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Red Lion reach grows with Arizona franchise

Spokane-based Red Lion Hotels Corp. has concluded a deal to convert a former Hampton Inn in Tempe, Ariz., to a franchise operation.

The Red Lion Inn & Suites Phoenix/Tempe-ASU opened operations this week. The 162-room hotel is one mile from the campus of Arizona State University.

The property has two outdoor swimming pools, a tennis court and a putting green, a Red Lion news release said.

“We were looking for the right opportunity for a franchise in Arizona, and this former Hampton Inn is a fantastic fit for our system,” said Ron Burgett, the company’s vice president of lodging and brand development.

The addition brings the company to 51 hotels with 9,088 rooms across the Western U.S. and in British Columbia.

Tom Sowa

Petraeus gets job with investment firm

Retired Army Gen. David Petraeus will take a job with investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. as he attempts to rebuild his reputation after an extramarital affair with a biographer led to his resignation as CIA director.

Petraeus, 60, will serve as chairman of the New York firm’s newly created KKR Global Institute. He was CIA director from September 2011 until last November. Before that, Petraeus served more than 37 years in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of four-star general.

Petraeus served as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan and also commanded forces in Iraq in 2007 and 2008, when violence there dropped following a surge in military forces.

KKR said Thursday that Petraeus will support its investment teams and portfolio companies when studying new investments, especially in new locations. The company did not detail terms of its agreement with Petraeus, but a spokeswoman said he will serve in a consultant’s role.

Associated Press

Chicago hotel workers end strike after 10 years

CHICAGO – Striking hotel workers who became a familiar sight on Chicago’s famed Michigan Avenue as they picketed – for 10 years – are ending one of the longest strikes in American history, their union said Thursday.

The union offered “unconditionally” to halt the strike, which began at the Congress Plaza Hotel in June 2003 over disputes involving wage cuts and other issues. A hotel attorney said that means if the workers do return to work, they would do so under terms of the contract that expired a year before the strike began, including wages that the union argues are now half the city’s standard.

“The decision to end the Congress strike was a hard one, but it is the right time for the union and the strikers to move on,” said Henry Tamarin, president of Unite Here Local 1, which represented the workers.

Hotel attorney Peter Andjelkovich said he was surprised by the union’s offer. The hotel hired replacements.

Associated Press