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DALLAS-The scouts are out for the next joint venture buy as doors swing open on a $6-million makeover of the former Clarion Hotel in North Dallas. Radisson-Olympus Capital Partners, an alliance formed last year, is sizing up hotel properties in the Midwest and Southeast.

But yesterday, all eyes had been turned to the Radisson Hotel Dallas North at Richardson, the first repositioned, re-branded top-to-bottom makeover in the joint venture’s fledgling portfolio. The Radisson branding also is in effect for a Downtown Baltimore Hilton, which had been in premier condition and underwent the name change as soon as final papers had been signed just eight weeks ago. “These are good examples of the types of acquisitions that we will continue to see within that particular strategy,” Clark Hanrattie, an Olympus partner, tells GlobeSt.com.

Hanrattie won’t tip his hand as to precisely where the next acquisition will be, but he has pinned it down to a major market in the Midwest or Southeast. Right now, there is no property under option, but says Hanrattie,” we have an appetite for additional acquisitions.”

There’s no set number to pump into the budding portfolio of Olympus and Carlson Hotels Worldwide, owner of the Radisson and Regent International brands. Nor is there a ceiling for the capital pool. “Obviously, both companies are pretty well capitalized,” he emphasizes.

The Radisson-Olympus venture is more concerned about making the right buy in the right market. The team is prospecting the nation’s Top 25 metropolises and specifically those sans a Radisson or Regent International presence. Veteran Radisson customers are getting a say about where they’d like to find their favorite hotel and the joint venture is listening, says Hanrattie. Opportunity and deal flow also factor heavily into the joint venture’s decision making.

Admittedly, the bid-ask spread is such these days that few hotels are changing hands in the current economic climate. Hanrattie, who’s quite bullish on the hotel market, says “I believe the supply-demand dynamics in two to four years out should be pretty compelling.” He expects RevPar to stay in a slump through the end of the year, but the slowdown in new supply gives steam to the joint venture’s portfolio-building strategy. “We’re not making investments that we’re going to hold for a year,” he explains. “We’re making investments that we’re going to hold for multiple years.”

The Richardson unveiling is “just the beginning of an exciting mission to expand the brand into new areas and key markets,” Jay Witzel, Radisson president, says in a prepared statement. “The best is yet to come.”

Joe Walsh is the general manager for the Radisson Hotel Dallas North at Richardson and Angie Gadwood, its sales director. A team of 140 has been hired for the 294-room hotel, which now boasts 12,000 sf of meeting and ballroom space, specialty coffee bar, a Texas bistro and high tech-outfitted rooms. A complimentary concierge service is dedicated to three of the 12 floors.

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