BRAND NEW DiamondHead All Suite Beach Resort is set for completion in November in Fort Myers Beach, Fla. The 124-suite resort will offer five meeting rooms and a boardroom, totaling 7,000 square feet of meeting space. It is being developed by SunStream Hotels & Resorts.
Accor recently announced it will build its second Sofitel hotel in Chicago, set to open in 2000. The 400-room Hotel Sofitel will be downtown, one block west of North Michigan. Plans call for 10,000 square feet of meeting space.
The 2,914-room Paris-Las Vegas Casino Resort, Hilton's largest construction project ever, is slated to open next to Bally's on the Las Vegas strip in late 1999. Meeting space includes three divisible ballrooms: the 85,200-square-foot Paris Ballroom, the 17,385-square-foot Champagne Ballroom, and the 7,685-square-foot Versailles Ballroom. Pre-function space is modeled after the Hall of Mirrors at Versailles.
RENOVATIONS AND EXPANSIONS Value Investors Inc. has purchased the Concord Hotel in Kiamesha Lake, N.Y., and plans a major renovation to turn it into a luxury property centered around the nationally ranked Monster Golf Course and the International Golf Course. The 1,200-room hotel is 90 minutes from New York City. Total meeting and exhibit space tops 170,000 square feet.
SeaWorld Orlando is building a multimillion-dollar, 12,000-square-foot complex dedicated to groups. Scheduled to open in 1999, the complex also includes 17,000 square feet of themed garden reception area and a deluxe boardroom.
The Doubletree Guest Suites in Dana Point, Calif., has completed a $3.5 million renovation that includes updating of all 196 suites and function space and the addition of a fifth meeting room.
The 538-room Renaissance Esmeralda Resort in Indian Wells, Calif., recently debuted The Pavilion, a 12,000-square-foot freestanding ballroom.
Two new additions at Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Mich., include a completely renovated 100,000-square-foot health club and the Jim McLean Golf School. Grand Traverse has 660 accommodations, 49,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space, and 36 holes of championship golf. The 18-hole Northern Knight, designed by Gary Player, is set to open next year.
Greg Norman is designing the sixth golf course, set to open in December 1999 at PGA WEST in La Quinta, Calif.
As part of a $2 million renovation, Rosemont Suites has added a full service business center with a full-time staff. The 296-suite hotel, in Rosemont, Ill., offers more than 8,000 square feet of meeting space as well as two boardrooms and 22 executive conference suites.
The Sagamore, a historic luxury resort in Bolton Landing, N.Y., is in the midst of a three-year enhancement program. Recently completed was the redecoration of all 240 Lodge rooms and suites and the addition of a canopied event venue. The hotel's Empire Room will undergo a complete renovation later in the year. Last year, the Sagamore Dining Room, fitness center, pool, breakout rooms, and meeting rooms were renovated.
INTERNATIONAL BEAT The Ritz London is in the midst of a major refurbishment, restoring the original Louis XVI. Much of the work has been completed on the public spaces, with guest rooms being upgraded in stages. The 131-room, 14-suite hotel has 2,379 square feet of meeting space.
The 267-room Brisbane Marriott Hotel opened recently in Brisbane, Australia. About 20 minutes from the Brisbane International Airport, the hotel offers 6,835 square feet of meeting space, an executive floor, a business center, and an exercise room.
The Westin Taipei is scheduled to open in 1999 with 317 guest rooms, including guest office rooms designed specifically to meet the needs of business travelers. A health club, a business center, and meeting and banquet facilities are also planned.
Westin has been selected to be part of Japan's Awaji Island International Park City project, just off the coast of Kobe in the Inland Sea. The 201-room Westin Awaji Island, Resort & Conference Center is set for completion in the spring of 2000. The International Conference Center has more than 148,000 square feet spread over four floors.
The 240-room Pan Pacific Hotel Manila has opened in the Philippines, featuring all executive floors with personalized, full butler service. Facilities include a rooftop garden, seven function rooms, a business center, and a fitness center.
Planned to open next winter in the Riviera Maya and the Costa Maya, two new tourism districts in Mexico's State of Quintana Roo, are three new Fiesta Americana resorts. The 250-room Fiesta Americana Chemuyil will open in the Riviera Maya and eventually will offer an 18-hole championship golf course and up to 750 additional rooms. The 80-room Fiesta Americana Costa Maya will be surrounded by a protected mangrove forest. Later phases may bring the total number of rooms to 200. The 40-room Fiesta Americana Kohunlich will be an all-inclusive hotel with numerous recreational activities. Fiesta Americana owner Grupo Posadas also recently announced the opening of eight new Fiesta Inn properties this year, bringing the total number of Fiesta Inns to 25. Coming soon are the 154-room Fiesta Inn Puebla La Noria, the 161-room Fiesta Inn Moterrey La Fe, the 144-room Fiesta Inn Toluca, and the 160-room Fiesta Inn Queretaro.
The Gran Melia Caracas Hotel, Suites & Conference Center, Sol Melia's first business hotel venture in Venezuela, recently opened in Caracas. The hotel features 432 guest rooms and 236 two-and three-bedroom apartments. A complete fitness center, a business center, a heliport, and meeting space for up to 3,000 delegates are also available. The new hotel is 25 miles from Maiquetia International Airport.