends & Colleagues
ASTA has named Pamela Bonin director of market development. Bonin will be responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing ASTA's membership marketing efforts as well as working with key and prospective ASTA partners in order to develop stronger and more strategic relationships. Bonin, a marketing professional with seven years of management experience in the hospitality and tourism industries, previously developed sales, marketing and events programs for the Oliver Winery in Bloomington, Ind. • • • Nina Willdorf, former editor in chief at Budget Travel magazine, is joining the Travelocity team as contributing editor. In that capacity she will be the face of the online travel agency on national TV, speaking about deals and consumer rights. Prior to her stint at Budget Travel, Willdorf was an editor at Travel + Leisure, Child magazine and Worth magazine, and she has contributed to Glamour, New York magazine, Teen Vogue, Conde Nast Traveler and Real Simple. She will also maintain a role as editor at large at Budget Travel, advising on editorial issues. • • • Greaves India has named Jay Warren its new director of sales for tours. In this role, he is responsible for relationship-building with travel agents across the U.S. and Canada. Warren has more than 15 years of travel industry experience, most recently as director of sales for Akorn Destination Management, a division of Abercrombie & Kent Global. • • • Jacques Hamou has been named general manager of the St. Kitts Marriott Resort & the Royal Beach Casino. Hamou formerly was general manager at the Montreal Marriott Chateau Champlain.