HOTEL HOT SHEET
The New Hotels Keep on Coming: With hotel occupancy plummeting and room rates falling precipitously, logic would lead you to believe that the hotel industry would stop opening hotels. But that's not how it works in lodging, when projects put into the pipeline years ago keep gushing out. So get out your scorecard and make note of this week's new openings. … There are four new Hilton Garden Inn properties: a 224-room Hilton Garden Inn at Toronto/Pearson Airport; a 140-room hotel in Ridgefield Park, New Jersey; a 105-room outlet in Tifton, Georgia; and a 115-room hotel in Fontana, California. … There are two new Courtyard by Marriott properties: a 218-room hotel adjacent to the New York Avenue Metro Station in Washington and a 92-room hotel in Denton, Texas. … Meanwhile, InterContinental has opened a 100-room Candlewood Suites in Manassas, Virginia, and a 100-room Hotel Indigo in San Jose, Costa Rica. …. The 125-room boutique Moonrise Hotel has opened in St. Louis. The hotel has a rooftop terrace; introductory rates start at $159 a night. … Just what we needed: another luxury hotel. This one is the 151-room St. Regis Atlanta in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood. … And not even Brighton, the famed if faded British seaside resort, can resist the lure of the chain hotels. Two of the city's best known properties now sport brand flags. The Royal York is a Radisson and the Lansdowne Place is now a Park Inn.
Chicago's Bid to Privatize Midway Airport Is Over: A 99-year, $2.52 billion deal to privatize Midway Airport in Chicago is off — permanently. After the private interests missed their first payment in April, the lease has been canceled, the consortium is gone and Chicago keeps $126 million of "earnest" money. This is the second attempt at privatizing a U.S. commercial airport. Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York, was leased to Britain's National Express and that also ended badly. National Express left and Stewart is now in the hands of the Port Authority, the quasi-public agency that runs Newark Airport and New York City's Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. The next test will be in Branson, Missouri. A private firm has built a new, $155 million airport. So far only two carriers, AirTran Airways and Sun Country Airlines, have agreed to fly there.
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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of JoeSentMe.com, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2009 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.