Monthly Archives: January 2011

Foxwoods Resort Casino Welcomes Year of the Rabbit with Introduction of Fay Da Bakery Popular New York Patisserie Brings Chinatown to Connecticut

MASHANTUCKET, CT (January 19, 2010) – There will soon be yet another culinary option at Foxwoods Resort Casino, and this one is particularly sweet. The renowned Fay Da Bakery has opened its doors in Foxwoods’ Rainmaker Square, bringing its menu of breads, cakes, cookies, and drinks to hungry visitors. This is the first and only location outside the New York City metro area.

The first Fay Da Bakery opened in 1991 in downtown Manhattan. Since then, the company has expanded to 10 locations in Manhattan and Queens. All are known for their high-quality baked goods, including baked and steamed buns; cookies in apricot, hazelnut, almond, butter, and other varieties; and cakes such as raspberry cheesecake, vanilla roll, Sachertorte cake, and mango mousse cake. Beverage options include coffees, teas, bubble teas, and jelly fruit teas.

This isn’t the first time a popular New York City eatery has opened its doors at North America’s largest resort casino. With the opening of the luxurious MGM Grand at Foxwoods in 2008 came Junior’s – home of New York’s best cheesecake. In 1950, Junior’s opened its first location in Brooklyn and has since expanded to include restaurants in Times Square and Grand Central Station. The MGM Grand at Foxwoods outpost is the only location outside New York City. Junior’s offers a full menu ranging from steaks to seafood and sandwiches to salads and cheesecake.

With a large Asian customer base, Foxwoods caters to these valued patrons by offering a number of eateries including Golden Dragon, a full-service restaurant offering dim sum, rice congee, barbecue, authentic Cantonese cuisine and noodle dishes; and Noodles, an express eatery serving a variety of Szechwan, Cantonese, Korean and Vietnamese dishes with a variety of soups, appetizers and authentic import beverages.

Foxwoods also boasts 88 Asian table games with 63 baccarat tables, and continuously offers an array of Asian performers at its renowned venues – MGM Grand Theater, Fox Theater, and the Premier Ballroom. To celebrate the Chinese New Year, Foxwoods is gearing up for its annual Dragon Parade and welcoming Huang Yu-Chi & Jen Hsien-Chi for a special performance at MGM Grand Theater on February 14.

About Foxwoods and MGM Grand at Foxwoods
North America’s largest casino, Foxwoods Resort Casino® is located at the Mashantucket Pequot Indian reservation in the midst of the rolling hills of southeastern Connecticut, easily accessible from Boston, New York, Hartford, and Providence. Owned by the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Foxwoods has something for everyone as the East Coast’s premier entertainment destination. Four award-winning hotels offer accommodations to suit every budget, along with luxury butler-serviced villas, extensive retail offerings, and more than 30 dining establishments featuring everything from world-class gourmet cuisine to casual fare. Six casinos offer non-stop gaming excitement with more than 6,600 slots and 360 table games; 97 poker tables in the only WPT World Poker Room™ on the East Coast; a High Stakes Bingo hall; and Ultimate Race Book. The renowned Norwich Spa at Foxwoods and the tranquil oasis of G-Spa provide the perfect escape to recharge the mind, body, and soul. Meetings and convention goers will find more than 115,000 square feet of meeting space, including the largest column-free ballroom in the northeast, MGM’s 50,000 square foot Premiere Ballroom. Two acoustically-perfected theaters offer weekly entertainment for all ages. The original state-of-the-art Fox Theater, seating 1,400, was opened in 1993 by the legendary Frank Sinatra. The majestic 4,000-seat MGM Grand Theater hosts an impressive variety of weekly headline entertainment. Conveniently located adjacent to Foxwoods is Lake of Isles™, featuring two 18-hole championship golf courses designed by Rees Jones and a state-of-the-art Golf Academy. Foxwoods supports responsible gaming, and plays a leadership role in the Connecticut Council of Problem Gambling, of which it was a founding entity. For more information, call 800-FOXWOODS or visit www.foxwoods.com.

