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DALLAS-Wyndham International Inc., with a 26-hotel portfolio in line to close in early 2005, has promoted a 30-year professional to lead the charge to expand the brand. The move puts a new twist on the top job of business development, teaming the responsibilities with owner relations.

Nicholas R. Bonrepos, who joined Wyndham in 2000, was named senior vice president of the dual-pronged position. His previous duties revolved on Wyndham’s owned assets, but since those properties are being sold, save for a handful of top resorts and key business hotels, the seasoned exec’s been put in charge of securing management contracts and franchise agreements while keeping the waters smooth with hotel property owners in the realigned portfolio.

In 1999, Wyndham set a course to become a hotel and resort management company and owner of select properties. The upcoming sale of 26 hotels is the last of its disposition for the transition. Bonrepos says Wyndham now is holding 48 franchises and 36 management contracts…and a pipeline with some deals set to be inked in Q1 2005.

Bonrepos says the transition has reached the point that Wyndham needs a go-to person for hotel owners of properties that it manages and one in step with their objectives. “It’s getting to the point that we’ve got to formalize the process,” he tells GlobeSt.com, “…to make sure we have a communications link before any issues get to be problems. That’s one of my major charges.”

Bonrepos’ goal is to add 12 hotel properties in 2005 to Wyndham’s franchise and managed package. The campaign targets San Francisco, Seattle, New York City and its airport and Los Angeles. And, he confides, it’s a good likelihood that a Hawaiian resort-style property will be added to the lineup. Wyndham owns one hotel in Hawaii and is looking for an asset with the right image to add a Golden Door Spa, he says.

Wyndham’s brand-expansion team generally hones in on full-service hotels in the 250- to 500-room category with 20,000-sf to 30,000-sf of meeting space in the Top 25 business destination markets. The brand plan also includes historic properties with “panache,” Bonrepos stresses.

“Nicholas is an ideal fit for this position in that he has developed a number of similar relationships on behalf of our owned assets,” Fred J. Kleisner, Wyndham’s chairman, president and CEO, says in a press release. “Nicholas truly understands the nature of the hospitality industry in that it is a relationship-driven business.”

During his 30-year career, Bonrepos has held several senior-level positions with national and local real estate investment, development and management firms. He joined the hotel company four years ago as vice president of finance and overseer of real estate asset management.

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