Monthly Archives: February 2009

For Groups Looking to Do Good, New Orleans Marriott Offers ?Build & Bond” Voluntourism Rates of $84 Per Night

Ideal for Reunions, Church Groups & More: List of Volunteer Organizations,
Complimentary Meeting Room, Parking & More

New Orleans, LA ? In 2008, 84 displaced New Orleans families moved in to homes built by volunteers. According to the New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, this is nearly eight times the number of homes constructed for those in need Pre-Katrina. In effort to continue the tremendously successful rebuilding of the Big Easy, the New Orleans Marriott has launched Build & Bond, offering voluntourism groups a special nightly rate of $84, including all taxes. This rate is based on up to quad occupancy, which could bring the price per person, per night as low as $21.

Ideal for church and social groups, family reunions and more, Build & Bond makes it easy for groups visiting NOLA on voluntourism missions. It offers a coordinator resource kit including information on area transportation companies and city guides, a complimentary meeting room where the group can congregate to discuss and plan the day ahead, complimentary parking for 15-passenger vans, 50 percent off parking for personal vehicles and discounted pricing for box lunches to keep volunteers fueled ?on the job.” For guests in need of some direction on where to lend a hand, Build & Bond provides recommendations on a variety of local volunteer organizations so that do-good guests can plan where to donate their time.

Build & Bond is available for groups with 10 rooms or more and valid on a variety of dates throughout 2009. Rooms with two double beds, which can sleep up to four people comfortably, are guaranteed.

The New Orleans Marriott is located on Canal Street in the French Quarter and only two blocks from Bourbon Street, within walking distance to the Audubon Insectarium, Aquarium of the Americas, Harrah’s Casino, Jackson Square and more. It boasts 1,329 rooms and a variety of on-site amenities including Starbucks Coffee Shop, a fitness center with top-of-the-line equipment, two outdoor pools (one adult and one child) and more.

For more information about the New Orleans Marriott or to book Build & Bond, call 504-553-5526 or email

The New Orleans Marriott is located in on Canal Street in the famed French Quarter and is steps from the Central Business District, Bourbon Street and the riverfront. The hotel offers 1,329 hotel rooms including 54 suites that reflect the distinct flavor of the Big Easy with bold and stylish d?cor and spectacular views of the Mississippi River. The New Orleans Marriott offers 80,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes its expansive ballroom, the largest hotel ballroom in Louisiana at 27,089 square feet. The hotel completed a $38 million overhaul in late 2007 that included a brand-new lobby and adjoining lounge, a new restaurant, significant enhancements to its guestrooms, concierge lounge, meeting space, technology upgrades and more. Culinary options delight every palate. Its restaurant, 5 Fifty 5, offers modern interior d?cor, a wine bar and a warm and comfortable setting. It boasts a fresh approach to food and the mouthwatering cuisine based on a unique wood-fired grill concept developed by Executive Chef Mark Quitney.

Miles Assumes Convention Industry Council 2009 CMP Board Chairmanship

ALEXANDRIA, VA – The Convention Industry Council?s (CIC) Certified Meeting Professional (CMP) Board of Directors announces the appointment of Kimberly Miles, CMP, Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, to the role of 2009 Chair. Miles, formerly vice chair of the Board, replaces Keith Sexton-Patrick, CMP, Director of Convention Services for the Mohegan Sun.

?I am pleased to assume the role of Chair of the CIC CMP Board,” said Miles. ?The program continues to enjoy positive recognition, not only in North America, but around the world. My goals for this year include building on this brand awareness and supporting the growth of the CMP designation to global meeting professionals. This is truly an exciting time for the CMP Program and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Sexton-Patrick stated, ?I know that with Kimberly?s proven leadership the Board will advance further and faster and continue to drive the CMP process in order to bring this important industry certification to both the North American and International markets.”

Since being established in 1985, the CMP designation has been earned by more than 13,000 meeting professionals in 35 countries and territories worldwide. This prestigious credential, recognized throughout the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry, demonstrates an individual?s comprehensive knowledge of meeting management and takes them to the next level of professionalism in their career.

