UP AND COMING * Detroit's casino gambling industry will be launched in temporary casinos in 1998, but by 2001, three major properties will be up and running, bringing with them 2,601 hotel rooms. The city has approved an 800-room MGM Grand, an 801-room Atwater/Circus Circus property, and a 1,000-room hotel operated by the Greektown/Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.
* The Las Vegas Marriott Suites opened in December one block from the Las Vegas Convention Center. The property has 278 suites and a 2,400-square-foot ballroom. And coming soon, more suites: the Embassy Suites-Las Vegas-Convention Center began construction in January, with an opening planned for January 1999. The 277-suite property will have 10,000 square feet of meeting space and is also a short walk from the Convention Center.
*Across International Drive from the Orange County Convention Center, The Westin Orlando is under way with a January 2000 opening planned. The 1,200-room convention hotel will feature 115,000 square feet of meeting space
* On Queenslands' Gold Coast In northeastern Australia, the Radisson Resort Palm Meadows opened with 280 rooms. In addition to a ballroom seating 800 persons theater-style, the resort features the Palm Meadows 18-hole golf course, a lighted driving range, four tennis courts, and two swimming pools. It's also just a five-minute walk from Lakelands, the first Jack Nicklaus-designed 18-hole golf course in Australia.
ADDING ON * Boston's Back Bay Hilton began an expansion in October that will add 44 new luxury-class rooms in a 25-story tower by June. A three-year renovation plan for the property's 341 existing rooms began at the same time and is expected to be completed by December 1999.
* Spa Ojai, the Ojai (CA) Valley Inn's new 31,000-square-foot spa, opened in December. Unconventionally upscale, the spa has an artist in residence, massage rooms with fireplaces, wet treatment rooms with wall fountains, a star gazing specialist, and other unusual extras. The property has 192 guest rooms and meeting space for up to 450 persons.
* The 276-room Wyndham Albuquerque (NM) Hotel, adjacent to the Albuquerque International Sunport, opened 6,000 square feet of new meeting space in the fall.
TRANSITIONS The resort group formerly known as Geneva Lakes Resorts--The Abbey Resort & Fontana Spa, Fontana, WI; Interlaken Resort & Country Spa, and Inns of Geneva National, both In Lake Geneva, WI--is now the Abbey Group Resorts. . . . The seven properties that had been the Disney Village Resort Hotels now have the title Downtown Disney Resort Area Hotels. They are: Buena Vista Palace, Courtyard by Marriott, Doubletree Guest Suites, Grosvenor Resort, The Hilton, Hotel Royal Plaza, and Travelodge Hotel. . . . Westin continues to expand its portfolio. In October, the Sheraton Key Largo (FL) Beach Resort became The Westin Beach Resort, Key Largo. The Hermitage Suite Hotel in Nashville became the Westin Hermitage in December, and as of January 1, the Nagoya Castle Hotel in Nagoya, Japan was reflagged The Westin Nagoya Castle, the chain's fourth Japanese property. . . . Marcus Hotels and Resorts, which manages Miramonte Resort in Indian Wells, CA and Grand Geneva Resort & Spa in Lake Geneva, WI, recently earned the managementfor Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island, MI.
RENOVATION TIME * A three-year renovation is drawing to a close at Pheasant Run Resort and Convention Center in St. Charles, IL. Revamping of all 470 guest rooms, including better work areas and new softgoods, will be complete by the end of 1998. The resort also made major improvements to the meeting rooms.
* The Executive Meeting Center at the Grand Cypress Resort has been completely remodeled. The Center offers 7,000 square feet of meeting space.
* Five-year-old Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA completed a $4.5 million renovation last fall that freshened the lobby, Living Room, grand staircase, amphitheater, pro shop, tavern, and Club Lobby. The 305-room resort is eight miles from Dulles International Airport.