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West Paces Hotel Group Drops Plan
 to Build a Sols Hotel in San Antonio

By David Hendricks, San Antonio Express-News
Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News

Mar. 15, 2006 - Atlanta-based West Paces Hotel Group has dropped plans to build a luxury Sols Hotel at a planned Northwest Side shopping center called The Rim, a hotel group spokesman said Tuesday.

The hotel was announced last July as one of six planned by West Paces Hotel Group to launch the Sols Hotel brand, backed by $700 million in investment capital.

In San Antonio, the Spanish colonial-style hotel was to have cost between $35 million and $40 million and feature 150 rooms amid arched colonnades, galleries, courtyards and a swimming pool garden.

A spokesman for West Paces Hotel Group, Norbert Beatty, declined to give a reason for withdrawing plans for a San Antonio hotel.

Sols Hotels continue to be developed in Chicago; Orlando, Fla.; Paradise Valley, Ariz.; Alpharetta, Ga.; Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and Frankfurt, Germany.

The Sunny Isles Beach hotel near Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was not listed among the original six when the Sols brand was announced last year.

The hotel group is headed by Chief Executive Horst Schulze, a former president and chief operating officer of Atlanta-based Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co.

San Antonio's Sols Hotel was to have anchored one side of The Rim, a shopping center project on the northeast side of the Loop 1604-Interstate 10 interchange. The Rim is being developed by Atlanta-based Thomas Enterprises and will feature a Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store as a retail anchor.

The San Antonio Sols Hotel had been scheduled to open in the fall of 2007.

"This is not really a big concern," said Marco Barros, San Antonio Area Tourism Council executive director, "because so many projects are coming to San Antonio that one hotel won't make much difference.

"In the past 12 months, I have met with seven different developers. San Antonio is a hot market now. People get a return on their investments," Barros said.

The Cibolo Canyons project with a Marriott hotel and two professional golf courses, several new downtown hotel projects that include a Marriott Courtyard on the River Walk and numerous hotel renovations and upgrades are all signs of a healthy hotel industry, Barros said.


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Copyright (c) 2006, San Antonio Express-News

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