The Convention Liaison Council was founded in 1949 by four organizations to facilitate the exchange of information within the meetings, conventions, and exhibitions industry. Now the Convention Industry Council, the organization has grown to include 34 member organizations. CIC’s members represent more than 103,500 individuals and 17,300 firms and properties involved in the meetings, conventions and exhibitions industry. CIC maintains two signature programs, the CMP Designation and APEX both of which continue to grow and provide value to the convention industry and the hospitality field. Additional information on the Convention Industry Council and a complete list of the 2009 CIC Board of Directors can be found at

Ocean Place Resort & Spa Responds to Trends Toward Shorter Lead Times, Regional Meetings, Second Tier Locations With Special Packages, Incentives

Long Branch, NJ (February 25, 2009) ? Ocean Place Resort & Spa in Long Branch, NJ is already seeing several trends emerge in 2009: shorter booking windows; RFPs moving from large markets to nearby second-tier destinations; and corporate meeting planners holding more regional meetings. The resort, located within an hour?s drive of New York City, is responding with several strategies, including pricing, incentives for third-party meeting planners, and targeted marketing.

To attract value-seekers and planners working off of shorter booking windows, the resort is offering all-inclusive, value-priced packages such as its new ?Meet on OP?s Money,” which is valid now through April 30, 2009. The promotion includes oceanfront guest rooms, full breakfast, lunch and dinner, two coffee breaks, meeting room rental and AV equipment, all for a per-person, per day rate of $199, a savings of approximately 30 percent. Based on availability, a minimum of 10 rooms is required.

For third-party meeting planners, Ocean Place Resort & Spa is increasing commissions to 15 per cent to the planner/purchaser on business booked during the calendar year of 2009 with a signing bonus of an Apple iPhone.

The property is also placing a greater emphasis on targeting corporate groups that traditionally held their meetings in New York City.

According to Ocean Place Director of Sales and Marketing Joseph Jenci, ?We?re finding that a number of large corporations are actually holding more meetings, but broken out by regions, to cut down on airfare and travel time. We?re also seeing corporations that traditionally held their meetings in large markets such as Manhattan looking for smaller markets within an easy drive where properties can offer more amenities for less.”

The only oceanfront conference resort between New York City and Atlantic City, and located on a private stretch of Atlantic shoreline in Long Branch, NJ, Ocean Place Resort & Spa is a premier property offering recreation opportunities and award-winning cuisine. Conveniently situated only an hour from midtown Manhattan and Newark Liberty International Airport, Ocean Place Resort & Spa offers an inspiring setting for business near Monmouth, NJ?s many attractions.

Originally developed in the mid-nineteenth century and renowned as one of the grand old Atlantic Ocean beachfront resorts favored by financiers, theatrical and political figures, the original structure has been replaced by a completely modern resort designed to accommodate today?s luxury guests. The hotel features 254 guestrooms, including five luxury suites and a pet-friendly floor, and 40,000 square-feet of versatile event and meeting space. A world-class European Spa offers 15 treatment rooms, and a state-of-the-art fitness center boasts panoramic views of the ocean, beach, and promenade. Amenities include two swimming pools (one indoors and heated), a 200-yard beach and oceanfront promenade, bicycling, tennis, water sports, and access to nearby championship golf and Pier Village for shopping and dining. Long Branch Beach on the Jersey Shore has the distinction of being named one of the ?Top 20 Great American Beaches,” by Travel + Leisure magazine (July, 2007).

For more information on Ocean Place Resort & Spa and online RFI and RFP tools, please go to:

Marketing Contact:
Joseph Jenci
Director of Sales and Marketing
Ocean Place Resort & Spa
One Ocean Boulevard
Long Branch, NJ 07740
Phone: 732.571.5739
Fax: 732.571.8974

For additional media information, please contact:
Mary Huff
Pineapple Public Relations
(404) 237-3761
(404) 713-3774 cell

Crowne Plaza Springfield Proud Host of Abraham Lincoln’s Bicentennial Celebration

On February, 12, 2009, The Crowne Plaza Springfield, managed by TPG Hospitality was host site of Abraham Lincoln?s Bicentennial Celebration. President Barack Obama was an Honored Guest and featured speaker for the event. Over 1,200 guests attended the program hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Association and the Illinois Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

The guest list included several elected officials many of whom were acknowledged by the President during his speech. Joining President Obama at the head table were Ms. Laura Lynn Ryan, Governor Pat Quinn, Ms. Loretta Durbin, Mr. Dick Hart, Governor Jim Edgar, Ms. Marilyn Kushak, Governor James Thompson, Secretary Ray LaHood and Reverend Gary McCants.

The evening began with a Presentation of Colors by the 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment. Guests dined on traditional mixed greens, a duet of petit filet of beef with chicken marsala, gouda mashed potatoes, and asparagus laced with diced red pepper. Following dinner, Eli?s Cheesecake presented a ceremonial three-tier birthday cake with an edible stovepipe hat. Guests were served individual cheesecakes topped with a three inch chocolate replica of a Lincoln penny.

Six major television networks (ABC, CBS, FOX, CNN, NBC, and CSPAN) broadcasted the event live for national television.

