Aug 07, 2018
The Kentucky International Convention Center (KICC) opened its doors on Aug. 6 after a two-year renovation and expansion. The new build has increased KICC’s contiguous exhibit space by more than a third. State and local government officials, along with KICC facility officials and staff, welcomed clients, local stakeholders and media to an open house that showcased the new facility and its capacity for events. The program included comments from: David S. Beck, president and CEO of Kentucky Venues Don Parkinson, secretary of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet William M. Landrum… more
Aug 01, 2018
Hosting an event at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a way to provide an unforgettable experience. Giving attendees the opportunity to see the exhibits after-hours or even dine in the midst of jellyfish, sharks or silvery sardines will ensure they remember your event for years afterwards. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has been operating since 1984, and is host to 200 galleries and exhibits representing more than 550 species of fishes, invertebrates, mammals, reptiles, birds and plants. In 2017, 1.9 million people visited the aquarium. The Aquarium’s mission is to inspire conservation of the ocean.… more
Jul 27, 2018
Napa Valley’s Clif Family Winery is on the main drag on Route 128 in St. Helena, Calif. — just a block away from the well-known Gott’s Roadside (known as Taylor’s Refresher for its first 50 years) drive-in eatery. From the outside, the building looks like a family home, surrounded by a decent size parking lot and a few small businesses. It’s not ostentatious, like many of the area wineries, so is easy to miss as you are driving by. Those who do stop will be pleasantly surprised.  Inside, the building has a European-inspired flair, featuring artwork showcasing both Italy and bicycles, a… more
Jul 25, 2018
Atlanta, Georgia’s Cobb Galleria Centre recently completed a major renovation of one of its event spaces, the Gallery. The Cobb Galleria Centre is located in the 88-acre Galleria complex in northwest Atlanta. Cobb Galleria Centre is offers 320,000 square feet of event space, four exhibition halls, 20 meeting rooms, four executive boardrooms and a grand ballroom. The 5,500 sq. ft. Gallery is located within the Galleria Specialty Shops near Cobb Galleria Centre’s exhibition hall, ballroom and meeting space. It can accommodate up to 450 guests for a reception or 270 people for a seated banquet… more
Jul 19, 2018
Puerto Rico’s newly established destination marketing organization has been officially dubbed Discover Puerto Rico. Established July 1, the new DMO will be responsible for all global marketing, sales and promotion of Puerto Rico as a premier destination for leisure and business travelers.  Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico unveiled the new name during the Destinations International Annual Convention, a yearly gathering that attracts more than 1,600 destination marketing and management professionals from across the globe, held July 10-13 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim,… more
Jul 17, 2018
On July 16, Caesars Entertainment Corporation broke ground on its newest development: the CAESARS FORUM Las Vegas conference center. Slated to open in 2020, the venue will feature 550,000 square feet of flexible meeting, event and convention space. As the emcee for the ground breaking ceremony, Roger Dow, president and CEO of U.S. Travel Association and long-time meetings industry veteran, spoke about how when he was first starting in the industry, the meetings market was an afterthought for Las Vegas. Forty years later, the city is now the leading destination for meetings within the U.S… more
Jul 12, 2018
I attended Meeting Professionals International (MPI)’s 2018 World Education Congress (WEC) last month in Indianapolis, Indiana. It was my first time in both the state and the city, and I was favorably impressed by the location, the conference and the local destination management organization (DMO), Visit Indy. While I was onsite, I spoke with Susie Townsend, Visit Indy’s senior vice president of visitor experience, about Visit Indy and how they partnered with MPI for WEC. Townsend has been with the organization for 29 years, so has a rich history and knowledge of the events industry and DMO… more
Jul 10, 2018
Marriott International has purchased the 1,000-room Sheraton Grand Phoenix hotel for $255 million. The property is slated for a significant renovation designed to transform it into a model for the revamped Sheraton brand. Marriott acquired Sheraton as part of the Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide purchase in Sept. 2016. In early June, Marriott International revealed its comprehensive transformation strategy for the Sheraton brand, building a 4,200 square foot vignette at the NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference in New York. The new brand strategy is focused on… more
Jul 05, 2018
The Kimpton brand has expanded its footprint to Toronto.  The 14-story contemporary Kimpton Saint George hotel opened its doors on Jun. 19.  The new property features 188 guest rooms, including 20 suites and a Presidential Suite. "We are thrilled to bring our uniquely personal and authentic boutique hotel experience to Toronto,” said Bertrand Mangeot, general manager of Kimpton Saint George. The hotel features original works of art by Canadian artists. A hand-painted owl mural by renowned Toronto street artist, Birdo, graces the exterior of the property. In the reception area, an original… more
Jul 02, 2018
Rosen Hotels & Resorts in Orlando has rebranded the Red Roof Inn at International Drive hotel. The newly refurbished 134-room hotel is now known as Midpointe Hotel Orlando Convention Center. Rosen acquired the former Red Roof Inn, along with the 222-room Clarion Inn & Suites at International Drive, in late 2017. Midpointe Hotel's new name signifies its location midway between Orlando's tourist destinations and attractions. Located across the street from the Orange County Convention Center and next to the 1334-room Rosen Centre convention property, Midpointe expands the guestroom… more