Lemor Moses Makes Move to AvroKO … and More

News for the week of March 17

Boutique Design

HIRINGS/PROMOTIONS/EXECUTIVE CHANGES

Lemor Moses has joined New York-based design and concept firm AvroKO as director of development. Moses was previously HBA’s director of global communications.

Wilson Associates has named Firas Alsalih managing director for the Middle East and Africa, overseeing the firm’s new office in Dubai.

Bill Quimby has been promoted to senior associate of BAMO, a commercial and residential architectural services firm. Quimby is a 2013 member of the Boutique 18.

Louise Schain has joined Arte Italica, an importer of luxury tableware and decorative accessories, in the company’s inside sales support and service department.

OPENINGS/RENOVATIONS/BRAND NEWS

Commune Hotels + Resorts and Thor Urbana Capital, a Mexico-based real estate development firm, have tapped New York-based ICRAVE to design the 125-key Thompson Playa del Carmen hotel/beach club on the Yucatan peninsula.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. said construction has begun on the new-build Element Miami Doral. The 139-key hotel will be part of a dual-hotel development, joining the 145-key Aloft Miami Doral, which opened in March 2013. Starwood also announced that its Sheraton brand is expected to achieve record-breaking growth over the next 12 months with 35 new hotels expected to open. Nearly half will open in China, and the brand will also enter numerous new markets including Samoa, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan, as well as return to Iraq.

The 197-key DoubleTree Club by Hilton Boston Bayside has finished the final phase of a multimillion-dollar renovation. In addition, the 308-key Hilton Arlington Hotel in Texas has completed a major renovation.

MANAGEMENT CONTRACTS/ACQUISITIONS

Starwood Capital Group has acquired De Vere Venues, a U.K.-based hotel and conference center operator, from the De Vere Group for about $385 million. The transaction includes a portfolio of 23 owned and leased hotels.

Home Inns & Hotels Management Inc., an economy hotel chain operator in China, said it will acquire the Yunshang Siji Hotel Management Co. from Kunming Department Store (Group) Co. Ltd. for about $38 million. Yunshang Siji operates an economy hotel chain consisting of 27 leased-and-operated hotels and eight franchised-and-managed hotels, mostly in Yunnan Province.

RLJ Lodging Trust said it has closed the deal to acquire 10 Hyatt, Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels from affiliates of Hyatt Hotels Corp. for about $313 million. The hotels are in California, Texas, North Carolina and Wisconsin.

BUSINESS BRIEFS

OW Hospitality, a manufacturer of Axminster woven and hand-tufted carpets, and Roger Thomas Collection, a design and product licensing company, are collaborating to launch a new line of hospitality carpets. Called Custom Tailored, the collection is inspired by fine menswear.

Raydoor, a New York-based manufacturer of sliding doors along with stacking, folding, pivoting and fixed panels, has moved its manufacturing facility from Brooklyn to a larger plant in Long Island, N.Y.

AWARDS/COMPETITIONS

The IIDA Foundation has established the Wilsonart Student Education Fund to provide financial support for the professional development of IIDA student members in 29 domestic chapters. The fund’s initial contribution will sponsor the newly established Wilsonart Essay Competition for the years 2014-2016, awarding a $1,000 prize for each year’s winner. The competition involves student members participating in IIDA Student Mentoring Week to submit original essays about their mentoring experiences.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has named U.S. senators Mark Begich and Susan Collins as its 2014 Champions of the Industry, for their support of tourism. The two will receive their awards at the association’s upcoming Legislative Action Summit (LAS) in Washington, D.C.