Convention center hotel 100 days from grand opening

The Hilton Des Moines Downtown is a formal step closer to its March opening, with the Hilton management team moving into its offices today and Thursday at the $100 million hotel at 435 Park St.

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Choice to acquire WoodSpring Suites for $231 million

Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH), one of the world’s largest hotel companies, today announced that it has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the brand and franchise business of WoodSpring SuitesSM from WoodSpring Hotels Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of Lindsay Goldberg, for approximately $231 million, subject to customary adjustments. The acquisition will add nearly 240 extended-stay hotels in 35 states to the Choice Hotels portfolio, creating an extended-stay portfolio of more than 350 properties with existing brands, MainStay Suites® and Suburban Extended Stay®.

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Downtown plan for dual-brand hotel gets the go-ahead from city

A plan to convert a vacant eight-story office building in downtown Minneapolis into a 203-room, dual-branded hotel is moving ahead after getting city approval for the project.

The Star Tribune has an update on the proposal by JR Hospitality and Iowa-based Hawkeye Hotels, which plan to open a Hilton Tru and Home2 Suites hotel at 317 Second Ave. S. The Minneapolis Planning Commission last week signed off on the idea, and the developers plan to close on the property later this month.

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Great Wolf Lodge opens for business in Bloomington

Following a 10-month, $30 million renovation, Great Wolf Lodge has opened to the public with a new adventure park, mini bowling alley and several new restaurants, including a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Chicago-based Great Wolf Resorts Inc. acquired the former Water Park of America near Highway 77 and Interstate 35W in February for $39 million. It then closed the Radisson-flagged hotel and worked quickly to rebrand and renovate the property in order to open before the Super Bowl.

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First look at Homewood Suites opening in historic downtown Milwaukee building

The Hilton Homewood Suites Milwaukee opened Dec. 14 after a more than $22 million restoration of a historic building. See the attached slideshow to get your first look inside downtown Milwaukee’s newest hotel at 400 N. Water St. in the building that in the past hosted Brett Favre’s Steakhouse and Joey Buona’s restaurant.

“Historic renovations are always tedious and take a lot of work, but we could not be happier with the end product,” said S.R. Mills, president of Kenosha-based Bear Development LLC, which undertook the project.

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Carlson Hotels to drop family name; may move its offices

Carlson Hotels Inc. isn’t owned by the Carlson family anymore, and its new leaders say it’s time to start acting like it.

The Star Tribune reports on plans by the company — which controls the Radisson hotel flag and Country Inns & Suites — to change its name to something that drops the well-known family name. It’s also cutting corporate jobs and may move its offices away from Carlson Center in Minnetonka, though it plans to keep its headquarters in the Twin Cities.

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