News in brief: IHG, Turkey, Absolute

IHG results: InterContinental Hotels Group announced a US$1.5 billion special dividend in releasing its 2015 preliminary results. The company increased global RevPAR 4.4% and recorded the most room openings since 2009.

Read the full company report here


Turkey tourism: Amid a decline in international visitors, Turkey’s prime minister announced a plan to support the country’s tourism sector with a 255 million lira (US$87 million) grant to allow firms to restructure debt.

Reuters has the story


Absolute in Vietnam: Bangkok-based Absolute Hotel Services is developing a property on the Vietnamese island of Phu Quoc to be branded the Eastin Resort Phu Quoc. The 220-room resort is targeted to open in 2018.


OTA, hotel battle heats up: A coalition of OTAs is pushing back on the American Hotel and Lodging Association’s assertion that fraudulent online booking sites cost the hotel industry US$1.3 billion a year. The association is seeking legislation to curtail the sites.

Read the story in the LA Times


Westin Milwaukee: Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide will open a Westin in downtown Milwaukee in summer 2017. The 220-room hotel will be owned by Jackson Street Holdings and managed by White Lodging.


Indy building to Drury: A building in downtown Indianapolis owned by IBJ Media co-owners Michael S. Maurer and Robert Schloss, was sold to St. Louis-based Drury Hotels and will be converted to a hotel. A purchase priced wasn’t named but the building was assessed at a US$4.8 million.

Read the story in the Indianapolis Business Journal


Booking a spot in jail: Fred “Dave” Clark Jr., founder of failed Cay Clubs Resorts & Marinas in Florida, was sentenced to 40 years in prison, and fines and forfeitures topping US$300 million for running an illegal Ponzi scheme centering around the resort.

Read the story in the Miami Herald


Banyan buys Garden Inn: Banyan Investment Group and Compass Real Estate acquired a 120-room Hilton Garden Inn in the Chicago suburb of St. Charles. The property will undergo a $2 million renovation and will be complete in March. The seller was Oakbrook Properties Inc.; the purchase price was not disclosed.


Two-build in Wilmington: Buccini/Pollin, a Wilmington, Delaware-based real estate company, announced plans to build to two hotels on the Wilmington Riverfront, a 200-room Marriott and a 100-room Homewood Suites.

Read the story on Delaware Public Media