Host Marriott invests in two West Coast resorts In two separate deals, Bethesda, Md.-based Host Marriott Corp. has acquired controlling interest in the Desert Springs Resort and Spa in Palm Desert, Calif., and the entire 300-room Coronado Island Le Meridien resort in San Diego.

Host Marriott will invest $60 million in the Desert Springs Marriott Limited Partnership in the form of a participating loan, and it will also receive 30% of any excess cashflow available annually, plus 30% of any net capital/residual proceeds after payment of the partnership's debt. The limited partners approved certain amendments to the partnership agreement, allowing Host Marriott to control the group.

In the Coronado resort deal, Host Marriott purchased the hotel for $54.4 million, and it plans to convert the hotel to a Marriott Resort property, renaming it Coronado Island Marriott Resort. Marriott International Inc. will act as property manager of the project.

Southwest Engineering to begin work on $120 million project With groundbreaking scheduled for March, Las Vegas-based Southwest Engineering has finalized a construction contract for the $120 million Santa Fe Galleria Hotel and Casino. Located at the Sunset Galleria Shopping Mall in Henderson, Nev., the project, which will take approximately 14 months to complete, will contain more than 100,000 sq. ft. and will include a hotel, spa and fitness center, as well as family entertainment, sports recreation, dining and casino gambling space.

Starwood, Patriot American announce name changes Being involved in separate merger and acquisition deals, Starwood Lodging Trust and Starwood Lodging Corp., as well as Patriot American Hospitality, have announced company name changes.

At the last annual meetings of Starwood Lodging Trust and Starwood Lodging Corp., the respective shareholders approved name changes for the trust and the corporation to Starwood Hotels & Resorts Trust and Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., respectively, after a strong approval of the Westin Hotels & Resorts acquisition.

Patriot American Hospitality Inc. and Wyndham International consummated their merger on Jan. 5, and Patriot American Hospitality Operating Co. will change its name to Wyndham International in connection with the merger.

Lodging, Red Lion enter a definitive merger agreement In a deal valued at approximately $271 million, Cleveland-based Boykin Lodging Co. has agreed to acquire Phoenix-based Red Lion Inns Limited Partnership and its subsidiary partnership. Boykin will acquire 10 full-service Doubletree-branded hotels, which will remain under Doubletree management.

Boykin will pay approximately $35.3 million in cash and issue 3.1 million common shares for all of the outstanding partnership interests in Red Lion L.P. The transaction is expected to close in March.

Hawthorne Suites brand debuts in Israel with newly built project Making its entrance into Israel, US Franchise Systems Inc., Atlanta-based franchisor of Hawthorn Suites, has signed an agreement with Isrotel Hotel Management Ltd. to use the Hawthorne name on the region's first internationally recognized extended-stay property.

The newly constructed property, located in the heart of Tel Aviv, will open in March and will be named Isrotel Tower, A Hawthorn Suites Hotel.

KSL Recreation purchases Grand Traverse Resort for $45 million Ranked in the top 50 travel destinations worldwide by the Conde Nast Traveler, The Grand Traverse Resort in Acme, Mich., has been purchased by La Quinta, Calif.-based KSL Recreation Corp. for $45 million. The seller of the property was the Cityof Detroit General Retirement System.

The Grand Traverse features a 425-room hotel, 350 condominiums, three golf courses and 85,000 sq. ft. of meeting space.

By polling 65 players in the hotel investment industry, San Francisco-based PKF Consulting has determined the five most favored and least favored cities in the country in which to build. This poll was taken in an effort to gauge future development activity within the United States.

Included in the most favored cities are San Francisco, New York, Boston, Seattle and Washington, D.C., and the least favored category lists the cities of San Antonio, Detroit, Honolulu, Houston and St. Louis.

The poll also surveyed what types of property were favored and not favored by the industry. Upscale, luxury and all-suite developments received a somewhat favorable rating from the participants, while the midmarket -- with and without food -- properties received a neutral rating. Economy limited service was rated as a somewhat unfavorable development for today's market.