First Hilton in Bahamas to transform Nassau property Hilton International is adding its first Bahamian property, the 291-room British Colonial Hilton Nassau in the heart of Nassau's financial district, to its growing family. Under a management contract with RHK Capital of Toronto, Hilton is overseeing a $35 million restoration of the oldest continuously operating Nassau hotel. Completion is scheduled for August.

When finished, the 7-story, 77-year-old property, built on the site of the Old Fort Nassau, will be a luxury business and leisure hotel. The property boasts downtown Nassau's only private, including a freshwater swimming pool, tropical gardens, a full fitness center and an on-site scuba-diving and snorkeling facility.

Beanie Babies creator buys New York's Four Seasons Pop Quiz: How many Beanie Babies do you have to sell to buy New York's swankest (and most expensive, and tallest) hotel? Answer: A bunch, for sure. But that's just what Ty Warner, CEO and owner of Ty Inc., has done, because he is now the proud new owner of the New York's Four Seasons Hotel. Warner bought the property from a consortium of Hong Kong investors led by Lai Sun Hotels International Limited.

Pricing estimates were not given, but the 52-story, 371-room, I.M. Pei-designed palace cost an estimated $500 million to build and commands an average room rate of around $600.

Warner was represented by Greg Rice, president of Solid Rock Advisors. Counsel to the selling group was the New York law firm of Robinson, Silverman, Pearce, Aronsohn & Berman.

Rodeo Drive hotel receives $20 million makeover Tishman Construction Corp. of California is well on its way to "reinventing" Rodeo Drive's only hotel thanks to a $20 million refurbishment. The redo is adding 7,000 sq. ft. of prime retail space to the property. The hotel was purchased by Los Angeles-based Luxe Hospitality Corp. and will be operated as the Luxe Hotel.

The 86-room property was first opened in the early-1960s. In its reincarnation, plans call for a more European-style boutique hotel offering all the comforts of home (an expensive home, we assume). A January 2000 completion is expected.

Miami's new JW Marriott set for May 2000 completion MDM Brickell Hotel Group Ltd, Miami, has hired Turner Construction Co.'s Miami office to build the 21-story, 300-room JW Marriott Hotel Miami. The $37 million project, downtown Miami's first major new hotel in the past decade, is due to be completed in May 2000. Project architect is Nichols Brosch Sandoval & Associates of Coral Gables, Fla.

The hotel features two executive level floors with concierge lounge, an upscale restaurant, more than 18,000 sq. ft. of banquet and meeting/conference center facilities, an outdoor pool and a health club.