Worldwide briefing

24 August 2004
Worldwide briefing

Essential news from around the world…

Schrager Hotels redesigns its finances
Morgans Hotel Group, formerly Ian Schrager Hotels, has completed a $475m (£265m) refinancing package to reduce its debt burden. The group recently sold its Paramount Hotel in New York City for $128.5m (£71.5m)and completed a $71m (£40m) sale-and-leaseback on its San Francisco Clift Hotel.

Hooters expands into India and Vegas Hooters, the US-based restaurant chain known for its busty cheerleader waitress in skimpy outfits, plans to open branches in major cities in India next year. It has also teamed up with the 711-bedroom Hotel San Remo in Las Vegas to create the Hooters Casino Hotel, due to open in late 2005.

W hotel poised for Seoul debut Starwood Hotels & Resorts is to open a W hotel in Seoul, south Korea, this month. The 253-bedroom hotel is on the slopes of Mount Acha in the resort district of Walkerhill. It is Starwood's third W hotel outside the USA, following Sydney, Australia, and Mexico City.

Raw food pioneer closes
Roxanne's, the raw food restaurant in California that created a big stir when it opened in 2002, has closed. Owners Roxanne and Michael Klein told the San Francisco Chronicle that the restaurant's newly opened take-away outlet next door had cannibalised the main business.

Prime buy for investment firm
Blackstone, the former owner of the Savoy Group, is to buy US hotel owner and operator Prime Hospitality for more than $790m (£440m), including debt. Prime Hospitality has more than 250 hotels across north America, including AmeriSuites and Wellesley Inns & Suites.

Highland buys four from Wyndham US real estate investment trust Highland Hospitality Corporation has bought four hotels from Wyndham International for $227m (£126m). The four hotels have 1,687 bedrooms between them and are located in Parsippany, New Jersey, Atlanta, Georgia, Hauppauge, New York, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Raffles is just the ticket for Taj Singapore-based Raffles International has signed a marketing alliance with India's Taj Hotels, Resorts and Palaces. Taj has about 70 hotels, while Raffles has 37.

Vegas Hilton bought for $280m Caesars Entertainment has sold the Las Vegas Hilton to investment firm Colony Capital for about $280m (£156m). The 30-storey hotel has nearly 3,000 bedrooms. CB Richard Ellis Hotels was the agent.

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