Plans are already underway at the Crowne Plaza Springfield for next year?s Abraham Lincoln Association Banquet on February 12, 2010.

If you?d like more information about this event, or to schedule an interview with a member of our management team, please call Jason Thoron at 217-585-2868 or email at

Six ?Thought Leaders? Named to ASAE & The Center?s 2009 Class of Fellows

WASHINGTON, DC?Six leaders of the association community have been named to ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership?s 2009 class of Fellows. The Fellows program recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to ASAE & The Center and the association community, and is a call to service for the profession.

?The members of the Fellows Selection Committee agree that these six new Fellows exemplify the attributes of innovation and leadership integral to the Fellows program,” said Peter J. O?Neil, CAE, chair of the 2009 Fellows Selection Committee and executive director of the American Industrial Hygiene Association. ?I?m excited to recognize the class of 2009 as outstanding leaders of the association community.”

The class of 2009 includes:

Mr. Joel D. Albizo, CAE
Executive Director
Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards

Ms. Deborah J. Bowen, CAE
Executive Vice President and COO
American College of Healthcare Executives

Mr. Henry Chamberlain, APR, CAE
President and Chief Operating Officer
Building Owners and Managers Association International

Ms. Michelle I. Mason, CAEM
Managing Director
American Society for Quality

Mr. Lawrence A. Luteran
Vice President, Group Sales and Industry Relations
Hilton Hotels Corporation

Mr. Scott M. Steen, CAE
Executive Director
American Ceramic Society

The 2009 Fellows join more than 210 association professionals who have received this designation since the program?s inception in 1986. Serving as role models and ambassadors for the association community, Fellows seek out opportunities to serve on boards and committees, and by participating as speakers, authors, reviewers and mentors.

The goals of the Fellows are:
? To represent a diverse community of thought leaders that create and expand on both knowledge and insight into the strategic issues of the profession and industry;
? To identify and develop future leadership;
? To take an active role in ASAE & The Center in areas such as mentoring Diversity Executive Leadership Program (DELP) scholars and Future Leaders Conference participants, and in the identification of future trends and issues;
? To serve through their active leadership and support of ASAE & The Center and Fellows activities and programs.

The Fellows selection process includes nomination by a peer; an in-depth application describing the individual?s innovation, leadership and commitment to the profession; an interview with a member of the selection committee; and ultimately selection from among a group of highly-qualified candidates. This year the Fellow selection committee had the privilege of reviewing 47 association industry representatives.

About ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership
ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership are two organizations linked together by a common belief and passion. The American Society of Association Executives is a membership organization of more than 22,000 association executives and industry partners representing more than 11,000 organizations. Its members manage leading trade associations, individual membership societies and voluntary organizations across the United States and in 50 countries around the world. The Center for Association Leadership is the premier provider of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association profession. Together, ASAE & The Center for Association Leadership provide resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association community. For more information about ASAE & The Center, please visit

Kuala Lumpur Convention Center Records 51% Growth in Conventions for 2008

Kuala Lumpur, February 2009 ? The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre recorded a remarkable 51 percent growth in the number of conventions in 2008, from 22 in 2007 to 45 in 2008, the highest so far since the Centre?s opening in 2005.

Of the 45 conventions, 37 (82 percent) were international and 8 (18 percent) were national or local events, which attracted 51,919 delegates representing 147,312 delegate days (67 percent increase over 2007). The average attendance per convention was 1,153 delegates, over an average of 3 days per event.

According to the Centre?s General Manager, Peter Brokenshire, ?We are delighted with the stellar performance of the convention segment. This can be attributed to strategic marketing and promotional activities which began in 2003, before the Centre opened. This is proof that Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur are attractive meeting destinations. The 16th World Congress of Information Technology (WCIT) for example, attracted 3,313 delegates from 92 countries which resulted in a 43 percent increase in delegate numbers as well as quadruple sales in exhibition space.”

Of the events held, an impressive 84 percent of total exhibitions held at the Centre were recurrent shows. The 63 exhibitions consisted of 52 percent Trade and 48 percent Consumer shows. These figures placed the Centre as the preferred venue for 41 percent of all exhibitions held in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2008, the Centre was the venue of choice for 543 events comprising 153 banquets and functions, 45 conventions, 63 exhibitions, 255 meetings and events and 27 entertainment productions. Of the 543 events, 17 percent were international and the balance, national or local in nature compared to 11 percent in 2007.

These events attracted 2.06 million delegates, representing 2.2 million delegate days and generated an estimated RM 568 million (USD 158 million, AUD 232 million) in terms of economic impact to the city, against RM 469 million (USD 129 million, AUD 192 million) in 2007.

