B in the News
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South Florida's B hotel chain to expand in Orlando and downtown MiamiShare
Weston-based B Hotels & Resorts is expanding into Orlando and downtown Miami.
The chain will place its name on two existing hotels that will be renovated to meet B standards.
The downtown Miami operation will be the first for the chain's b2 line, which offers more limited services than B resorts, much like Courtyard by Marriott is a scaled-down version of Marriott's resorts.
In Orlando, plans call for a full-service B resort to open in the Downtown Disney area late next year. The B Lake Buena Vista will be an upgrade of what is now the 394-room Royal Plaza. The property was purchased by InSite Group and Cube Capital in December.
In downtown Miami, plans call for a select-service b2 hotel to open early next year at 146 Biscayne Blvd., steps from PortMiami and the AmericanAirlines Arena. It will be a renovation of the 243-room Continental Bayside Hotel. The property was bought by InSite Group and affiliates of The Carlyle Group in September.
B launched its first hotel, the 240-room B Ocean Fort Lauderdale, early last year at a renovated former Holiday Inn on Fort Lauderdale beach. It now is remodeling the 251-unit Continental Oceanfront South Beach Hotel in Miami Beach to debut as B South Beach by early 2013.
The chain unveiled the expansion plans this week at New York University's annual hospitality investment conference that is being attended by more than 2,000 people.
Hotel analyst Scott Brush of Miami said the announcement suggests the brand is committed to grow and its backers from InSite Group are willing to invest.
"If you want to be a player, you have to have an Orlando property, and the one they're opening is pretty substantial," said Brush. "They seem to be serious about the market."