About the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation
The Mashantucket Pequots are a native Algonquin people in southeastern Connecticut, having endured centuries of conflict, survival, and continuity on and around one of America’s oldest Indian reservations, established in 1666. As the first native people within the borders of the continental United States to suffer attempted genocidal massacre by Puritan Colonists in 1637, the Pequots and their repatriation is an unprecedented story of restoration exhibited in detail at the Tribe’s world-class Museum and Research Center (www.pequotmuseum.org). Today the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation owns the largest resort casino in the world, Foxwoods Resort Casino (www.foxwoods.com), along with several other economic ventures including the Lake of Isles Golf Course (www.lakeofisles.com), a joint-venture partnership establishing the MGM Grand at Foxwoods, and Foxwoods Development Company dedicated to world-class resort development throughout the United States and Caribbean. All together, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation remains one of the State of Connecticut’s highest tax payers and largest employers. Likewise, the Tribe provides significant financial contributions to state and local nonprofit organizations that support neighboring communities.

Continental Airlines Launches Year-Round, Twice Weekly Nonstop Flights to Curacao from Newark

WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO – Continental Airlines is launching twice-weekly nonstop service, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, from Newark Liberty International Airport (ERW) to Curaçao International Airport (CUR). The new, direct service makes Curaçao less than five hours away from Newark and an ideal destination for agents looking to offer clients more a unique Caribbean getaway.

Continental Flight CO1862 will depart Newark at 8:50 a.m. and arrive in Curaçao at 2:40 p.m. Continental Flight CO1863 will depart Curaçao at 3:40 p.m. and arrive in Newark at 7:40 p.m. The flight schedule is as follows:

Flight Days Departs Arrives
CO1862 Wednesdays & Saturdays EWR – Newark at 8:50 a.m. CUR – Curaçao at 2:40 p.m.
CO1863 Wednesdays & Saturdays CUR – Curaçao at 3:40 p.m. EWR – Newark at 7:40 p.m.

“We are pleased to announce of the launch of Continental’s year-round nonstop, twice weekly flights from Newark to Curaçao, making the Dutch island an even more desirable and accessible destination for travel agents with clients in the Tri-State area,” said Curaçao Tourist Board Marketing Manager North America André Rojer.

“We are committed to meeting the travel community’s demand for increased airlift, helping agents exceed the expectations of their clients and giving them another reason to sell Curaçao,” Rojer continued. “The new Continental service brings huge potential for growth in arrivals in our primary markets of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. We also expect increased arrivals on this route from Canada.”

Continental previously offered weekly, seasonal nonstop flights from Newark to Curaçao.

About Curaçao
Selected as one of the top 10 Destinations for 2010 by Bing.com, Curaçao – a UNESCO World Heritage site – boasts an eclectic mix of history and culture that welcomes visitors to this unique island paradise. Curaçao became its own autonomous country, within the Kingdom of the Netherlands on October 10, 2010. With its pristine dive sites, secluded beaches, championship golf and rich local cuisine, Curaçao offers a little something for everyone – from the adventure traveler to those who simply want to unwind and enjoy its perfect climate. Curaçao enjoys an ideal locale, situated in between Aruba and Bonaire, just 35 miles north of Venezuela. Unlike many Caribbean islands, Curaçao sits on the fringe of the hurricane belt, and has avoided hurricane activity for 123 years. To learn more about the island of Curaçao visit Curacao.com. To request a FREE Curaçao information package click here or call Linda Patterson to request a proposal from one of our hotels or obtain additional group information.
Contacts: Linda Patterson 407-260-9377 Groups@curacao.com

Kalahari Resorts Invests $23.5 Million in Expansions and Renovations

…for its Convention Centers in Ohio and Wisconsin to Lead Resort Convention Market in Upper Midwest

Kalahari Resort-Ohio Begins $22 Million Expansion While Kalahari Resort-Wis. Undergoes $1.5 Million in Renovations

SANDUSKY, OH and WISCONSIN DELLS, WIS. (Jan., 2011) – Kalahari Resort officially announced it will break ground this March on a $22 million expansion that will more than double the size of its convention center, making Kalahari Resort-Ohio the only under-one-roof complex in the Midwest to feature a convention center and hotel of this scope.

Having filled a void in the region since opening its 95,000-square-foot convention center in 2006, Kalahari Resort plans to significantly increase its meeting capacity from 2,200 to 5,200 attendees.

The 120,000-square-foot addition, which will bring Kalahari’s convention center total square footage to 215,000, will include a 38,000-square-foot grand ballroom /expo center with a 28-foot ceiling, a 12,000-square-foot junior ballroom, 14 meeting rooms, a 4,000-square-foot themed outdoor plaza connected to an indoor ballroom and 30,000 square feet of pre-function space.

“We pride ourselves in striking the right balance of features for convention guests and leisure travelers to ensure that each has a top-notch, yet very different experience,” says Todd Nelson, president and owner of Kalahari Resorts. “This expansion further demonstrates our commitment to building a premier meeting and convention venue in Northeast Ohio.”

