Hilton rumor: Hilton Worldwide is reportedly in talks to buy four properties from Blackstone Group and other owners to defer tax payments from its US$1.95 billion sale of New York’s Waldorf Astoria. The assets include San Francisco’s Parc 55 Wyndham, the city’s fourth-biggest hotel, at more than 1,000 rooms, two Waldorf Astoria resorts in Key West and one in Orlando, Florida.
Read Bloomberg report for more.
Yoo hits Rio: Yoo Hotels & Resorts, London, on Thursday announced it will open in December 2015 the 144-room YOO2 Botafogo in Rio de Janeiro. Designed by Yoo Studio and forming part of Yoo Hotels & Resorts (two components of Yoo, owned by John Hitchcox and Philippe Starck), the boutique property will feature a dramatic entrance and lobby lounge, and a rooftop terrace with views of the bay and Sugarloaf Mountain.
Another First: Rosemont, Ill.-based First Hospitality Group, Rosemont, Illinois, has signed a long-term management agreement with Chicago-based Aspen Venture Group for the Hampton Inn Chicago-Elgin hotel. The 108-room hotel, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in July, will receive a complete renovation in 2015.
New Premier: During its third quarter earnings call on Thursday in which Whitbread reported its Premier Inn like-for-like sales rose 8.5%, the company announced that the head of its restaurants and hotels business, Patrick Dempsey, is stepping down after 10 years and will leave the company on February 28. He will be replaced by Paul Flaum, who is currently the head of Whitbread’s restaurants business.
Hyatt Place deals: NewcrestImage, Dallas, has acquired two Hyatt Place hotels in Texas – the 127-room property on Dallas Parkway in Plano and the 126-room property on Hyatt Park Drive in San Antonio.