News in brief: DoubleTree, Barceló, Interval

DoubleTree to expand in Malaysia: Hilton Worldwide announced the signing of a management agreement with Pinnacle Nexus Sdn. Bhd. (a member of Cornerstone Partners) to open the 318-room DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Penang in 2016.

Read more at MarketWatch 


Barceló to become sole owner of Occidental: Spain’s Barceló Hotels & Resorts has signed an agreement with Spanish bank BBVA to acquire the remaining 57.5% stake in Occidental Hotels & Resorts to become the sole owner of the hotel company and expand its presence in Latin America. Last month, Barceló acquired a 42.5% stake in Miami-based Occidental, which owns 11 hotels with 4,000 rooms and manages two properties in the region.


Interval teams with Vacation Internationale: Interval International and points-based club Vacation Internationale (VI) announced a long-term master affiliation agreement. As part of the agreement, Interval is providing a comprehensive package of customized services, including points-based exchange. New VI purchasers will have access to the Interval Gold package of expanded benefits, such as flexible exchange options and upgraded services.


MERS spurs cancellations across Asia: The recent outbreak of MERS (Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) is causing a wave of cancellations across Asia, according to ForwardKeys. ForwardKeys said during the week of June 6-12, net bookings fell 188% from Northeast Asia and 131% from the rest of Asia. Net bookings from all other continents fell more than 60%.


Las Vegas legend passes away: Billionaire Kirk Kerkorian, who built Las Vegas’ biggest hotels and sold MGM at a profit three times, has died at age 98. He built the 30-story, 1,568-room International Hotel, the world’s largest hotel when it opened in the late 1960s, as well as the first MGM Grand with more than 2,000 room in Las Vegas in the 1970s. Years later, he built another MGM Grand with more 5,000 rooms — again the world’s largest.


Pod Hotels to debut in D.C.: The 245-room Pod DC is scheduled to open in fall 2016 in the Penn Quarter neighborhood of Washington, D.C. The hotel is being developed by Washington, D.C.-based Modus Hotels.