Legendary Hotels Undergo Major Changes

This recession has prompted a steady stream of hotel foreclosures and restructurings. But a few of these transactions have stood out as they involve such legendary properties for corporate meetings and events.

The Greenbrier luxury hotel in West Virginia declared bankruptcy earlier this year and Marriott was pegged to buy the property, but Jim Justice (some local extremely wealthy guy) beat them to it. Now, Justice plans to open up a casino to drive revenue. Legendary accolade: Every President from Eisenhower through George W. Bush has stayed at the resort's presidential suite.

The Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C. is now in foreclosure and up for auction at a starting bid of $1 million! Cheap if you are a Richard Nixon enthusiast and own a money-bearing tree in your backyard. Legendary accolade: The hotel property where the burglaries that led to the Watergate scandal and the resignation of President Richard Nixon occurred.

The St. Regis Monarch Beach was foreclosed by CitiGroup after defaulting on a $70 million loan. This property is best known as the luxury retreat property where the American International Group held their convention right after receiving government bail-out money. Legendary Accolade: Birthplace of the "AIG Effect."

Meanwhile in Las Vegas, the Fontainebleau Las Vegas stopped construction on the $2.9 billion resort and asked a bankruptcy court for permission to cancel numerous meetings and conventions scheduled through June 2010. Among them are those with the Consumer Electronics Association and the International Council of Shopping Centers shows. The resort is reportedly 70 percent complete.