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ELIZABETH, NJ-Wyndham International, the Dallas-based hotelier, has opened the doors for its new Wyndham Newark Airport here. The 396-key asset, a former Holiday Inn, was renovated to the tune of $35 million prior to its re-opening as a Wyndham property. While Newark International Airport, the country’s 10th busiest, has its terminal complex located in Newark, most of the runway system and adjacent service businesses, including the new Wyndham, are in neighboring Elizabeth.

“In light of our current economic environment, it was important strategically to proceed with hotel projects that could successfully weather the downturn,” according to Fred J. Kleisner, chairman and CEO for Wyndham. The renovation project began earlier this year (see previous story), and is one of the projects that Wyndham has moved forward with in the hard-hit travel sector.

“We are very confident that the Wyndham Newark Airport will not only be an immediate financial success for our company, but will also be a preferred hotel in the Newark market,” Kleisner continues.

The property also features some 16,000 sf of meeting space, including what Wyndham officials say is the largest ballroom of any hotel in the Newark Airport market. The upscale hotel also offers concierge service, a lounge, business center, indoor pool and fitness center. The guest rooms are fitted out with designer furnishings.

Also on tap for the Wyndam Newark Airport is a Shula’s Steak 2 restaurant. The restaurant, which is scheduled to open next month, will feature sports memorabilia, as is the case with Shula’s restaurants around the country. Don Shula, of course, is the former Miami Dolphins football coach.

In terms of number of rooms, the Wyndam Newark Airport is the company’s largest among its nine Garden State properties. The others are the 243-room Wyndham Mount Laurel in South Jersey; the 141-room Wyndham Garden Hotel at the International Trade Center in Mount Olive; and Summerfield Suites by Wyndham properties in Bridgewater, Morristown, Mount Laurel, Whippany, Princeton and Somerset.

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