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Travel Roundup: Anaheim's $76.3M Disney Deal, Cruise West's 335-Day Cruise, Houston Gives Embassy Suites $9.6M and More

Anaheim votes to extend $76.3 million tax break to Disney hotel developer -- The Anaheim City Council voted Tuesday to extend a $76.3-million tax break to a developer building two Disney-operated luxury hotels, despite strong opposition. The council voted to make up to 15 years of assistance payments to GardenWalk Hotel I, LLC, the developer wanting to build the two 12-story hotels for $242.4 million. Only one councilwoman voted against the proposal, describing it as "special treatment" and said placing the last-minute item on the agenda prevented public scrutiny. [Source: Los Angeles Times]

Cruise West unveils 335-day world cruise -- Next year, Cruise West will introduce Voyages of the Great Explorers, a 335-day world cruise aboard its flagship Spirit of Oceanus, departing Singapore on March 6, 2010, and returning to Singapore on Feb. 3, 2011. The cost starts at $233,995 a person, double occupancy, with first-class airfare included. The world cruise will visit 242 ports in 59 countries, including St. Petersburg, London, Alexandria, Easter Island and the Panama Canal. The cruise operator is also offering cruises on smaller segments of the world cruise starting at $4,995 per person, double occupancy. [Source: TravelTrade]

Construction begins on Houston hotel after $9.6 million tax break -- The developer of a $55 million Embassy Suites in downtown Houston broke ground on the project Tuesday. The project looked like it might be canceled when developer Nick Massad, with American Liberty Hospitality in Houston, lost his financing last year. The city council also gave Massad a $9.6 million tax subsidy to help push hotel development in the downtown area. The 262-suite hotel is expected to be completed in 2011. [Source: Houston Chronicle]

US Airways announces Rio-Charlotte flights -- US Airways Group Inc. announced its schedule for new flights between Charlotte, N.C., and Rio de Janeiro. The carrier will begin service in December. Daily flights will take off from Charlotte at 10:45 p.m. and arrive in Rio 11:15 a.m. local time the next day. The flight originally starts in Philadelphia. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]

Hilton names King as general manager of Waldorf Astoria Orlando -- Hilton Hotels appointed R. Michael King as general manager of the yet-unopened Waldorf Astoria Orlando. King spent the last 20 years of his 25-year career with Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co., where he was most recently general manager of the Ritz-Carlton Denver. The new 497-room hotel in Orlando will be paired with a 1,000-room Hilton Hotel. Both hotels are adjacent to Walt Disney World. Both are scheduled to open Oct. 1. [Source: Orlando Business Journal]