Washington area business diary for week of Jan. 21

January 20, 2013

Short takes on the week's announcements and deals.

Acquisitions

McLean-based USA Today said its Travel Media Group has acquired South Carolina-based travel review Web site 10best.com. Terms were not disclosed.

An unnamed buyer has acquired the 1,633-room Atlanta Marriott Marquis from Bethesda-based hotel real estate investment trust Host Hotels & Resorts for $293 million.

Call for entries

Reston-based Helios HR said it is accepting nominations for its 2013 Helios Apollo Awards. Deadline for nominations is Feb. 15. More information: www.helioshr.com/apollo.

Contracts

Silver Spring-based Choice Hotels International said it has signed franchise agreements with Santa Monica, Calif.-based Colony Capital LLC and Dallas-based Aimbridge Hospitality to convert 46 Jameson Inns to either Choice’s Comfort Inn or Econo Lodge brands.

Tysons Corner-based Fairfax County Economic Development Authority said it has hired Munich-based MKW to run the FCEDA’s marketing office in Munich.

Expansions

Miramar, Fla.-based Spirit Airlines said it is adding daily nonstop seasonal service from Baltimore Washington International Marshall Airport to Philadelphia International Airport and Myrtle Beach International Airport.

Greensboro, N.C.-based grocery store chain Fresh Market said it plans to open a store at the One Loudoun mixed-used project in Ashburn in the fall.

Reston-based data communications company Transaction Network Services said it has opened an office in Taiwan.

Utah-based restaurant chain Café Rio Mexican Grill said it has opened a restaurant at 5100 Buckeystown Pike, Frederick, MD 21704.

Funding

Lanham-based retail software start-up Optoro said it has raised $7.5 million in its first round of funding.

Name changes

Silver Spring-based drug company Sunpeaks Ventures said it has changed its name to Pharmagen.

Pharmaceuticals

Rockville-based Emergent BioSolutions said that the Phase 2 clinical trial for its anthrax vaccine NuThrax has started.

— Compiled by Shawn Selby

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