Brokenshire added, ?The 2008 results demonstrated better utilisation of space at the Centre compared to 2007. The event size grew from an average of 3,300 attendees per event to 3,800 whilst room occupancy rate increased by 12 percent.

?As at February 2009, the Centre had secured more than 360 bookings for this year plus 24 international and regional conferences for 2009 and beyond. Although there are global economic challenges, we maintain an optimistic outlook for 2009. The current economic scenario creates the continued needs for meetings to be more crucial as in times of crisis, people want to meet and connect with their colleagues even more”.

In 2008, the Centre also won numerous awards including TravelWeekly (Asia) Industry Awards 2008 and CEI Industry Award 2009 for ?Best Convention & Exhibition Centre? and a joint third place for ?Asia?s Best MICE Sales Team? in the latter.

Enjoy Two Wonderful, Wonderful Nights with Johnny Mathis at Tropicana Casino & Resort

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (February 2009) ? Johnny Mathis celebrates his 53rd Anniversary as a recording artist with a Classy Concert Tour coming to the Tropicana on Friday, March 13 and Saturday, March 14 with special guest Gary Mule Deer.

Mathis is known for his soft voice and romantic ballads. His impressive and lengthy career has made him a standard in the music industry. His first album was a collection of jazz oriented renditions of popular standards entitled: Johnny Mathis: A New Sound In Popular Song. Mathis went on to have more success with singles like “Wonderful, Wonderful” and “Its Not For Me To Say”. “Chances Are” became Mathis First number one hit. And another fan favorite “Misty”, earned him a Grammy nomination.

Mathis is an accomplished musical artist, during his career; he has set many precedents in the music industry. In 1958, he was the first to establish a Greatest Hits record, which has now become a tradition in the record industry. He has made countless appearances in motion pictures and television. He was awarded his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, has been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame twice, and the Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honored Mathis with a Life Time Achievement Award in 2003.

Mathis celebrated his 50th anniversary in the business in 2006. To commemorate this event, PBS produced and broadcast the special, “Johnny Mathis Gold A 50th Anniversary Celebration”. The same year Sony released a DVD of the special and a 50th Anniversary CD.

In 2008, Mathis released “A Night To Remember”, a collection of 70s R&B classics with the distinctive Mathis mark. Mathis continues to delight audiences with the elegance and ease that he brings to each performance.

Gary Mule Deers unique comedy and music have set him apart as a one-of-a-kind performer. He has performed on every major concert stage in the country and made over 350 television appearances, including many on both The Tonight Show and The Late Show with David Letterman.

Johnny Mathis with Gary Mule Deer will be performing on Friday March 13 and Saturday March 14. Both shows are at 9pm. Tickets are priced at $35, $50, $65, and $75, are available through Ticketmaster at, via phone at 1.800.736.1420, or at the Tropicana Box Office, located on the 1st floor of the North Tower.

For additional information on the Atlantic City Tropicana, Home of The Quarter, visit the official website at

Tropicana Executive Chef Joseph LaPorte Named ‘Chef of the Year’

ATLANTIC CITY, NJ (February, 2009) ? Joseph LaPorte, executive chef with the Tropicana Casino and Resort, has been named the ?Chef of the Year” by the Professional Chef?s Association of South Jersey, a chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF).

?We at the Tropicana have always been very proud of our Food and Beverage program and the professionalism that Chef Joe and his staff display everyday,” said Alphonso J. Maiorani Jr., Senior Vice President of Resort Operations. ?With this win against all the chefs in southern New Jersey we know that the rest of the Food and Beverage community feels the same way.”

LaPorte was recognized during the President Scholarship Dinner/Dance Fundraiser Ball held at Tropicana Casino and Resort on February 8, 2009 The ?Chef of the Year” award is the most prestigious award given by the Professional Chef?s Association of South Jersey. It is presented annually to recognize a culinarian who demonstrates continuous commitment to the food service industry through personal and professional development, leadership and educational support to fellow culinarians.

Raised in the South Jersey area, LaPorte began his career working in a family-owned restaurant at the age of 13. In 1981, he entered the Atlantic City workforce as a cook and lent his talents to some of the top names in casino hospitality over the next eight years. In 1989 LaPorte made the move to the Tropicana Casino and Resort. In the nineteen years since, he has risen through the ranks of lead production chef, executive sous chef and executive chef. In his current role, he oversees all banquets, room service and operations at the Seaside Caf?, Fiesta Buffet, Diamond Jim?s Player?s Lounge, Il Verdi, Golden Dynasty and Wellington?s. Under his dedicated leadership, the Tropicana has one numerous culinary awards.

