Wyndham to manage Westin Rio Mar

Wyndham Worldwide Corporation will invest in and manage the 600-room luxury Rio Mar Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, under the Wyndham brand and develop an adjacent 26-acre tract as a Wyndham Vacation Ownership timeshare resort.
      Wyndham Hotel Management Inc. will operate the resort—currently a
Westin(R)—under a 20-year agreement. The hotel will remain a Westin
until May 10 when it will be reflagged as the Wyndham Rio Mar—A Wyndham
Grand Resort. Wyndham Vacation Ownership expects to develop and market
luxury timeshare units on the adjacent tract over the next several years.
  Wyndham Worldwide is purchasing a partial ownership interest in the
resort, owned by Rio Mar Associates L.P. S.E., which is led by affiliates
of Tishman Realty Corporation, one of the world’s premier developers and
asset managers of first-class hotel and resort properties. Tishman Realty
affiliates originally developed and built the resort, which opened in 1996,
and continue to co-own it.
  The Wyndham Rio Mar is situated on 500 acres along a mile-long section
of tropical beach adjacent to the Caribbean National Rain Forest of El
Yunque and the Mameyes River. It features 48,000 square feet of function
space; a 7,000- square-foot casino; two world-class, 18-hole golf courses;
7,000-square-foot spa and fitness center; 11 restaurants, lounges and
entertainment venues; tennis center; water sports center; and two
beach-front pools.
  As a result of these transactions, Rio Mar Associates plans a
multimillion-dollar redevelopment including a complete overhaul of the
casino and an upgrade of the golf courses, hotel lobby and guest rooms.
Each room will be equipped with signature brand elements designed by the
acclaimed architecture firm Michael Graves & Associates.
  The work will bolster capital improvements completed during the last
two years including construction of the Mandara Spa and fitness center,
guest room renovations, enhancement of the pool deck, improved access to
the property’s semiprivate beach and the addition of private cabanas. The
property improvements and timeshare development are expected to expand
employment on a long-term basis.
  “We are proud to welcome the Wyndham Rio Mar to our collection of high-
quality Wyndham properties,” said Steven A. Rudnitsky, Wyndham Hotel Group
president and chief executive officer, adding that the Wyndham Rio Mar
represents the largest single addition to the brand since 2005.
  Wyndham Worldwide will work closely with the government of Puerto Rico
and the commonwealth’s tourism officials to develop Rio Mar into a
world-class destination that will “attract thousands of travelers to Rio
Grande every year, introducing them to the island’s true spirit of
hospitality while sustaining high-quality, fulfilling jobs for several
hundred area residents,” Rudnitsky said.
  Franz Hanning, Wyndham Vacation Ownership president and chief executive
officer, said the development of timeshare facilities at Rio Mar during the
next few years will create an “exciting, new destination for Wyndham
timeshare owners in the highly popular Caribbean market.
  “We are committed to expanding the Wyndham Vacation Ownership system of
timeshare resorts throughout the world to provide our owners with the
broadest choice of high-quality vacation opportunities in the most
desirable and exciting locations, including this beautiful resort in Puerto
Rico.”
  Rudnitsky added that the joint transactions demonstrate Wyndham
Worldwide’s ability to apply the combined resources of Wyndham Hotel Group
and Wyndham Hotel Management with Wyndham Vacation Ownership to develop
mixed-use projects “that more fully leverage the value of existing
properties.”
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