News Briefs, Week of Sept. 24, 2012

Lufthansa to start new low-fare brand


Lufthansa decided to merge all its domestic and European services outside of its Frankfurt and Munich hubs with its Germanwings low-fare unit. Plans call for the single company to take wing on Jan. 1, operating some 90 aircraft and serving more than 18 million passengers annually from a base in Cologne, where Germanwings is based. A name for the merged carrier has not been announced.

Alamo, National enter Brazil market
The Alamo and National car rental brands began operations at five airports in Brazil, including Rio, Sao Paulo and Brasilia, under a recent franchise agreement with Unidas, a leading operator in Brazil. Plans call for the two Enterprise brands to spread to more than 100 Unidas airport and city locations throughout Brazil.

W Brand opens on Singapore island
Starwood's W brand opened its first Singapore property, on the island of Sentosa. The W Singapore -- Sentosa Cove has 240 rooms and 228 residences, plus some 15,000 square feet of meetings space. Starwood also has a Sheraton and a St. Regis in Singapore and plans to open a Westin and another Sheraton by mid-2014.

Four Seasons inks deal for Kyoto hotel
Four Seasons reached an agreement to manage a 186-room hotel in Kyoto, its first in the city and third in Japan. The Four Seasons Hotel Kyoto will sit on a five-acre site in the historical section of Kyoto. No date has been set for the hotel's opening.

Marriott raises two JW flags
Marriott International opened the JW Marriott Cusco, located at the gateway to Machu Picchu, the 15th century Inca site in the Andes mountain range of Peru. Standing 11,154 feet above sea level and located in Cuzco's historical district, the 153-room hotel is the first JW Marriott in the destination and the second in Peru, joining the JW in Lima. Separately in New York, the 509-room Essex House on Central Park South formally donned the JW Marriott brand, following its recent sale by Dubai's Jumeirah.

Big makeover seen for Imperial Palace
Caesars Entertainment said its Imperial Palace in Las Vegas will be renamed the Quad Resort & Casino in December and will undergo extensive renovations through the end of next year. The 2,640-room property will get an additional 15,000 square feet of casino floor space, and its main entrance will be moved from the west side, facing the Strip, to the property's north side.

Carlson, Regent pairing up again
Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group reached an agreement with Regent Hotels and Resorts to develop Regent-branded hotels throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The two companies will jointly develop and operate new Regent hotels in Western Europe, while Rezidor alone will build and manage new Regent properties in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Regent, formerly a Carlson brand, was acquired by Taiwan-based Formosa International Hotels in 2010.

Friends & Colleagues

MGM Resorts International named Anton Nikodemus to the newly created position of president and COO of casino marketing. Nikodemus has been with MGM since 2005, when he was hired as senior vice president of hotel operations for the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Most recently, Nikodemus was president and COO for the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino. • • • Tom Owen is the new senior vice president, America for Cathay Pacific Airways. Owen is a 17-year veteran of Cathay Pacific. Most recently, he held the position of COO, logistics, for Steamships Trading Co. in Papua New Guinea, a subsidiary of Cathay Pacific's parent company, the Swire Group. • • • Nisbet Plantation Beach Club on Nevis named Andrew and Lori Hall general managers. The Halls both have more than 25 years of hospitality experience, including at the St. George's Club on Bermuda and with Great Western, Hilton and Doubletree properties. They replace Jamie Holmes, who is now general manager at the Nantucket Hotel & Resort off the coast of Massachusetts.

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