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Flamingo Structures Invests $35 million in a 129-room
 Non-gaming Holiday Inn in Las Vegas

By Hubble Smith, Las Vegas Review-JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

November 14, 2009 -- Holiday Inn is relaunching its signature brand in Las Vegas with a $35 million, 129-room hotel scheduled to open before Thanksgiving near Flamingo Road and Swenson Street.

The hotel at 4055 Palos Verdes St. will display Holiday Inn's familiar green script "H" with a more contemporary look and elimination of the shield shape, general manager Michael Coward said.

"The way we've done the repackaging gives it a more modern look," he said Friday. "It's been a good tool for the new brand. Folks can look for the green writing to identify Holiday Inn."

With its mix of leisure travel and convention business, Las Vegas is a perfect fit for the Holiday Inn brand, Coward said.

The nongaming property is owned by Flamingo Structures and will be managed by Atlanta-based InterContinental Hotels Group. Room rates will run from $80 to $160 during the week and $90 to $200 on weekends, the manager said. Occupancy rates are projected in the mid-60 percent.

Holiday Inn is spending $1 billion on the brand relaunch, with more than 3,300 Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express hotels around the world being updated. The Las Vegas hotel has an outdoor pool, fitness center and 42-inch, flat-screen televisions in each room. The hotel's restaurant, Forte Grille, will serve breakfast and dinner.

The new hotel, not far from La Quinta Inn and Candlewood Suites extended-stay hotel on Paradise Road, is opening during the deepest recession in Las Vegas history. Hotel occupancy rates have dropped to about 83 percent, well above the national average, but subpar by Las Vegas standards.

The city's room inventory has increased 2.5 percent to more than 140,000 rooms and thousands more are scheduled to come online when CityCenter opens in December. Average daily room rates have decreased nearly 25 percent from a year ago to $92.

Las Vegas developer Jeff LaPour had planned a boutique hotel in the same area two years ago, completing site work over the Flamingo Wash. At the time, he said the Paradise Road corridor was the next natural progression for hotel development off the Strip, a "golden triangle" between the airport, convention center and Strip.

"The market just turned," said LaPour, who eventually developed the $25 million, 123-room Element hotel by Starwood near the Las Vegas Beltway and Town Center Drive. "It's a tough time to be in the hotel business in Las Vegas. It's been a vicious downturn and there's not enough demand at the moment to take up all the rooms being built."

In 2007, Florida developer Don Peebles announced a $2.5 billion hotel and resort on Paradise Road on a 13-acre parcel he purchased for $65 million, but that project never materialized.

Contact reporter Hubble Smith at hsmith@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0491.

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Copyright (c) 2009, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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