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Golf resort winners named and other international news

27 November 2006

Golf resort winners named
The International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) has announced the winners of its best golf resort of the year 2007. The global trade organisation for the golf tourism industry asked its 250 golf tour operators to nominate the leading golf resort for the award, which is split into three regional categories: North America, Europe and rest of the world. Palm Beach Gardens in Florida, USA was named golf resort of the year North America, with Praia D'El Rey golf and beach resort on the Portuguese Silver Coast winning the European region and Sandy Lane hotel in Barbados being awarded best in the rest of the world category.

LaSalle buys Wall Street Holiday Inn for £26m
US development company LaSalle Hotel Properties has bought the Holiday Inn Manhattan Wall Street for US$40.5m (£26m) and said it plans to transform the property into a luxury hotel. The group said it will revamp the 138-room hotel during an extensive renovation programme over the next 18 months. The hotel will remain open as a Holiday Inn during the process of the refurbishment but will be repositioned as an independent luxury property. LaSalle said it will invest a total of US$60m (£31m) in the property.

New Crowne Plaza hotel, casino and convetional centre opens in VenezuelaInterContinental Hotels Group has announced the opening of the Crowne Plaza Maruma Maracaibo casino and convention centre in Maracaibo, Venezuela. The 380-room hotel is the first Crowne Plaza in Venezuela and is located near the main business and shopping districts of Maracaibo, which is the South American country's second largest city. The hotel is also adjacent to the largest convention centre in Venezuela and will feature three restaurants and a lobby bar and pool bar. Currently, IHG has four InterContinental hotels in Venezuela.

Aramark shareholders to vote on takeover bid
Aramark has called a special meeting of shareholders to vote on a proposed US$6.3b (£3.2b) acquisition of the company. Aramark shareholders will be allowed to vote on the proposal at the 20 December meeting in Philadelphia. The company said in August that it had agreed to be acquired by an investment group led by its long time chief executive for US$6.3b, plus the assumption of about US$2b (£1b) in debt.

McDonald's to launch play gym in Californian restaurant
Fast food giant McDonald's is to launch a play gym for children at one of its restaurants in California, under rising pressure to thwart criticism about the fast food industry's role in childhood obesity. The company plans to open 20 R-Gyms, named after mascot Ronald McDonald, in the next year with the first one at an outlet in Santa Ana featuring stationary bikes, monkey bars, climbing ropes and a mini basketball court.

By Kerstin Kühn

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