Monthly Archives: March 2011

Delta Tops 2011 FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies Airline Industry List

Delta Air Lines (NYSE: DAL) issued the following memo from CEO Richard Anderson to its more than 80,000 employees worldwide.

FORTUNE magazine has ranked Delta the most admired airline worldwide in its 2011 World’s Most Admired Companies airline industry list, published today. This is a remarkable achievement and yet another testament to the hard work of Delta people. Congratulations!

Delta has moved up in the airline rankings in the FORTUNE list from 10th in 2007, to sixth in 2008 and 2009, and third place in 2010. The airlines ranked second through 12th in the FORTUNE industry list, in order, are: Singapore Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa Group, Air France-KLM Group, Cathay Pacific Airways, United Continental, Qantas Airways, British Airways, All Nippon Airways, US Airways Group and AMR.

The annual FORTUNE World’s Most Admired Companies airlines list is based on results of a global survey of airline executives, directors and analysts who rate companies in their own industry on nine criteria: people management, quality of management, innovation, long-term investment, use of corporate assets, financial soundness, social responsibility, quality of product and services and global competitiveness. In addition to ranking top overall in the airline industry list, Delta ranked No. 1 among airlines in long-term investment, quality of management, global competitiveness and social responsibility.

This award is proof of the great strides we have made in building a strong global business for our customers, employees, shareholders and the communities we serve. We’ve completed virtually all our merger integration, launched significant investments in our customer experience and the technology that supports the way we do business, strengthened our industry-leading joint venture and alliance relationships, and expanded our international reach. These are just a few of the things that have caused others to recognize what the more than 80,000 employees of Delta have achieved.

The recognition is not only a testament to what we have accomplished, but also our path in getting to this point. Through all of this change, we’ve preserved a unique culture anchored in dignity and respect. Delta stayed true to its word, with no frontline involuntary furloughs as a result of the merger. We created new jobs in TechOps, Cargo, Airport Customer Service, Reservations, Flight Operations and In-flight Service to support our larger international network. In addition to frontline pay increases, Delta also has invested more than $2.5 billion in Delta people in the form of company equity, profit sharing, and operational performance bonuses over the last four years, all while maintaining low unit costs and reducing debt.

Our progress and steadfast commitment to the Delta culture have been remarkable. Business leaders around the world have noticed all the hard work you have been doing. Your commitment to make Delta a better airline for our customers and investors, while building on our heritage as a great place to work is a point of pride for all of us.

Thank you for all you do for Delta every day.

About Delta

Delta Air Lines serves more than 160 million customers each year. With an industry-leading global network, Delta and the Delta Connection carriers offer service to 356 destinations in 65 countries on six continents. Headquartered in Atlanta, Delta employs 80,000 employees worldwide and operates a mainline fleet of more than 700 aircraft. A founding member of the SkyTeam global alliance, Delta participates in the industry’s leading trans-Atlantic joint venture with Air France-KLM and Alitalia. Including its worldwide alliance partners, Delta offers customers more than 13,000 daily flights, with hubs in Amsterdam, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Detroit, Memphis, Minneapolis-St. Paul, New York-JFK, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Salt Lake City and Tokyo-Narita. The airline’s service includes the SkyMiles frequent flier program, the world’s largest airline loyalty program; the award-winning BusinessElite service; and more than 50 Delta Sky Clubs in airports worldwide. Delta is investing more than $2 billion through 2013 in airport facilities and global products, services and technology to enhance the customer experience in the air and on the ground. Customers can check in for flights, print boarding passes, check bags and review flight status at delta.com.

For further information: Corporate Communications, +1-404-715-2554, news archive at news.delta.com

Overland Park CVB Website Named Best Practice for Destination Management and Marketing

Overland Park, KS – The Overland Park Convention & Visitors Bureau (OPCVB) is pleased to announce that its recently redesigned website, www.visitoverlandpark.com, has been named in “The Guide to Best Practices in Tourism and Destination Management” in the web marketing category, published by the Educational Institute of the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA). The website was named for its balance of utility and aesthetics.