The distinctive meetings philosophy, for which Kalahari Resort is known, will be carried over in to the new convention space to include state-of-the-art audio visual, such as interactive whiteboards, video conferencing options, high-end acoustical sound systems, HD-quality projectors and formatted screens, advanced lighting control systems and digital signage. Meeting planners will also appreciate smart design elements including a semi truck entrance, electronically lockable built-in bars and registration areas, as well as added warming kitchens in key areas to enhance food and beverage service options.

Kalahari’s attention to detail flows through to its décor with its use of earthy colors that are proven to enhance the ability to focus and aid in productivity. Meeting and convention attendees will also be greeted by authentic African artwork, décor and furnishings that have been hand-selected by Kalahari staff in Africa, as well as one-of-a-kind fixtures designed by the resort’s private theme shop.

“Many groups we’ve hosted have been surprised to discover the level of our meetings and event offerings. Although groups want to bring larger statewide or national conventions to us, in the past we were able to accommodate their guest room needs, but we couldn’t accommodate their function space needs,” says Maris Brenner, director of sales for Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio. “We’re excited to be able to meet the needs of new groups in 2011.”

In 2010, Kalahari Resort-Ohio added the Safari Outdoor Adventure Park – featuring zip lines, a ropes course, climbing wall and more – which has been ideal for groups planning teambuilding activities. The resort’s convention services team includes staff trained to develop customized team building programs utilizing the Safari Outdoor Adventure Park, the resort’s indoor waterpark, which is America’s largest, as well as other areas of the under-one-roof complex which includes a wide variety of dining and shopping options, a spa, mini golf and arcade area and fitness center.

Kalahari Resort is committed to working with Ohio-based contractors and sub-contractors and will invite them to submit bids through its construction manager, Kraemer Brothers of Plain, Wis. The convention center expansion is expected to open December 2011.

Kalahari Resort – Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Renovation
In addition to the major expansion at Kalahari Resort-Ohio, the convention center at Kalahari Resort –Wis. recently underwent $1.5 million in state-of-the-art audio visual and aesthetic renovations which included:

• Complete update of the house audio system throughout the facility including new speakers, replacement of all audio inputs, installation of digital signal processors and new amplifiers
• Replacement of four existing built-in projectors and screens in main convention rooms with 10,000 Lumen WXGA DLP Hi-Def projectors and 121 inch x 216 inch HDTV formatted screens
• Upgrading of projectors and screens in Ebony and Empress board rooms to 4,500 Lumen WXGA LCD Hi-Def projectors and 45 inch x 80 inch HDTV formatted screens
• Addition of 65-inch LCD HDTV monitors, high quality house sound and in-table inputs in Desert Rose and Mahogany board rooms
• Upgraded and enhanced Crestron controls in all meeting rooms.
• Additional power distribution panels in four spots throughout the convention center with 200 amp, 120/208V service
• Computer upgrades in the business center.
• 4,500 new 10-hour ergonomic banquet chairs

The authentically African space was overhauled aesthetically with new carpet, an earthy palette and Kalahari Resort’s private theme shop designed authentic African village theming for pre-function spaces, 16 handmade chandeliers and other one-of-a-kind theming elements to complement the décor and furnishings that have been hand-selected by Kalahari staff in Africa.

About Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Sandusky, Ohio
The authentically African-themed Kalahari Resort in Sandusky, Ohio, located on Highway 250 just north of the I-80 Ohio Turnpike off exit 118, is an under-one-roof destination hotel and convention center complex already home to 884 guest rooms and suites, a 95,000-square-foot convention center, the full-service Spa Kalahari, unique retail shops, the Safari Outdoor Adventure and Animal Park, a wide variety of dining and entertainment options, a fully-equipped fitness center and business center, and the largest indoor waterpark in the U.S. To contact the Group Sales Office, call (877) 647-6847 or email OHgroups@KalahariResorts.com.

About Kalahari Resort and Convention Center in Wisconsin Dells, Wis.
The authentically African-themed Kalahari Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis., situated along I-90/94, is an under-one-roof destination hotel and convention center complex home to 100,000-square foot convention center, 742 guestrooms, 14 stand along five bedroom suites, Wisconsin’s largest indoor waterpark, outdoor waterpark, 110,000-square-foot Indoor Theme Park, the full-service Spa Kalahari and Salon, a fully equipped fitness center and business center, on-site dining including Kahunaville, unique retail shops and a 15-screen cinema. Kalahari also features Trappers Turn, a 27-hole award-winning golf course. To contact the Group Sales Office, call (608) 254-3314 or email XXXXXXXX.
For room reservations and guest information, call (877) 525-2427 or visit www.KalahariResorts.com. To review Kalahari Resort’s electronic press kit, go to www.kalahariresortsgobig.com.

