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LAS VEGAS-Blackstone Capital Group of Santa Monica, CA, will open a 129-room hotel property next to the University of Nevada-Las Vegas next month. Located off Flamingo Road, just east of Paradise Road, the new development will be operated by publicly-traded InterContinental Hotels Group, the largest hotel group by room count.

Holiday Inn Las Vegas offers a variety of amenities including an outdoor pool, fitness center and Forte Grille, a restaurant. Blackstone Group acquired the land for the development in July 2005 via Flamingo Structures LLC, paying Nevada Restaurant Authority $3.7 million for a 1.1-acre site at 4055 Palos Verdes. Blackstone says its total investment in the property is $35 million.

The average room rate in Las Vegas has fallen off steeply in the past couple of years as operators struggled to maintain occupancy. The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors’ Authority this week released performance statistics for September, showing citywide hotel occupancy of 83.2%, off 110 basis points from 84.3% one year ago, which was down 560 basis points from an average occupancy of approximately 90% in September 2007. The average daily room rate in September 2009 was off by 19% from September 2008, which was off 21% from September 2007.

Halston Mikail of Blackstone Capital Group could not be reached Thursday for comment on his expectations for the hotel’s near-term performance and how any debt on the project may be structured to account for current hotel market, which is expected to become even more competitive in 2010 as several thousand new rooms flood an already struggling market. The hotel’s general manager Michael Coward also was not immediately available for comment.

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