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August 22, 2004|Jane Engle

Hotels cut ties with 2 websites

InterContinental Hotels Group, the London-based company that operates InterContinental, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and several other chains, said last week it would pull its listings off and because of a contract dispute. The company runs more than 3,500 hotels worldwide.

Most listings will be gone by mid-November, with the balance -- those covered by individual contracts between the Internet sites and the hotels -- expected to be pulled by Jan. 1, said Tom Seddon, senior vice president of brand performance for InterContinental's Americas division, based in Atlanta.

Seddon said his company could not reach agreement with the websites on handling reservations and display of service fees, among other issues.

Steven McArthur, president of Expedia North America, said Expedia "leads the industry" in disclosure of commissions, Bloomberg news service reported.

InterContinental said it had reached agreement with and its sister company, Travelocity Business, which books corporate travel, on these issues.


tees off in

S. Carolina

A$125-million resort hotel, patterned after opulent seaside mansions of the 19th century, has opened on a small South Carolina coastal island dotted with golf courses.

More than 150 transplanted oak trees line the entrance driveway to the Sanctuary at Kiawah Island, 21 miles south of Charleston.

Inside, hand-distressed walnut planks overlay a subfloor designed to duplicate the creaks and "give" in an old building. Furnishings include century-old Irish and Italian crystal chandeliers.

The smallest of the 255 guest rooms is 520 square feet; the largest, the Presidential Suite, is 3,100 square feet. Published rates begin at $275 a night.

The hotel is owned by Kiawah Island Golf Resort, which operates five golf courses and several hundred villas and homes on the island.(877) 683-1234,



in Florida

Business owners last week were sweeping up after Hurricane Charley damaged tourist spots along the barrier islands in southwest Florida.

Power remained out at many hotels.

Most theme parks in the Orlando area escaped major harm from the storm, which passed through Aug. 13, causing billions of dollars in property losses elsewhere in Florida. The state's death toll was at 19 as of the Travel section's deadline Tuesday.

Charley blew across the Lee County islands of Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel and Captiva. The county drew more than 2 million tourists last year. The toll bridge to Sanibel and its northern sister Captiva was still closed early last week.

Sanibel officials said it was too dangerous to open the island even though the causeway was still structurally sound.

"People are upset about it, but we're moving as fast as we can," Sanibel Mayor Marty Harrity said.

"There are trees all over the place, roads are impassable, electric lines are down."

For updates on Lee County, visit For updates on Florida, visit

Associated Press

-- Compiled by

Jane Engle

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