Alabama’s Grand Hotel Named Top 500 in the World by Travel & Leisure Magazine

Point Clear, AL – January, 2011 – Guests at the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort Hotel & Spa in Point Clear have been enjoying the resort and its amenities since it first opened in 1847. More than 160 years later, the historic resort has been named “One of the Top 500 Hotels in the World” by Travel + Leisure magazine in 2011.

Travel + Leisure Top 500 Hotels in the World
The January 2011 issue of Travel + Leisure magazine highlights the top 500 Hotels in the World. Almost half of the winners are from the United States and Canada, with other winners spread throughout exotic locations around the globe. The Grand Hotel was recognized as a new addition to the list and also was showcased with 61 other hotels as a real value.

“Making the Top 500 List from Travel + Leisure magazine is a real honor for our resort, the local area and the entire state of Alabama,” said David Clark, general manager of the Grand Hotel. “The more I study the results, the more humbling this honor is. Our associates and the overall resort scored higher than The Plaza Hotel in New York, the Four Seasons Miami, the Beverly Hills Hotel, The Drake Hotel in Chicago, Fairmont San Francisco, Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, The Hay-Adams in Washington and The Bellagio in Las Vegas,” said Clark. “We also scored higher than such legendary resorts as The Broadmoor in Colorado, The Homestead in Virginia and The Greenbriar in West Virginia. In the Southeast, we scored higher than every hotel in Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama and all of the hotels in Atlanta. That says a great deal about our staff, our resort, our ownership and our commitment to our guests.”

The entire list can be found in the January issue of Travel + Leisure or online at www.travelandleisure.com. The Grand Hotel had an overall score of 89.62 and was the only Alabama hotel featured this year.

Hotels, Meeting Attendees & Local Businesses Gain through Free Visitor Services

In 2010, the Arlington Convention and Visitors Service (ACVS) provided free, on-site convention services to over 1,700 meeting attendees. ACVS staffed hospitality desks during conventions held at several Arlington hotels, providing information about local dining, shopping and entertainment options to ensure attendees had the best possible stay in Arlington.

Thank you to the following properties who took advantage of this great service:

Doubletree Hotel – Crystal City at National Airport, Hyatt Arlington, Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Marriott Crystal Gateway, Sheraton Crystal City, Sheraton National and the Westin Arlington Gateway.

Hotel sales teams interested in taking advantage of this great value-add in 2011 should contact Monica Cannon, Visitor & Convention Services Manager, at (703) 228-0874 or mcannon@arlingtonva.us.

Bourbon Orleans Hotel Completes Internet Network Upgrades that Include Complimentary Wi-Fi for All Guests and Enhanced Meeting Technology Services

NEW ORLEANS – January 2011 – In a move recognizing the needs of today’s travelers and meeting attendees, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel announced today that the hotel has installed an all new network for wireless internet (Wi-Fi) provided throughout the hotel at no charge to guests, effective immediately.

Noting that the demand for more individualized, interactive digital information and entertainment services has grown to become a leading factor in every guest’s choice of property, owners of the Bourbon Orleans announced the selection of a technology vendor to partner in this Wi-Fi improvement plan throughout the hotel’s guestrooms and public spaces. The vendor, iBAHN, is the only global provider of integrated digital IP platform based solutions for the hospitality and meeting industries, providing best-in-class broadband performance, security and bandwidth management tools to keep guests satisfied.

In addition, with more than 200 meetings and conference groups booked annually at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, the choice of iBAHN Conference Services provides a fully managed network that includes iBAHN hardware, end-to-end Wi-Fi and wired security, and an unlimited pool of IP addresses. This managed network allows for the technology solutions that facilitate every type of meeting. Another benefit iBAHN provides to the hotel and conference guests are the iBAHN VPN certification program. The iBAHN VPN Certification Program works proactively with companies of all sizes and industries to test and certify their corporate VPN with the iBAHN network. It is free to qualifying companies.

iBAHN’s fully digital platform features leading programming in the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia and India. Operating one of the largest MPLS networks in the industry, the company provides technology solutions to more than 70,000 events annually, ranging from small group meetings to major industry conferences. Monthly, nearly two million travelers and meeting attendees rely on iBAHN to increase productivity with secure high-speed Internet access options in nearly 3,000 hotels, conference centers and meeting spaces in more than 40 countries worldwide.