The Professional Chef?s Association of South Jersey was founded by twelve chefs, whose common goal was to amplify the ACF’s commitment to training, education and humanitarian efforts here in Atlantic City. Today, the chapter has more than 140 active, junior, student and associate members and continues to grow.

We Have a Deal for You

More fresh and flexible value-added packages from the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre

Kuala Lumpur, February 2009 ? The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), the city?s most technologically-advanced and purpose-built facility for conventions, exhibitions, entertainment and private functions, has launched ?We Have a Deal for You?, a fresh and flexible value-added option for events held at the Centre.

The campaign, ?We Have a Deal for You? provides a Rewards Programme that enables clients to earn reward points against food and beverage charges, and redeem them against sound, lighting, video, decoration and theming packages, the five elements of the Centre?s Creative Services.

Speaking at the Centre?s Client Appreciation Cocktail reception, the Centre?s General Manager, Peter Brokenshire said that the campaign was developed in response to client feedback and, in light of the current challenges facing the global economy and in turn, Malaysia.

?With the packages on offer, clients who hold their events here are entitled to reward points; which will be 10% of the total food and beverage charges (before service charge and government tax). These points can be redeemed against sound, lighting, video, decoration enhancements and theming for events through the Centre?s creative services.

?Designed to meet the most basic or comprehensive requirements, a ?pick and mix? format provides added flexibility as the organiser or host can select and redeem their reward points for their different creative requirements for their event.”

Banqueting events such as dinners, cocktail receptions, launches and high-tea functions held at the Centre?s Grand Ballroom, Conference Halls, Banquet Hall and Exhibition Halls could all benefit from this offering.

Following the successful launch of TenOnCall catering specifically to meetings of between two to 150 persons with a just-in-time package, the Centre has created flexible DCP offers for the Plenary Hall and Plenary Theatre.

Elaborating on the DCP offer, Brokenshire said, ?The choice of full-day DCP packages now come with an option of a standing buffet at the venue?s foyer area to facilitate better networking among attendees.”

For further information on ?We Have A Deal For You?, please contact our Sales Team on Tel: +603 2333 2828, Fax: +603 2333 2882, Email:

Calgary Marriott Takes Environment to Heart with Green Initiative

The Calgary Marriott Hotel is pleased to announce that it has achieved a 4 Green Key rating through the Hotel Association of Canada?s (HAC) Green Key Eco-Rating Program.

A 4 Green Key rating demonstrates that the Calgary Marriott Hotel has shown national industry leadership and commitment to protecting the environment through wide ranging policies and practices. The hotel also has environmental awareness programs in place that involve management, employees, guests, and the public, all of which have shown substantial and measurable results.

The Calgary Marriott Hotel achieved this rating through various initiatives including: the purchase of green power which now powers the main lobby and meeting space, expanding the hotel?s recycling program to include colored glass, clear glass, tins, plastics, fluorescent tubes, and composting both food and ground wastes.

“This accomplishment is the result of the commitment every associate has towards improving our Green policies and initiatives,” says Joseph Clohessy, General Manager of the Hotel. ?I am extremely proud of our team in achieving a 4 Green Key Rating.”

Future green initiatives for the Calgary Marriott hotel include using 100% energy efficient lighting throughout the entire hotel, aiming for zero waste from hotel functions, and purchasing two additional high efficiency boilers.

The Hotel Association of Canada’s (HAC) Green Key Eco-Rating Program is a graduated rating system designed to recognize hotels, motels, and resorts that are committed to improving their fiscal and environmental performance. For more information please visit

Calgary Marriott Hotel Information:

The Calgary Marriott Hotel is located in the heart of Downtown and within walking distance to shopping, fine dining, and world-class corporations, our Calgary Marriott hotel is ideal for both business and leisure travel. Relax in the largest downtown Calgary Alberta hotel, and enjoy the utmost hospitality. Our accommodations showcase 37″ flat screen TV, High Definition Channels, floor-to-ceiling windows, plush, brand-new bedding, and unobstructed views of the vibrant metropolis. One of the best downtown Calgary hotels, we blend attentive hospitality with brilliant amenities. Sip your favorite latte at Starbucks, or savor a deluxe breakfast buffet at Traders Grill. Host an unforgettable meeting or event in more than 4,000 square feet of flexible function space – perfect for weddings, banquets, and corporate gatherings. From our indoor swimming pool and 24 hr Fitness Centre to dedicated concierge, we offer the most amenities among Calgary Alberta hotels. Feel confident booking your Calgary hotel reservations with Marriott’s Best Rate Guarantee.