Renaissance Hotels were originally founded as Ramada Renaissance Hotels in 1982 the upscale segment of the Ramada Inns, Inc., which eventually established Renaissance as a stand-alone brand. In 1989 the bulk of the Ramada hospitality and franchise system was acquired by New World Development Company of Hong Kong (the U.S., or domestic rights to the Ramada name were sold to Prime Hospitality), and the former Ramada Corp. was renamed Aztar Corp. In 1996 New World acquired Stouffer Hotels Co. from Nestle, folded it into the Renaissance chain and took the expanded management and franchising company public, while retaining ownership of many of the individual hotels through its CTF Holdings subsidiary. In 1997 Marriott acquired the Netherlands-incorporated Renaissance Hotel Group N.V., and retained the Renaissance brand, while eventually shedding the Ramada International business in phases to Cendant Corp. In 2005 Marriott acquired most of the remaining New World/CTF owned Renaissance Hotels in North America and Europe, with the intent of selling them under long-term management and franchise contracts.