The Bourbon Orleans Hotel joins the Dauphine Orleans Hotel, the St. Louis Hotel, the Hotel Le Marais, the Wyndham Riverfront and the Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport, all members of the New Orleans Hotel Collection, in the provision of this important technology to guests.

About the Bourbon Orleans Hotel
Nestled in the heart of the French Quarter, the Bourbon Orleans Hotel (www.bourbonorleans.com) features a rich history and opulent French styling reminiscent of the early 1800s. Its central New Orleans location, just steps away from the famed St. Louis Cathedral, means you’re never far from the best the city has to offer – from upscale shopping on Royal Street, to the local artists and performers of Jackson Square, to all of the restaurants, galleries and nightlife in between. The Bourbon Orleans Hotel is locally owned and committed to preserving the history and character of the hotel for generations.

About the New Orleans Hotel Collection

The New Orleans Hotel Collection is a group of seven fine hotels in the New Orleans metropolitan region owned by local investors. Comprised of the Bourbon Orleans, Dauphine Orleans, St. Louis Hotel, Wyndham Riverfront, Audubon Cottages, Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport and the new Hotel Le Marais, these are boutique and small upscale meeting hotels in prime locations throughout the city. For more information, visit www.neworleanshotelcollection.com.

MPI Delivers Unique Line-up for IMEX America

Innovative speakers, performance design combine for success in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV – Strategic partners IMEX America and Meeting Professionals International (MPI) announced today the line-up of keynote speakers and general sessions designed by MPI for the inaugural IMEX America tradeshow 11-13 Oct., 2011 launching with MPI’s MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation.

“Meeting professionals told us about their performance imperative in FutureWatch 2011. They must challenge themselves to explore business strategies that are bold and innovative,” said Bruce MacMillan, president and chief executive officer of MPI. “There is no ‘back to normal’ in business – we must innovate in order to thrive. This has been the core educational design element behind our strategic partnership with IMEX America.”

Bold, innovative professionals who passionately study unique concepts that challenge the status quo are coming to Las Vegas with MPI to deliver serious business solutions to IMEX America delegates. The line-up includes:

Watch Bruce Macmillan, President and CEO, MPI for IMEX America TV

Robin Sieger – Scottish businessman and international best-selling author of Natural Born Winners is passionate about enabling people to create success. A leading strategist who has spoken with energy and humour for both the US National Security Administration and IBM, he will bring IMEX America delegates engaging experiences and concepts of getting beyond change management and into change activation.

Peter Sheahan – Internationally known best-selling author of Fl!p and five other books, Sheahan is known for walking his talk and teaching his own customers how to use technology to foster collaboration and drive productivity. Selected by MPI not only for his extreme energy, but also his cutting edge insights into workforce trends, he will challenge delegates to turn traditional paradigms on their head.

Dr. Brené Brown – Award-winning educator and research professor, Brown joins the line-up at IMEX America because of her unique work studying vulnerability and how that can inspire businesses to create a culture of authenticity rather than perfectionism. As the meeting and event industry and most businesses face challenging times, Brown will delve into how “cool” sabotages connection and why laughter and creativity are essential components of resilience.

“Today, more than ever, meeting professionals demand outstanding education as a core part of their tradeshow experience. We know that by partnering with MPI to deliver the education at IMEX America, we will be providing a first-class educational experience that makes a real difference to people’s careers,” said Ray Bloom, chairman of IMEX Group. “We are delighted that MPI has attracted such an influential line-up of keynote speakers to the show, who bring their experience of the wider business world to the industry and will kick-off each day at IMEX America with a powerful session for both buyers and exhibitors. These keynotes are a major part of the educational offering at IMEX America, which also includes the MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation the day prior to the start of the tradeshow, plus a wealth of additional educational offerings amounting to 12 days of educational content across the IMEX America week in Las Vegas – all free of charge.”

With representatives from both IMEX and MPI meeting in Las Vegas at the Sands Expo & Convention Center at the Venetian-Palazzo this week, new design details were confirmed. They include the first-ever MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation on 10 Oct. as well as subsequent morning keynotes each day of the tradeshow.

In addition to the powerful line up of live speakers, MPI and IMEX America will continue to partner to present six educational webinars for meeting and event professionals at no charge throughout the year to introduce them to the style of education that will be presented in Oct. More information on upcoming webinars as well as those available on demand can be found at imexamerica.com.