News Briefs, Week of May 23, 2016

Mexico to get its first Nickelodeon resort


Mexico's first Nickelodeon resort is scheduled to open in the Riviera Maya by the end of 2017. Karisma Hotels & Resorts will operate the all-inclusive property, which will have 288 one-, two- and three-bedroom suites and six restaurants, and will feature Nickelodeon characters like SpongeBob SquarePants, Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Nickelodeon's first non-U.S. property opens next month in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic.

Books open for NYC's second Four Seasons
The Four Seasons Hotel New York Downtown, New York City's second Four Season property, is taking reservations for stays starting Oct. 17. The Lower Manhattan hotel will have 185 rooms and 157 luxury residences, and, at 82 stories, will be the city's tallest structure with residences. The hotel will include the restaurant Cut by Wolfgang Puck.

New York's Barclay is open after renovation
The InterContinental New York Barclay reopened after a $180 million, 20-month renovation. The redesigned lobby has a marble grand staircase and the 704 updated guestrooms feature eagle-medallion doorplates preserved from the original hotel, which first opened in 1926 as the Barclay. The new Gin Parlour was inspired by Dutch and English gin bars of the 1920s.

Qatar Airways ups its stake in the IAG group
Qatar Airways increased its ownership of International Airlines Group (IAG) to 15% from just under 12%. IAG owns British Airways, Iberia, Aer Lingus and Spanish low-cost carrier Vueling.

Avoya agents get Priceline content
A partnership with the Priceline Partner Network will give Avoya Travel agents access to Priceline's air, car and hotel inventory, integrating it with Avoya's Agent Power operating system. All invoices and itineraries will be Avoya-branded, and agents will still have access to Avoya's roster of other suppliers and can make bookings elsewhere.

Koningsdam naming fit for a Dutch queen
Holland America Line's ship, the Koningsdam, was to be named by Queen Maxima of the Netherlands in Rotterdam on May 20. Royal Dutch family members have christened 11 HAL vessels, the last being the Nieuw Amsterdam, also named by Maxima when she was Princess Maxima in 2010.

De Niro part of group building London hotel
Actor Robert De Niro is part of a group planning an 83-room hotel in London's Covent Garden district, slated to open in 2019. The Wellington, made up of six adjacent buildings that will retain their historic facades, will have two restaurants, a spa and a members club surrounding a central courtyard. De Niro is part of other hotel projects, including New York's Greenwich Hotel.

Las Vegas' the Palms to be sold to Red Rock
Station Casinos parent Red Rock Resorts agreed to acquire Las Vegas' Palms Casino Resort for $312.5 million. The Palms opened in 2001 under the ownership of the Maloof family, though private equity firms TPG Capital and Leonard Green & Partners took over majority ownership of the casino in 2011. Station Casinos owns and operates 16 casinos primarily targeting Nevada residents.

Friends & Colleagues
Gabe Rizzi will fill Travel Leaders Group's newly created position of chief sales officer and head of corporate travel. Rizzi was most recently Dun and Bradstreet's senior vice president of sales. He has also held positions in sales, marketing and operations at a variety of other companies, including AT&T and Gateway Computers. Travel Leaders Group also added travel industry veterans Art Jimenez as vice president of marketing for the Hotel Division and Shaun Malay as vice president of airline relations. Jimenez is well known to the industry, having spent the last 17 years with the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority, where he was senior director of leisure sales. Malay comes from FlightCentre USA, where he served as vice president of airline contracting and strategy. His resume also includes positions at Air Canada, American Airlines, Travelong and Tauck World Discovery. • • • Travelport has appointed Peggy Bianco to the position of vice president, head of hotel sourcing. Bianco has been in the industry for over 25 years, most recently as the group vice president of global hotel services at Orbitz Worldwide. She has held other management roles at Orbitz as well as senior roles at Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide and Hyatt Hotels Corp. • • • John "J.P." Oliver has been named vice president and managing director of the Confidante hotel in Miami Beach and vice president of lifestyle -- Americas for Hyatt. The Confidante, formerly the Thompson Miami, is part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. Oliver's hospitality career spans nearly 30 years, beginning with management positions at various Hyatt hotels. He most recently served as regional vice president, Southeast, for Morgans Hotel Group, overseeing the Delano, Shore Club and Mondrian hotels in South Beach.

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