LMB to build first hotel at Battery Park City in Manhattan Construction has begun on the first hotel to be built in "New York's newest neighborhood." New York-based Lehrer McGovern Bovis Inc. will build the $120 million Embassy Suites Hotel with retail and entertainment components at Vesey Street and North End Avenue in Manhattan's Battery Park City. The 460-room, 14-story project, which is expected to open in early 2000, is being built for Forest City Ratner. In addition to the hotel, the project will include 62,300 sq. ft. of retail and services space, a 18,500 sq. ft. New York Sports Club and a 4,500-seat multiplex theater.

Dillard-Winecoff redevelops landmark Atlanta hotel Since acquiring Atlanta's historic Winecoff Hotel, Dillard-Winecoff LLC plans to redevelop the landmark property into a luxury boutique hotel - the first of its kind in Atlanta. Located on the historic Margaret Mitchell Square, the hotel's redevelopment plans call for a new theme, including dramatic environs, distinctive food, and multimedia displays with art and literary works indicative of the South.

Carlton Group arranges nine-figure sale of Gotham portfolio Capping off an extensive marketing campaign, New York-based Carlton Advisory Services Inc. sold a five-property portfolio for the Gotham Hospitality Group. Totaling 656 keys, the properties include: The Mansfield Hotel, The Hotel Wales, The Franklin, The Shoreham and The Roger Williams. It has been reported that the total of the transaction was more than $130 million.

NREI welcomes news from the hotel industry at tony_wilbert@intertec.com.

Promus Hotel Corp.'s Schultz cuts ribbon on 800th Hampton Inn HOUSTON - In what may have been his last public appearance as Memphis, Tenn.-based Promus Hotel Corp.'s chairman and CEO, Raymond E. Schultz led the grand opening ceremonies on Oct. 27 for his company's 800th Hampton Inn property, the Hampton Inn-Houston-Willowbrook Mall.

The new hotel is a 76-room property, which maintains much of the original design of the first Hampton Inn. It is a three-story, stucco building, and each room comes equipped with an iron, ironing board and coffee maker.

As the founder of the brand, Schultz remembers the first opening. "When we opened the first Hampton Inn in 1984, we had a vision to create a hotel that would stand for quality, value, comfort and to give satisfaction," he said. "Through it all, [the brand] has remained true to the idea: Offer a comfortable room together with a variety of amenities at an affordable price. Apparently we have done our job pretty well as evidenced by the numerous awards the brand has received."

Among those awards are the 1998 "Best Mid-priced Hotel Chain" from Entrepreneur and the 1998 "No. 1 Economy Chain" from Business Travel News.

And with the strength of the brand, development doesn't seem to be slowing down, said Promus President and COO Richard Kelleher as he addressed the crowd. "I was going to say, 'Look behind you and imagine 799 others just like this.' But, unfortunately, time marches on, so now imagine 809 others just like this one," joked Kelleher, who added that it took the company 10 years, from 1984 to 1994, to build the first 400 hotels but, in only four more years since that time, Promus has more than doubled to 810 properties. "This 800th hotel was possible because the first one was built, and the first one was built because of Ray Schultz and his dream and his vision."

Whether or not Schultz will be around to open the 811th Hampton Inn is not certain. He and Kelleher announced in August that they will be resigning from Promus.

Hampton Inn is located in 48 states and seven countries, and development is expected to continue throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Latin America. "For the next year, we plan on opening another 100 Hampton Inn hotels," said William L. Edmundson IV, senior director, Hotel Performance Support. "We are going to be able to take the successful formula and continue that into the markets where there is an opportunity to develop."