Sep 29, 2020
Opening a new convention hotel in the middle of a pandemic may sound preposterous to some. Yet things went on as planned in Rockford, Illinois, which opened the brand-new Embassy Suites by Hilton Rockford Riverfront in early July. The new hotel is the first full-service property in the Rockford area and located in the center of downtown, which has seen a lot of activity over recent years—think new breweries, restaurants, UW Health Sports Factory and the 2013 renovation of BMO Harris Bank Center. “Talk about a gamechanger in terms of making our downtown a destination,” says Nick Povalitis,… more
Sep 28, 2020
As part of Phase 4 of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York Forward plan, meeting venues in New York City are now able to host in-person gatherings of up to 50 people at under 33 percent of the venue’s capacity. Planners can add to these numbers by bringing additional attendees in virtually; that’s why a number of New York venues are embracing the hybrid meetings concept. “Our world-class venues have adapted to meet the current moment with innovative new hybrid models that will help us to safely welcome meeting delegates and event attendees back to the five boroughs,” said Fred Dixon, president… more
Sep 25, 2020
Meetings in Seattle are about to be back in business. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee has modified the state’s Phase 2 and Phase 3 restrictions around business meetings, professional development training and testing, and similar activities, effective Sept. 21. According to the new guidance, the Governor’s Safe Start reopening plan will permit meetings and business events to be held at an indoor capacity of 30 percent or 200 guests, whichever is less (excluding venue staff). Adherence to strict COVID-19 protocols must be followed, including implementation of social distancing… more
Sep 17, 2020
MGM Resorts International will complete the reopening of all its properties around the world following pandemic closures when Park MGM and NoMad Las Vegas open their doors on Sept. 30. Of note, the dual-branded property will become The Strip’s first fully smoke-free casino resort. “Opening Park MGM and NoMad represent significant milestones, as they are the last of our properties to welcome back employees and guests alike,” said Bill Hornbuckle, president and CEO of MGM Resorts. “The last six months have presented extraordinary challenges, and I could not be prouder of the MGM Resorts team… more
Aug 26, 2020
Following the implementation of a “back on track” reopening program that included new health and safety measures directed by a local task force, Indianapolis has seen a surge in meetings activity. In the four-week period following the July 7 reopening of Indiana Convention Center (ICC) — which recently spent $7 million on health and safety improvements — the city successfully hosted 18 meetings and events with a total of more than 40,000 attendees.  “With more than 50 percent of the nation’s population within a day’s drive of Indy, coupled with the health upgrades to our center, we’ve seen a… more
Jul 09, 2020
“We’re ready to welcome you back safely, when you’re ready,” reads the new tagline on the Mohegan Sun website. The resort and convention complex in Uncasville, Connecticut, began reopening in phases on June 1 and welcomed its first meeting last week.  The measured reopening of the 5.5 million-square-foot property followed the implementation of many new health and safety protocols in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Guidance for these came from a variety of sources: the CDC; Connecticut State Department of Health; and the Chief Medical Officer and Tribal Health Department of the Mohegan… more
Jun 30, 2020
Construction on Las Vegas Convention Center’s new underground transportation system, the Convention Center Loop, hit a milestone last month when Elon Musk’s The Boring Company completed excavation on the second of two 4,500-foot vehicular tunnels.  In May 2019, The Boring Company was selected by the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority board of directors to design, construct and operate the unique “people mover.” The $52.5 million project is the company’s first commercial endeavor and also includes three stations, one of which will be underground and is currently being excavated.… more
Quirk Hotel Charlottesville
Jun 17, 2020
As corporate marketing teams look ahead to begin planning for events for late 2020 and into 2021, bigger isn’t better: The theme that seems to be emerging is smaller, more intimate gatherings at a local level will help companies ease back into events.  While the hotel industry was among the hardest hit by the global pandemic, it’s the smaller, boutique hotels that may be among the first to bounce back, with fewer staff to hire back and fewer rooms to fill. These properties may also be among the best options for the first post-pandemic corporate meetings, as they come with less exposure to… more
Indiana Convention Center
May 08, 2020
Visit Indy and more than 10 downtown convention hotel partners are helping to ease event planners’ uncertainty of booking large face-to-face events with a new offer. New groups that book events in Indianapolis for any 2020 dates will automatically receive zero attrition for room blocks at all of the city’s major downtown convention hotels. “There is obviously great uncertainty about how to conduct events this year and our city, convention center and hotel partners want to help mitigate financial risks for our customers,” said Leonard Hoops, president and CEO of Visit Indy. Participating… more
Apr 28, 2020
The Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority is moving forward with its $557-million, five-year capital improvement plan. Approved in 2018, the plan includes internal and external upgrades to Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, a new 7.5-acre pedestrian park and 1,200-room headquarters hotel, and funding to ready an adjacent piece of land for a mixed-use development. After soliciting responses in late 2019 from qualified master developers to create a comprehensive development plan and strategy for a mixed-use project on the 39-acre parcel, the Authority short-listed five… more