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Marriott to rebrand Wyland Waikiki hotel


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POSTED: Thursday, February 26, 2009

The only Wyland-themed hotel will be rebranded by Marriott International this summer.

The conversion of the 404-room Wyland Waikiki Resort & Spa into Marriott's midpriced Courtyard by Marriott brand will include renaming the hotel the Courtyard by Marriott Waikiki Beach, which came as a surprise to the conservation-minded marine-life artist Wyland, who helped design and inspire his namesake hotel.

The property will operate under a franchise agreement with Marriott, while Outrigger Hotels & Resorts will continue managing the property.

“;It is news to me,”; said Wyland, who is a minority stakeholder and owner of the hotel's penthouse, where he has a studio. “;I certainly don't want them taking my name and art off of it. I certainly want to have it stay a Wyland boutique.”;

But Steve Kisielica, a principal of the hotel's Chicago-based owner Lodging Capital Partners LLC, confirmed that Wyland's name will no longer be on the property, though much of his artwork will continue to be featured throughout the hotel.

“;The hotel's design will continue to have the distinct artistic influence,”; Kisielica said in an e-mail. “;We don't have any current plans for future Wyland-branded hotels, but as always, we are open to the possibilities.”;

Wyland said Marriott “;would be crazy not to partner with us and keep the vibe that it has”; and that “;hopefully they're smart enough to see that.”;

“;It wouldn't make sense to take my name away from the very thing I created,”; said Wyland, who plans to talk with Marriott over the next few weeks.

The property has had its share of troubles, including a number of changes in its brand name, a battle over mold and months of delay, as well as tens of millions of dollars in renovations in recent years.

“;During hard economic times like what we're going through now, a lot of standalone hotels prefer having globally well-known brand names,”; said June Farrell, Marriott's vice president for international public relations. “;The power of our distribution system is so strong that it tends to bring a lot of people to the hotel, which is a lot more powerful than trying to market in the marketplace by yourself or as a small brand out there.”;