Jupiter Realty to develop four-star hotel in Illinois An affiliate of Chicago-based Jupiter Realty Corp. will break ground on a 450-room hotel this summer in Rosemont, Ill. Completion of the Omni Rosemont Hotel, to be managed by Schaumburg, Ill.-based Hostmark Hospitality Group and operated by Irving, Texas-based Omni Hotels, is slated for 2001.

The hotel will be located on the south side of Balmoral Avenue, facing Interstate-294, and local landmarks include the adjacent Rosemont Theater and the Village of Rosemont Entertainment Center. Infrastructure plans for the hotel include an expansion of a skybridge, which will connect the hotel, theater and entertainment center.

Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz & Associates Inc. is the project's architect; the hotel's interior will be designed by Dallas-based Looney & Associates.

Sheraton breaks ground on hotel No. 6 in Mexico Sheraton Hotel & Resorts, the largest brand of White Plains, N.Y.-based Starwood Hotels & Resorts, has acquired its sixth hotel in Mexico with the signing of a management contract with the Hotel Hacienda del Mar. The two-year-old hotel will operate under the name the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar Resort & Spa, Cabo del Sol, Los Cabos.

Located between sister cities San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas, the hotel features 171 luxury suites with private terraces overlooking a 1,350 ft. beach. Additional amenities include a spa, fitness center and nearby golf course. Plans for the hotel include enlarging the facilities for conventions and increasing the number of rooms.

Fort Lauderdale embraces first new hotel in 15 years Groundbreaking for Fort Lauderdale, Fla.'s newest hotel was welcomed with open arms. After all, the Renaissance Fort Lauderdale Hotel, slated for completion in February 2001, is the city's first new major hotel in 15 years.

Located on the SE 17th St. Causeway, the 233-room Mediterranean-style hotel is part of the final development stage of The Quay, an upscale commercial and retail area known primarily for its maritime-themed boutiques, restaurants and mega-yacht dock complex. Facilities in the hotel include a 6,000 sq. ft. ballroom, several meeting rooms, a 100-seat grill with wine bar and a 40-seat library. When complete, the hotel will adjoin a three-level, 300-space parking garage and 7,000 sq. ft. of retail and office space.

Cleveland-based Concord Hospitality Enterprises will manage the hotel.

Economy places new demands on hospitality industry According to Arthur Andersen, key megatrends point to customer ownership as the key to securing and maintaining a competitive advantage in the global hospitality industry. The megatrends, which include consolidation, the efficient use of real estate, technology and branding, will have a profound impact on the day-to-day operations and long-term direction in the hospitality industry.

The company explains that relationship management is the key to securing a stable consumer base; however, it can only be achieved by investing in the following three areas:

* Consumer relationship management: Experts at Arthur Andersen say that in order to be successful, hospitality companies should identify the most valuable customers, optimize promotions and advertising, and ensure retention of valuable customers through targeted campaigns.

* Knowledge management: According to Arthur Andersen, hospitality companies must actively pursue knowledge from their guests, suppliers, employees and competitors. The company says that today, many hotels are using out-of-date data-collecting platforms that are not integrated into customer data and guest satisfaction databases.

* Outsourcing non-core competencies: Research conducted by Arthur Andersen reveals that finance and accounting processes at the average hotel are running at more than 2% of a hotel's income - more than twice the amount in a number of other industries. Less emphasis on non-critical functions, will give hoteliers more time to focus on brand-building activities, says the company.