News Briefs, Week of June 30, 2008

Southwest eyes continued growth 
Southwest is adding 40 flights to its system this fall and dropping 31 “unproductive” operations, some of them seasonal, for a net gain of nine. The airline expects to end the year with a 4% increase in capacity and a net gain of 15 aircraft, including two that had been slated for retirement. Many of the new flights are for Fort Lauderdale and Denver, which gets two more new nonstop routes on Nov. 2 to Orange County, Calif., and Tulsa.

Borgata opens neighbor property
The Water Club opened in Atlantic City adjacent to the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spas, billing itself as the destination’s first boutique-lifestyle hotel. Developed in partnership between Boyd Gaming and MGM Mirage, the property features 800 upscale guestrooms and suites, all with water views; a two-story spa on the 32nd floor; and 18,000 square feet of meetings and functions space.

Vancouver project to include 1 Hotel 
Starwood Capital and development partner Marine Drive Properties plan a 1 Hotel at Wyndansea Oceanfront Golf Resort on Vancouver Island, adjacent to Pacific Rim National Park. The 1 Hotel brand is Starwood Capital’s green luxury line. The condo-hotel, to be called the 1 Hotel Vancouver Island at Wyndansea, is part of a 370-acre resort featuring a Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. The property will have 180 hotel-condo suites, 95 beach and golf villas, a spa, a fitness facility and saltwater pools. A deepwater marina is expected to accommodate luxury yachts and seaplane service from downtown Vancouver. 

Florida group buys Orient Lines brand 
Star Cruises sold its Orient Lines brand to Origin Cruise Group, LLC, an entity headed by Wayne Heller, founder of Orlando-based cruise retailer Cruises Only. Heller said that in the coming weeks Orient, which has no fleet, would make an announcement about a new flagship, inaugural cruise itineraries and senior management. The new owner said he plans to acquire 600- to 800-passenger vessels and to offer an onboard product similar to Orient Lines.

Montreal on tap for Waldorf-Astoria
Hilton agreed on plans to develop a Waldorf-Astoria in Montreal. Opening in 2011, the Waldorf-Astoria Montreal, the brand’s first appearance in Canada, will have 250 rooms, 76 Waldorf-Astoria Residences and 15,000 square feet of ballroom and meetings space.

Fairmont to brand new Oman resort 
Fairmont arranged to manage a 300-room resort hotel being developed in Oman. Fairmont the Wave, Muscat will include a Willow Stream Spa as well as Fairmont-branded residences and Fairmont Heritage Place.

Alaska, Korean file codeshare plan 
Alaska and Horizon filed a plan at the Transportation Department for codesharing with Korean Air at Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles, beginning as early as Aug. 1, if the DOT approves. The U.S. lines would feed Korean flights at all three gateways, mostly with connections to points in Alaska and the Far West. 

Friends & Colleagues

Jumeirah, the Dubai-based luxury international hospitality management group, has promoted Frank van der Post to the position of COO and Marco Nijhof to senior vice president for the Middle East, Africa, India, Seychelles and the Maldives. Van der Post, who spent more than 20 years with InterContinental Hotels Group, joined the Jumeirah Group in November 2005 as senior vice president of Americas based in New York. Nijhof came to Jumeirah in 2006 from Serena Hotels in France. • • • Colin Veitch resigned as an executive director of Star Cruises and will receive $10 million as part of a five-year, noncompete agreement. Star Cruises said that Veitch resigned to focus more on his role as president and CEO of NCL Corp. Star Cruises owns 50% of NCL. • • • C.J. Kettler has stepped down as president of North America at Travelzoo. Shirley Tafoya, Travelzoo’s senior vice president of sales, will fill the position on an interim basis. • • • Global Hyatt Corp. named Harmit Singh CFO. Singh has spent the past 14 years with Yum Brands, parent entity of five global brands, including KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Most recently, he served as senior vice president and CFO-international at Yum.

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