|By John Yantis, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News
May 24, 2006 - Local hotel industry insiders say Montelucia, the $200 million reincarnation of sprawling Paradise Valley resort La Posada, will debut as an InterContinental when it welcomes guests in late 2007.
Rumor has it that ownerdeveloper Crown Realty & Development has dumped West Paces Hotel Group for the British-based luxury brand. InterContinental is one of the few internationally known tony hotel names still missing in the Scottsdale area's luxury lodging corridor. The company peddles fancy beds not only in the United States but in Paris, Geneva, London, Berlin, Singapore, Tokyo and Hong Kong.
Atlanta-based West Paces is small but could claim the same posh pedigree. It was founded by former Ritz-Carlton chief Horst Schulze and other Ritz execs.
Crown president Robert Flaxman and Schulze announced in July that Montelucia would be the flagship property for a new ultraupscale collection of West Paces hotels dubbed Solis. Now Montelucia has quietly disappeared from West Paces promotional info. Inquiries are met with: We are no longer involved in that property.
A Crown spokesman denied the company has a done deal with InterContinental, but he admitted Crown had been talking with several luxury hotel companies lobbying to brand the posh property.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Tribune, Mesa, Ariz.
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