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Hotel & Resort News

John Q. Hammons starts new Dallas/Fort Worth Embassy Suites Construction has begun by John Q. Hammons Hotels Inc. on a full-service, upscale 330-suite Embassy Suites hotel. The hotel is to be connected to the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store under construction near the Grapevine Mills Mall in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.

Equity Inns enters new markets with 10 Amerisuites purchase Entering the Nevada and New Mexico markets, Memphis, Tenn.-based Equity Inns has agreed to purchase 10 AmeriSuites from Prime Hospitality Corp. for approximately $101 million. The 10 hotels total 1,276 rooms and are located in nine states, including Nevada, New Mexico, Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, Maryland, Louisiana, Alabama and Minnesota. Closing is expected to take place prior to the end of the second quarter.

Insignia/ESG acquires leading hotel broker Hotel Partners Selling more hotels annually than any other brokerage firm, Chicago-based Hotel Partners has been acquired by Insignia/ESG Inc., the commercial real estate services firm of Greenville, S.C.-based Insignia Financial Group Inc. Hotel Partners will now operate as Insignia/ESG Hotel Partners Inc. Hotel Partners' three principals, Chairman Bill Gudenau, President Paul Jones and Executive Vice President Russell Urban, will be senior officers at the new unit.

Marriott buys remaining interest in Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. For an undisclosed amount, Washington, D.C.-based Marriott International has purchased the remaining 51% interest in Atlanta-based Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., which currently manages 35 hotels worldwide. In 1995, Marriott had purchased a 49% stake in Ritz-Carlton for $200 million.

Ritz-Carlton Chairman and CEO William B. Johnson is no longer associated with the firm, and Vice Chairman of Marriott International William R. Tiefel will now serve in the position of chairman. Horst Schulze will continue as president and COO.

Hotel industry first quarter M&A activity hits record $32.2 billion At more that three times the $8.9 million merger and acquisition activity for all of 1997, first quarter 1998 activity reached a record $32.2 billion, according to the Lodging Research Network (, the Internet resource for lodging and information from Coopers & Lybrand LLP. Of the first quarter's total 18 deals, 11 hotel REIT deals accounted for $25.7 billion. Lodging Research reports that for the same quarter last year, two deals accounted for just $584 million, or less than one-third, of that quarter's five completed deals valued at $1.9 billion. 1997 as a whole, saw 21 deals valued at $8.9 billion.

OPCC, BOSS Properties to develop 450-room hotel Representing the first full-service hotel development in Atlanta since the Occidental Grand was built in 1992, Atlanta-based Overseas Partners Capital Corp. and BOSS Properties have formed a joint venture to develop a 450-room, full-service hotel in the north-central submarket of Atlanta, near the intersection of Georgia 400 and Abernathy Road. Construction is set to begin this summer, and the hotel is scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of 1999.

With the recent acquisition of Inter-Continental Hotels, Atlanta-based Holiday Hospitality thought it was time to again change its name to reflect its new growth, although it had only changed its name a year ago from Holiday Inn Worldwide to Holiday Hospitality. "We're a global worldwide powerhouse, the largest operating unit in Bass PLC, and we need a name that reflects that fact," says Tom Oliver, chairman and CEO, at Holiday's annual General Managers' Conference held in Atlanta. "We intend to introduce a name that will communicate all that and more, and so it is our intent now to be known as Bass Hotels and Resorts.

Also announced at the conference was Bass Hotels and Resorts plan to further its worldwide presence with its first-ever campaign to promote tourism in the Asian-Pacific region. "This campaign sells the land of endless enchantment through powerful imagery and compelling destination positioning," says Oliver. "These images will romanticize the attractiveness of the region and encourage U.S. travellers to take advantage of promotional pricing ... and stay in your hotels."

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