Crowne Plaza is a chain of full service, upscale hotels catering to business travelers and to the meetings and conventions market. It forms part of the InterContinental Hotels Group family of brands, which include InterContinental Hotels & Resorts and Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts and operates in 52 countries, usually located in city centers, resorts, or near major airports.Originally branded as "Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza", the first United States Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Hotel was opened in Rockville, Maryland, in 1983. Within a couple of years the brand was spun off as an independent chain (still owned at the time by Holiday Inn). The first Crowne Plaza Resort opened in Madeira, Portugal in 1999. Crowne Plaza once owned the Isle of Capri Casino resort chain.Today, the brand represents over 400 hotels globally in 52 countries with 102,667 bedrooms (as of March 2010) and an expanding 129 hotels in the pipeline. In 1990, the InterContinental Hotels Group purchased the Holiday Inn family; today its portfolio includes the luxury brand InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, the upscale boutique brand Hotel Indigo, the upscale extended stay brand Staybridge Suites, the midscale extended stay brand Candlewood Suites, and the midscale, full service brand Holiday Inn Hotels & Resorts and the midscale limited service brand Holiday Inn Express.In July 2009, Crowne Plaza Hotels & Resorts was recognized by Lodging Hospitality magazine as one of the industry's top growing brands.