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Stay near the new home of Austin City Limits at W Austin.

By Joe Brancatelli

Hotel companies have this fantastic vision of 2011, filled with sugar plums and rapid nightly rate increases. Hence a burst of new properties:

  • Hyatt has opened a 178-room Hyatt Place in Pittsburgh. It’s across the Allegheny River from the downtown Golden Triangle, and between Heinz Field (home of the Steelers) and PNC Park (home of the Pirates).
  • Starwood has opened the 251-room W Austin in the Second Street downtown district. The hotel is connected to The Moody Theater, a new entertainment venue and the new home of the Austin City Limits television show.
  • Carlson has opened an 81-room Country Inns & Suites in the city of Texarkana, Texas.
  • There are also two notable conversions: Wyndham has slapped its name on Chicago‘s Hotel Blake, the 162-room property in the converted Morton Salt building. And Starwood has put the Sheraton name on the former Wyndham property located across NW 42nd Avenue from Miami International Airport. The 405-room hotel has recently undergone a $6 million upgrade.
  • There is also a notable closure to report: The only Embassy Suites in New York City is due to close early in January. The hotel in Battery Park City near the financial district will be renovated into a Conrad Hotel, one of the luxury brands operated by Hilton, which is also parent company of Embassy Suites.

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Joe Brancatelli is editor and publisher of, a non-commercial Web site for business travelers. Copyright 2010 by Joe Brancatelli. Licensed by contract for Orbitz use.

Tagged: Hotels

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