US-based hotel firm Loews is looking to open its first European property in London as part of a major expansion programme.

The chain currently has 19 hotels and resorts in the US and Canada but wants to grow this to between 30 and 50 properties within the next three to five years.

Dave Wiener, senior vice president, sales, told BBT that Loews CEO Paul Whetsell had visited London “looking for opportunities” during the last few weeks.

“We plan to develop in the European market and given that the UK is our number one market then London is at the top of our list,” he said.

“We are very opportunistic when it comes to expansion, so we could find something in London in a month or in one year or longer.”

Wiener said that Loews would open its next property in Orlando – the 1,800-room Cabana Bay Beach Resort in early 2014 with another hotel set to debut in Chicago in 2015.

The company has also been spending $92 million on renovating its existing Loews Regency hotel in New York City which is due to reopen on January 16, 2014 after being closed for a year.

Loews also wants to expand within the US and Canada in destinations such as San Francisco and Toronto, as well as in Mexico and the Caribbean.

“We deal with all three of the major travel markets – leisure, business travel and groups – depending on the location and property,” added Wiener. “Out of the UK, we do all three of these markets fairly significantly – although it’s more leisure and business than group.”

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