Swissotel Promises North America Expansion

Swissotel Hotels & Resorts is on the cusp of growth, says its vice president of business development for the Americas, Thomas Klein, who made the declaration clear on Thursday. "The strategy is to grow the brand in North America using the Chicago property as a springboard." The Swissotel Chicago is the hotel operator's only property in the U.S., but is currently undergoing an approximate $65 million renovation that will up its room count by 30 rooms and add a new ballroom. The completion of the room component is slated for the first quarter of 2008. Swisssotel is well backed by parent companies, Kingdom Company and Colony Capital, and is looking to grow the brand in gateway cities, although Klein did not narrow those cities down. He did say that it was currently in discussions concerning two to three prospective deals. Klein calls his brand "globally neutral," a play on the brand's Swiss heritage, and personified by its safe, clean and sophisticated properties. He adds that a 15-person development team is currently researching possible sites, and new properties will come via acquisition and re-flags.

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