Morgans approves acquisition by SBE


SLS Hotels parent SBE, which in May reached a deal to acquire Morgans Hotel Group for $794 million, said Morgans shareholders approved the buyout last week after a delay this month when Morgans said it received a higher bid from a mystery entity. SBE did not say if the price changed. The acquisition will more than triple SBE's hotel count to 20 from six, with brands like Mondrian and Delano. Morgans was founded in 1983 by Ian Schrager, who sold his interest in 2005.

Congress funds bill to fight the Zika virus
Congress passed a bill to provide $1.1 billion in federal funding to fight the Zika virus. Congress had been slow to fund Zika prevention due to a dispute over whether Planned Parenthood clinics in Puerto Rico would be eligible for to receive those federal dollars.

Air Berlin downsizing and restructuring
The Lufthansa Group will lease up to 40 Airbus A320 aircraft from competitor Air Berlin beginning next summer, as part of a restructuring deal for economically stressed Air Berlin, which plans to focus on business routes from its Berlin and Dusseldorf hubs. Lufthansa plans to deploy 35 of the aircraft to its discount carrier Eurowings and the rest to Austrian Airlines.

G Adventures offers events-focused tours
G Adventures launched a collection of trips going to special world events. The Limited Edition trips include jaunts to the Haitian Carnival, Pizzafest in Italy and Halloween at Bran Castle in Romania. The collection is also intended to make it easier for travel agents to find special event trips in one place.

Atlantis plans U.S. expansion, to Oahu
Atlantis Resorts plans to open a 26-acre oceanfront resort at the Ko Olina Resort on Oahu's west coast, its first property in the U.S. Situated near Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa, the developers said the resort would be similar to the Atlantis Dubai and target millennial travelers. There was no word on when construction will begin.

New Trump Hotels brand called Scion
Trump Hotels named its upcoming lifestyle brand Scion, noting it means "descendant of a notable family." The luxury hotel operator said the brand's hotels would have "a true sense of place and personality" and would capitalize on the "boom in social clubs" as well as what Trump Hotels called the "we" economy. The company didn't disclose specifics on where or when the first Scion hotel would open.

S.F. Hyatt completes major renovation
The Hyatt Regency San Francisco finished a renovation of its 804 guestrooms and public areas. Wooden alcove seating and a 400-light sculpture were added to the lobby, which is touted as the world's largest. Four of the hotel's 45 suites were made luxury suites, and the Eclipse Kitchen and Bar was redesigned.

Historical Nashville hotel to be Unbound
Nashville's James Robertson building will become a 191-room hotel and member of Hyatt's Unbound Collection. Hyatt and HRI Properties will spend $50 million converting the property, built as the James Robertson Hotel in 1929 and listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

Friends & Colleagues
AMResorts has promoted Erica Doyne to vice president of marketing. Doyne has been with AMResorts since 2005 and has been promoted several times throughout her career, most recently to the role of senior director of marketing. • • • HomeAway chief commerce officer John Kim will succeed company co-founder Brian Sharples as CEO, while Sharples will become the company's chairman. Kim joined HomeAway early last year after serving as chief product officer at Expedia. That company acquired HomeAway late last year for $3.9 billion. HomeAway's other co-founder, Carl Shepherd, retired last year. • • • Southwest Airlines promoted Reid Grandle to vice president of corporate strategy. He succeeds Mike Delehant in the post. Grandle will be responsible for Southwest's innovation and data science functions, and he will play a part in implementing the carrier's long-term strategic plan. Grandle joined Southwest in 2014 and most recently served as a senior director in the corporate strategy department. • • • The Nevis Tourism Authority appointed Tim Thuell chairman of the board. Thuell is currently general manager of Nisbet Plantation. Thuell had served as GM for many years and recently returned after a brief hiatus. He succeeds Alistair Forrest in both the GM and chairman post. Forrest, meanwhile, has been named general manager of Blue Waters Resort & Spa on Antigua's northwestern shore. He had served as GM of Blue Waters from 2008 to 2012 before moving to Nisbet Plantation. • • • Onur Kademoglu has been named director of sales and marketing for the Canyon Ranch Wellness Resort in Kaplankaya, Turkey, its first international destination. Kademoglu brings more than a decade of sales and marketing experience to Canyon Ranch. Most recently, he was director of sales and marketing at the Pera Palace Hotel Jumeirah in Istanbul.

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