News in brief: Banyan Investment, AlSol, Kimpton

Banyan Investment buys Georgia hotel:  Banyan Investment Group announced on Tuesday that it bought the 124-room Hotel Sierra, located in the Atlanta suburb of Alpharetta from LodgeWorks.


AlSol expands in Dominican Republic:  AlSol Hotels & Resorts announced on Monday the signing of a management deal for the 300-villa AlSol Luxury Village and the private residential development AlSol Del Mar, both located in Cap Cana.


 Kimpton announces new COO:  Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants announced that Mike DeFrino will be the company’s new COO after Niki Leondakis left the position last year to become CEO of Commune Hotels & Resorts.

Read more at the San Francisco Business Times


Veracity expands in Illinois:  Veracity Hospitality announced that it assumed management of the 414-room KeyLime Cove Waterpark Resort, located in Gurnee.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal


US group, business travel spending to increase:  The Global Business Travel Association projects that group travel spending should also continue to grow in 2013, rising by 5.3% to US$117.1 billion while business travel spending for 2013 is now expected to reach US$273.3 billion; an upgrade from last quarter’s forecast of US$268.5 billion for the year.


TripAdvisor announces new offering:  TripAdvisor announced plans to launch TripAdvisor Connect, an online platform that will enable independent hotels and B&Bs to manage their online promotion themselves and access services previously only available to major online travel agencies, booking engines and hotel chains.