Destination News - Hotel, Resort & Spa North America.

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New York (AirGuide - Destination News - Hotel, Resort & Spa North America) Dec 18, 2012

Albany Hotel Albany, N.Y., hotel will remodel, convert to Hilton brand. The 384-rooom Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Albany, N.Y., is preparing for a multimillion-dollar remodeling project that will coincide with the hotel's plans to reposition itself under the Hilton brand. The hotel had earlier received a USD14.3 million tax break from the Albany economic development panel, which would free up at least USD10 million to be spent on the renovation. Owner Albany Hotel Inc. plans to begin the renovation next year, to end in 2013. The rebranding is expected to finish next year as well. Dec 12, 2011

American Express Business Travelers are spending more for flights than lodging, study shows. A study by American Express Business Insights reveals travelers are willing to spend more for flights than lodging. Industry analysts attribute this trend to an improvement in budget-hotel amenities and a desire to avoid a negative flying experience by paying more. "It really speaks to the fact that [consumers are] so concerned about the airline experience that they're willing to make the trade-off," said Maryam Wehe, a vice president at Applied Predictive Technologies. Dec 16, 2011

Best Western, Hilton, Marriott Global hotel chains eye opportunities in northern Iraq. Major hoteliers Best Western, Hilton Worldwide and Marriott International are pushing forward with developments in northern Iraq, seeing plenty of potential in the area's attractiveness to foreign investors. "If you look at the strong demand that will come from business and leisure travelers, and that there's a shortage of supply of hotels -- that makes this appealing to us," said Best Western International President and CEO David Kong. Dec 14, 2011

Caesars Entertainment The Forum Shops at Caesars has announced holiday events, starting on Nov. 25 (Black Friday). Among the events, Donald J Pliner will give all customers a gift with purchase and serve Mimosas and sweets all day with discounts available from 9 a.m. until noon. Guess will offer 30 percent off customersO entire purchases before noon. Thomas Pink is offering 30 percent off on select styles of menOs and womenOs shirts and accessories. Elie Tahari will offer light bites, as well as 40 percent off of fall merchandise. Escada will offer a 40 percent discount on all fall/winter items. Fresh will offer complimentary gift wrapping, a beverage station, a gift bar, and a gift with purchases of $200 or more. Fresh also will offer a free mini-facial with a skin care purchase. Throughout the season, The Forum Shops at Caesars is participating in the Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes program. Through the program, the Red Cross ensures that all Americans have the opportunity to send a touch of home this holiday season to service members, their families and veterans. Cards are hand-delivered to military bases, hospitals and VA medical centers. Specially designed holiday cards are available at the Guest Services counter through Dec. 4. Shoppers simply need to write a short note expressing their appreciation, and The Forum Shops personnel will mail it. For more information, visit www.forumshops.com. For hotel information, call 800-427-7247 or visit www.caesarspalace.com. Dec 12, 2011

Caesars Palace New Caesars Palace rooms will fetch higher rates, officials say. Officials at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas are expecting the 668 additional rooms in its new Octavius Tower to command premium rates despite the perceived oversupply in the Las Vegas market. The new tower will offer standard 550-square-foot rooms, 1,200-square-foot one-bedroom suites and larger multibedroom suites on the upper floors. All rooms will have flat-screen TVs, online hotel services and Jacuzzi-style bathtubs. Dec 16, 2011

Caesars, MGM, Wynn Caesars, MGM and Wynn score well with LGBT community. A trio of Las Vegas casino operators scored high with a group that monitors corporate support of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. "LGBT guests are treated with the utmost respect and are encouraged to take part in pioneered LGBT events and offerings (gay weddings and commitment ceremonies, honeymoon packages, nightlife and PRIDE events)," officials at Caesars said in a statement. Dec 12, 2011

Canyons Canyons ski resort in Utah freshens up offerings. A massive facelift project in 2010 at Canyons ski resort in Park City, Utah, has transformed the formerly rundown property into a skiing paradise with modern amenities and plenty of refreshment spots for tired visitors. The resort offers a wide variety of slopes for all skill levels and preferences, maintained by a fleet of grooming machines to ensure the smoothest runs for skiers. Dec 13, 2011

Carlson, Best Western Hotels see potential in India's religious-tourism industry. International hotel chains have noted a tremendous growth opportunity in India's religious-tourism market, which drew an estimated 450 million tourists in 2010, India's Department of Tourism says. The growing demand has prompted several chains such as Carlson and Best Western International to plan expansions into the country. Existing properties are mostly independent and fall under the mid-market segment. Dec 13, 2011

Cheaphotels.org Washington's budget hotels are topping those in NYC, San Francisco. A recent survey by Cheaphotels.org shows that the overall quality rating of budget hotels in areas such as Washington are surpassing those in San Francisco, New York City and elsewhere. Some people speculate that travelers gave affordability of the rooms in these cities more weight than the quality of service. Dec 12, 2011

Condominium Connection Condominium Connection is offering Aston Kaanapali Shores Beach Club Dollars throughout 2012. The five-night-minimum promotion features folio credits for guests dining in the resortOs Beach Club Restaurant. The dining credit is $50 for studios and $100 for one- and two-bedroom units. The property is also offering every fifth night free in selected rate plans throughout 2012. For more information, call 800-423-2976 or visit www.condoconnection.com. Dec 14, 2011

Cosmopolitan Casino Cosmopolitan still holds title of Las Vegas' newest casino. A year after it opened, the Cosmopolitan remains the newest casino on the Las Vegas Strip. With the slow economy, it may be some time before another casino opens its doors, this feature notes. "The Cosmopolitan has made the kind of splash that Sin City icons such as the Mirage, Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas did before it," Alex Pulaski writes. Dec 13, 2011

Crested Butte Mountain Resort Crested Butte Mountain Resort (CBMR) has announcing last-minute drive and fly packages. For those who are driving, CBMR is offering a fourth night free at select condominiums and a $200 gas credit on your reservation. The package must be booked by Nov. 28 for stays Dec. 16-27. Lift ticket purchase is required. For those are flying in, the Plaza Condominiums is offering a Buy One, Get One Free airline ticket, when clients book a lift and lodging package for a minimum of four nights. The special must be booked by Nov. 28 for travel Dec. 15 to 28. There is a limit of three airline tickets per reservation and a maximum of $500 per ticket. The four-night Grandest Christmas package, valid for stays Dec. 17 to 25, features accommodations at the Grand Lodge Hotel & Suites and three days of skiing or riding at CBMR, including passes to the resortOs Adventure Park, for a family of four for $1,199. The package must be booked by Dec. 6 for travel Dec. 17 to 27, 2011 (check-out on Dec. 28). Price is subject to availability and has been quoted prior to all fees, taxes and optional travel protection. To book a package, call 800-600-2803. For general destination and lodging information, visit www.skicb.com. Dec 12, 2011

DoubleTree DoubleTree by Hilton has announced the conversion and official opening of the 465-room DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh-Green Tree in Pittsburgh, Pa., now the largest Pittsburgh-area hotel currently available to travelers within the Hilton Worldwide portfolio, and located minutes from downtown Pittsburgh and area attractions. The property is slated to undergo an $16 million renovation, which is expected to be complete by the end of 2012. RIDA Development Corporation, one of the countryOs leading hotel developers, will direct the transformation of the DoubleTree by Hilton Pittsburgh-Green Tree with interior design company, Looney & Associates. Formerly the Radisson Hotel Pittsburgh-Green Tree, the hotel will be operated under a franchise...

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