Mandarin Oriental eyes Puerto Rico 
Mandarin Oriental plans to open a 186-room five-star resort and spa in Palmas del Mar, Puerto Rico, southeast of San Juan. The $300 million resort is scheduled to open in 2011 and will be the eighth five-star hotel to begin development on the island in the past four years, according to Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila.

Fred Olsen to retire its Black Prince 
Fred Olsen Cruise Lines will retire the Black Prince in October 2009. The British cruise line said it was in talks with potential buyers. The 441-passenger ship was built as a ferry in 1966 and converted to a full-time cruise ship in 1987. The Black Prince will operate four farewell cruises from the U.K. next September and October.

InterContinental adds to China lineup 
InterContinental Hotels Group signed a deal with Shimao Group in China to open six hotels in four cities by 2013, a deal that will add 2,100 guestrooms to IHG's China portfolio. Three of the hotels, for Beijing, Shanghai and Fuzhou, will carry the InterContinental brand. One, in Shaoxing, will be a Crowne Plaza, while Holiday Inns are planned for Shaoxing and Mudanjiang.

Jumeirah Hotels coming to Scotland 
Dubai's Jumeirah Group disclosed plans for managing a five-star hotel in Glasgow, Scotland. Opening in the city's financial district in 2011, the Jumeirah Glasgow is expected to offer 160 rooms and 85 serviced apartments. Conference facilities will include a 630-seat ballroom.   

Balcony fever hits the Fantasy class 
Carnival Cruise Lines will add balconies to 98 cabins on the Carnival Sensation during a 35-day dry-dock in January 2009. The 15-year-old ship will be retrofitted with balconies of about 230 square feet amidship and aft. Some 54 cabins on the 2,052-passenger ship already have balconies, amidship and forward. The modifications are part of the line's $250 million, Fantasy-class product upgrade initiative. Separately, the 332-passenger Paul Gauguin, operated in the South Pacific by Regent Seven Seas Cruises, will have 26 more balconies added during a $6 million dry-dock renovation in Brisbane, Australia, in late January. 

Hyatt reflagging Toronto Holiday Inn
Hyatt Hotels & Resorts said it will operate and manage as a Hyatt Regency a 394-room former Holiday Inn being renovated in downtown Toronto. The hotel will open in January 2009 on King Street. It will be Hyatt's second in the city, which already has a Park Hyatt.

JetBlue to boost Caribbean service 
JetBlue said it plans to add service to Nassau from Orlando and Fort Lauderdale on Feb. 1, subject to government approval. Also planned is a new Saturday-only service from Boston to St. Maarten, beginning Feb. 14.

St. Lucia resort  sets opening date 
Cap Maison, St. Lucia's first residential-style boutique resort, opens Oct. 26 at Cap Estate. The 50-unit resort offers a mix of rooms and suites.

Friends & Colleagues

Travelport GDS announced that Travis Christ has been named president and managing director for the Americas. Christ joins Travelport from US Airways, where he served in a variety of roles since 1995, most recently as vice president for marketing, sales and distribution. • • • Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group, parent of the Dollar Rent A Car and Thrifty Car Rental brands, named Scott Thompson its president and CEO. Thompson succeeds Gary Paxton, who will retire from the company Dec. 31. Thompson joined the company this year as senior executive vice president and CFO. He previously served as executive vice president of operations and finance for KSA Industries, a private enterprise. H. Clifford Buster will succeed Thompson as executive vice president and CFO, beginning Oct. 27. Buster previously served various finance positions with Helix Energy Solutions Group and Group 1 Automotive. • • • Leaders in Travel, a luxury travel agency based in Great Neck, N.Y., announced the appointment of Gary Stevens to the newly created position of vice president of leisure sales and marketing. Stevens joins Leaders in Travel with more than 20 years of experience in vacation travel development and marketing for leading nationwide travel agencies, franchises and consortia, such as Uniglobe CruiseCenters and Ensemble Travel Group.

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