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Travel Roundup: Delta Threatens Atlanta, Luxury Hotel Downgrades, Hertz Layoffs, Comfort Inn's Ice Cream Robbery and More

Delta threatens to leave Atlanta hub over higher fees -- Delta Air Lines is threatening to leave Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport if airport officials won't lower operating costs before it signs a new 30-year lease. If negotiations fail the airline has suggested moving its flights to either Memphis or Detroit. Delta is the airport's biggest airline and accounts for about 70 percent of its flights. Delta's power play in Atlanta is a common occurrence in hub airports around the globe because airlines are trying to cut costs and renegotiate terms in tough economic times. [Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution]
Seattle luxury hotel downgrades --The 120-room Arctic Club Hotel in downtown Seattle will be downgrading itself from four diamonds to three, dropping from luxurious to more affordable to garner more customers, officials said. The hotel will also rebrand its fine dining restaurant, Juno, to an urban bistro so it can attract more clientele. Hotel officials said they also expected a deal with a national franchise soon. "Recent economic factors are driving the Arctic Club Hotel ownership to make a decision that will rebrand its services to that of a three-diamond hotel," said Stan Kott, hotel general manager. [Source: Puget Sound Business Journal]

Hertz to lay off 4,000 -- Hertz Global Holdings Inc. will cut more than 4,000 jobs in an attempt to lower costs in the face of a worldwide recession. The number of jobs, about 12 percent of its workers, will save the company $150 million to $170 million in 2009, company officials said. Since 2006, Hertz chief executive Mark Frissora has laid off 32 percent of its workforce. [Source: Bloomberg]

Man robs hotel for cash and ice cream-- A gun-toting robber took cash and several pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream from a Rockland, Mass. Comfort Inn early Monday morning. The man, described as white, wearing a blue windbreaker and black ski mask, reportedly walked into the Comfort Inn at 12:59 a.m. and wielded a handgun. The desk clerk gave the man $275 from the register and was told by the robber to kneel on the ground and not call the police for two minutes. Surveillance video shows the man taking several pints of ice cream and Tylenol from the gift shop before running out of the lobby. [Source: GateHouse News Service]

Radisson converted to Hilton in San Antonio -- The Dow Hotel Company, a hotel investment and management company, converted its 227-room, former Radisson Hill Country Resort and Spa to the Hilton San Antonio Hill Country Hotel & Spa. Along with the name change the hotel will also have a $6 million renovation. The property is jointly owned by Dow and the Prudential Insurance Company of America. [Source: Puget Sound Business Journal and Hotel Interactive]

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