mulls sale of Scandic brand
Hilton said it was evaluating "strategic
alternatives" for its Scandic brand, including the
possible sale of all or part of the chain. The Scandic portfolio
includes 130 hotels, mostly in Scandinavia. Hilton acquired the
chain when it took over Hilton International earlier this
Hilton said it would soon divest 10 European
properties that it acquired in the Hilton
International deal. Among them are the Hilton Charles de
Gaulle and Hilton Strasbourg in France; the Hilton Zurich Airport
in Switzerland; the Hilton Barcelona in Spain; and Los Zocos Villa
Resort in the Canary Islands.
inks deal with US Airways
Airways has signed a five-year deal with
Expedia, pledging to make all published fares and
inventory available through Expedia and its affiliate sites,
including "special package inventory."
Place brand hits milestone
Place, the low-frills, extended-stay chain, has opened its
23rd property. Founder Jack DeBoer disclosed that the 4-year-old
company has 500 franchise commitments.
fleet slated for upgrades
Windstar Cruises fleet will be upgraded and
refurbished by 2008, the company announced. The Wind Surf will be
out of service this fall from Nov. 12 to Dec. 16. The Wind Spirit
will go into drydock in the spring, and the Wind Star will do the
same in the fall of 2007. Windstar has not released details of the
upgrade, except to say that it will be extensive.
downgrade hurricane forecast
downgraded their projections for the 2006 Atlantic
hurricane season to 12 to 15 named storms, of which seven
to nine would become major hurricanes. The original forecast called
for 13 to 16 named storms.
officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration warned that the threat remains real for an
above-average hurricane season, despite the recent lull. (Alberto,
Beryl and Chris have come and gone with little impact.) The peak
storm period runs through October; the season officially ends Nov.
builds a virtual Aloft
Aloft, a new Starwood brand featuring loft-like
rooms, won't open until 2008, but players of Second
Life -- an online, virtual environment populated by about
350,000 users -- won't have to wait that long.
Aloft, the virtual hotel, will become part of an interactive, 3-D
environment on Second Life, a Web site where players will be able
to check into rooms, hang out in the hotel's lounge and get a sense
of life in the hotel before the opening of the first Aloft. Until
the virtual opening in September, online players can watch the
construction at www.virtualaloft.com.
Inn planned for Panama site
InterContinental Hotels Group will open
the first Holiday Inn in Panama in 2008. The Holiday Inn
Hotel and School Panama Canal will be part of the City of
Knowledge, an educational complex operated by a private foundation
on a former U.S. military base near Panama City.
on Melia's Hard Rock deal
International and Sol Melia mutually
agreed to terminate a 3-year-old partnership to develop hotels
under the Hard Rock brand.
indicated they would separately pursue new brand strategies. Hard
Rock intends to focus on acquiring global "cafe, hotel and gaming,
intellectual property and operational rights," while Sol Melia
seeks to develop lifestyle hotels and concepts.
Ariz., to get Le Meridien hotel
Starwood disclosed plans to open a new Le
Meridien hotel in Arizona in October 2008, the first announced
newbuild since Starwood acquired Le Meridien last November. The
183-room Le Meridien at Tempe Town Lake will be
part of Hayden Ferry Lakeside, a planned landscape of water and
park space at Tempe Beach Park, and will include 44 residential
Western site adds packaging
Western International enhanced its Web site by adding
dynamic-packaging functionality that enables users to book flights,
car rentals, event tickets and tours as well as Best Western hotel
functionality is due to Best Western's separate partnerships with
Travelport, formerly Cendant Travel Distribution
Services, and Viator, a specialist in sightseeing
and destination activities.
air grant for the Caribbean
Dept. earmarked $400,000 to support ongoing aviation
safety initiatives in the Caribbean, according to
Marion Blakely, FAA administrator.
supplement an earlier grant of $800,000 used to provide technical
and legal assistance, enhanced training and infrastructure
development for Caribbean aviation development.
Best Western International has named
Tony Di Rico vice president of operations, a newly
created position. Di Rico has held senior level positions with
Richfield Hotel Management and Choice Hotels, where he launched
MainStay Suites. " " " Terry Robertson, founder of
Grand Expeditions, has joined Lindblad Expeditions as its chief
operating officer. " " " SeaDream Yacht Club has named Ian
Buckeridge its U.K. sales and marketing director, senior
director of business development in the U.K. and head of marketing
strategy for the U.K. and Ireland. " " " Matz
Jenssen, director of business development for Scandinavia,
Russia, the Eastern Bloc and the Baltic States, has been named
senior director of business development for Continental Europe. " "
" Marriott has appointed Kathleen Matthews
executive vice president, global communications and public affairs.
She will replace Charlotte Sterling, who is
retiring at the end of the year. Matthews has been a news anchor,
reporter and producer at WJLA, an ABC affiliate in Washington. She
is the wife of MSNBC's Chris Matthews. " " " Stacy-Ann
Greenwood is now regional sales manager for Half Moon
resort in Jamaica. Greenwood, who was sales manager at Point
Village Resort in Negril, Jamaica, took over for Sharon
Logan, who is now group sales manager for Half Moon." " "
Contiki Holidays has promoted Mark Junette to vice
president of sales. He had been director of sales for the U.S.