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Hotel & Resort Beat

Not your father's Catskill Mountains resort The 1930s-era Concord Hotel in the Catskill Mountains is being demolished to make room for the $500 million, 1,500-room Concord Resort and Convention Center. Phase one of the project, which will cost approximately $150 million, will include 525 guest rooms, 85,000 sq. ft. of exhibition and meeting space, a health club and spa, restaurants, and the 2,400-room Imperial Theater.

Phase one, targeted for completion in mid-2002, also will include eight indoor tennis courts, basketball courts, a bowling alley and the refurbishment of two 18-hole championship golf courses.

The project will be owned and developed by Concord Associates LP, a joint venture between Cappelli Enterprises and Reckson Strategic Venture Partners. The 1,600-acre property is located in Kiamisha Lake, N.Y., off the Route 17 Expressway.

Future phases of the project will include a 320-room tower on the northwest section of the property and a 480-room tower at the southern end of the main hotel. Additional proposed elements in the master plan include the Kiamisha Ranch Spa, an equestrian center, a golf village, an alpine village, a wilderness village, and a village square and entertainment center.

MeriStar, American Skiing Co. form $1.2 billion company Newry, Maine-based American Skiing Co., the world's largest ski resort operating company, and Washington, D.C.-based MeriStar Hotels & Resorts have agreed to merge. The new company will be called Doral International Inc., and will operate, own and develop mountain and beach resorts, hotels, vacation villages and conference centers.

MeriStar Hotels & Resorts, the nation's largest independent hotel management company, will merge into American Skiing Co., with stockholders receiving 1.88 shares of Doral International stock for each share of common stock they own. The combined company will have assets of approximately $1.2 billion, and pro forma 2001 revenues of approximately $600 million. The merger combines nine premium ski resorts, 246 hotels, 23 resort hotels, 15 golf courses and four conference facilities.

Doral International will contain four leisure and hospitality units. The company also will develop corporate housing projects, and vacation villages and resorts.

Slice of paradise sells for $143 million New York-based Tishman Hotel Corp. has arranged the $143 million sale of the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua hotel, considered one of the premier resorts in the United States. Located on the Hawaiian island of Maui, the 548-room hotel was sold by Nissho Iwai Corp., a major Japanese trading company, to Atlanta-based The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., an affiliate of Marriott International. Tishman represented the seller in the transaction.

A new look for Windy City's Inter-Continental Hotel Renovations will give a new look to both the interior and exterior of the 844-room Hotel Inter-Continental Chicago, built in 1929. The hotel, located on the famous Magnificent Mile section of Michigan Avenue, will be renovated in two phases.

Phase one, slated for completion in May 2001, will create one large entrance joining the north and south towers. The rebuilt and enlarged lobby will include a four-story rotunda, and the guest rooms in the north tower will feature mahogany finishes and marble bathrooms.

Soundproofing for guest rooms and improvements to the elevators also are planned for phase one. The Amber restaurant will receive a major facelift that will require it to remain closed until June 2001.

Phase two of the renovations, scheduled to begin in December 2001, will refurbish the 346 guest rooms in the south tower. Chicago-based Gensler Group will be the lead architectural firm.

AmeriSuites making splash in growing timeshare industry Fairfield, N.J.-based Prime Hospitality Corp. plans to open its first timeshare resort in late 2001. The company has reached an agreement with Kissimmee, Fla.-based Timescape Resorts to develop the 151-suite AmeriSuites Vacation Club at Calypso Cay Vacation Villas in Orlando, Fla.

Prime Hospitality is looking into developing additional AmeriSuites Vacation Clubs with Timescape. In launching its first timeshare resort, AmeriSuites is competing against major timeshare brands such as Marriott and Hyatt. According to Terry O'Leary, senior vice president of franchise sales and development for Prime Hospitality, the company aims to compete against other brands by opening the Vacation Club in key markets. in the United States.

W says hola to Mexico City W, the upscale hotel chain that has opened properties primarily in major North American cities, is heading south to Mexico City. The 239-room W Mexico City is scheduled to open in mid-2002.

White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and Grupo Plan Planification S.A. de C.V., a real estate company that owns several hotels in Mexico, are teaming up on the project. The hotel will be located in the Polanco area, which is the commercial and entertainment hub of Mexico City.

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