Starwood Lodging Trust makes it a busy month Phoenix-based Starwood Lodging Trust spent the first week of August at the top of the news. First, it announced that it would acquire three Westin Regina resorts in Mexico for $133 million, marking Starwood's first purchase outside of the United States and its first entry into the resorts market. Then Starwood bought 15 more hotels, mainly in New England, from Boston-based Flatley Co./Tara Hotels for $470 million.

These deals come on the heels of reports that Starwood is planning to acquire the Westin Hotels & Resorts for around $1.5 billion. As of Aug. 15, Starwood confirmed for NREI that it was in discussions with Westin, but it did not yet have anything to report.

Prime Hospitality, Homegate come to merger agreement Fairfield, N.J.-based Prime Hospitality Corp. and Homegate Hospitality Inc. have reached a definitive agreement providing for the two companies to merge. Prime Hospitality will issue 0.6073 shares of its common stock, under the agreement, for each of the approximately 10.7 million outstanding shares of Homegate Hospitality. The value of the transaction is set at approximately $132 million.

In response to the merger, Dallas-based Wyndham Hotel Corp. and Homegate have agreed to terminate their management relationship. Wyndham will receive a $12 million payment for terminating the relationship with Homegate.

Wyndham Inner Harbor EastHotel will be a 750-room convention hotelin Baltimore. A hotel development group led by Stormont Trice Corp., Atlanta, and Baltimore-based H&S Properties Development Corp. has received final approval to develop the $132.6 million Wyndham Inner Harbor East Hotel in Baltimore. The convention hotel will be the only publicly subsidized new hotel development in Baltimore until the year 2002. The hotel will be financed by public investment and a private Forward Equity Commitment from Dallas-based Patriot American Hospitality Inc.

The development team includes Wyndham Hotel Corp., Dallas; H.J. Russell & Co., Atlanta; Armada/Hoffler, Chesapeake, Va.; and Cooper Carry and Associates, Atlanta, and Beatty/Harvey/Fillat, Baltimore, as architects.

Wyndham Hotel Corp. acquires Clubhouse Hotels for $130 million Dallas-based Wyndham Hotel Corp. has completed the acquisition of privately held ClubHouse Hotels Inc. for $130 million in cash, stock and debt assumption. This transaction adds 2,456 rooms to Wyndham's current portfolio of 24,949 rooms either open or under construction. Wyndham has issued more than 1.5 million additional shares to the shareholders of ClubHouse in connection with the acquisition, and it has borrowed $55 million under its revolving credit facility and assumed debt of approximately $23.5 million.

Chase, PaineWebber arrange $700 million credit facility In the second largest unsecured revolving credit facility ever arranged for a REIT, Chase Manhattan Bank, a New York subsidiary of The Chase Manhattan Corp., and PaineWebber Real Estate Securities arranged a $700 million unsecured revolving credit facility for Patriot American Hospitality Inc., Dallas. The facility was co-arranged by Bankers Trust Co., Citicorp Real Estate Inc. and Merrill Lynch Capital Corp.

Las Vegas to get a taste of Venice with new $2 billion resort Construction has begun on The Venetian, the first phase of a $2 billion hotel, casino and resort complex in Las Vegas. Located on 63 acres, the facility will feature Venetian architecture and recreate the sites and sounds of the city. There will also be a substantial retail element, Grand Canal Shoppes. The second phase of the project will recreate the architectural style of the island of Lido, with a lagoon and marina. The complex will be an all-suite resort, with 3,000 guest suites in each phase. The Sands Expo Center, expanded to 1.6 million sq. ft., will be directly adjacent to the hotel complex.

The Venetian is owned by The Venetian Casino Hotel LLC. The Preview Center opened in mid-July, and the opening of the resort is slated for spring 1999.

Send your hospitality industry news via the Internet to Associate Editor Carrie King at carrie_king@intertec.com. And check out our website at www.internetreview.com for updates on hotel transactions.