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By Joe Brancatelli

 With business travel dropping like a stone, you’d hate to be a hotel owner now. But what choice do you have? You have new buildings in the pipeline, so your only choice is to keep the structure closed or open as planned. For the moment, at least, hoteliers are choosing the latter. So get out your scorecard and mark down these new outposts. … W Hotels has opened a branch in Minneapolis. The 229-room property is in the iconic Foshay Tower modeled after the Washington Monument. … Embassy Suites has opened a 283-suite property in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. … Mandarin Oriental has opened a 136-room/12-suite property on Boylston Street in Boston. It’s adjacent to the Prudential Center. Opening rates are $525 a night on the Internet and more than $800 a night through other outlets. … Staybridge Suites has opened a 118-room hotel in Las Vegas. The five-story property is four blocks off The Strip. … Internationally, Radisson SAS has opened a 330-room hotel across from Terminal 1 at Zurich Airport.


A lavish new club from Cathay Pacific: Cathay Pacific has opened a lounge in Hong Kong for its arriving first-class and elite customers. The lounge, called The Arrival, is located between Terminals 1 and 2 and features a buffet dining area, eight shower stalls, desktop computers and Wi-Fi connections. … Speaking of lounges, Priority Pass has added lounges in Amman, Jordan; Sydney; Beijing; Boston (the US Airways Club in Terminal B); and Phoenix (the US Airways club in Concourse 4B). And Diners Club, the nearly moribund charge card now owned by the Discover card, has signed up 18 lounges at 14 airports in the United Kingdom. The lounges are operated by Servisair. Diners Club cardholders get airport club access in about 30 countries.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2008 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

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