Caribbean Meetings Shake-Up

One of Puerto Rico's more well-known meetings properties changed flags yesterday: The 600-room Rio Mar Resort & Spa, formerly a Westin, is now a Wyndham.

In addition, the property will undergo a $36 million-dollar redevelopment over the next few years, with $15 million in capital improvements planned in 2007.

Wyndham Worldwide, parent company of the Wyndham hotel brand, recently purchased a partial ownership interest in the resort--an unusual move in am era when hotel-management companies are divesting themselves of much of their ownership stakes to focus on their core competency.

The property sits on 500 acres along a mile-long section of beach adjacent to El Yunque National Rain Forest and the Mameyes River. It features 48,000 square feet of function space; a 7,000-square-foot casino; two 18-hole golf courses; a 7,000-square-foot spa and fitness center; 11 restaurants, lounges and entertainment venues; a tennis center; a water-sports center; and two beachfront pools.

The Wyndham Rio Mar is the first resort to officially join Wyndham's new Grand Collection tier, to consist of unique luxury or upscale historic and resort properties in the Wyndham portfolio.