“We are excited to see our new interactive site named as a ‘Best Practice’ for destination management and marketing entities,” said Amy Garton, OPCVB interactive marketing manager. “We are honored to be among the top websites and listed with the caliber of the other destinations. We launched this site with the end-user in mind and are pleased that AHLA recognizes our site as such.”

The OPCVB launched its new website in March 2010, www.visitoverlandpark.com, which focuses on visitor interaction and emphasizes usability. This site promotes Overland Park as a destination to the leisure, business, convention, sports and group tour travelers. It also serves as a resource for local residents and media looking for information on what there is to see and do in the area. Plus, the entire site is mobile ready.

With over 700 pages (and growing), the website offers a lot of content that needs to be delivered in a clear and easy to use manner. The site includes listings for Overland Park and the Kansas City metro. Listing categories include lodging, dining shopping, attractions, outdoor activities, entertainment experiences and events. Other features include day trip destination editorials with themed regional itineraries; online hotel booking; printable coupons for hot deals to Overland Park hotels, meeting facilities, shops and restaurants; meetings and sports facilities directories; an online request for proposal process; an expanded media room with news releases, article postings, story ideas, fun facts and a photo library; and a social lounge with blogs, links to social media applications and a questions and answer forum. Interactive features were incorporated within the site, including:

• Build your own trip itinerary. This feature allows the user to select lodging, dining, shopping and entertainment experiences to add to a personalized itinerary that can then be printed or emailed and saved for future use.

• User reviews. This feature allows the user to rate and comment on Overland Park and Kansas City metro offerings.

• Overland Park Blog. Get to know the OPCVB staff and learn about what is happening in Overland Park, Kansas City and the tourism industry with comments linked directly to Facebook.

• Photo and video library. Users can upload their own Overland Park photos and videos to share through YouTube and Flickr.

• Question and answer forum. Users can ask OPCVB staff a question, which will be answered and posted to the site.

This site was developed by the OPCVB in conjunction with Tonic and Tekniq Design.
Dr. Rich Harrill, director of the International Tourism Research Institute at the University of South Carolina authored the study, which reviewed tourism and destination management entities in the categories of research, funding, professional development, information dissemination, advocacy, web marketing, sustainable tourism and best practice adaptors. He and his team focused on broad applicability, ability to indicate innovation, evidence of ongoing program, willingness to participate and evidence of an outcome or outcomes. Other destinations recognized in the web marketing category are:

• Greater Pittsburgh (Pa.) Convention and Visitors Bureau for trip personalization and packaging.
• Nashville (Tenn.) Convention and Visitors Bureau for design, graphics and flash effects, trip builder and celebrity endorsements.
• Travel Montana for privacy and confidentiality and “niche” websites.
• Chattanooga Area (Tenn.) Convention & Visitors Bureau for revenue generation.
• Durham (N.C.) Convention and Visitors Bureau for website iterations.
• Travel Michigan for website evaluation.

About Overland Park
Overland Park is a unique blend of metropolitan amenities and suburban hospitality packaged in a fresh, contemporary setting. Located less than 15 minutes from downtown Kansas City, Overland Park offers an abundance of attractions including the 237,000 square-foot state-of-the-art Overland Park Convention Center, 34 hotels with more than 5,200 rooms, more than 250 restaurants, great shopping, theatres and over 80 public parks. Overland Park. Above and beyond. By design.

25 Fresh, Vibrant, SpringFest Things To Do in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country

TEMECULA VALLEY Southern California Wine Country: March 30, 2011 – “The joys of spring – fresh blue skies, colorful wildflowers in bloom, grapevines budding out, and green grasses beginning to grow between vineyard rows – beckon to play now in Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country,” encourages Kimberly Adams, Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO. “To inspire SpringFest experiences are 5 ideas each for Food and Wine Lovers, the Great Outdoors, Authentic and Cultural Experiences, Romantic Get-Aways, and The Ladies – or mix and match. It’s easy to experience so much of Old Town Temecula, Pechanga Resort & Casino, and Temecula Valley Wine Country in just a few days.” The casual, picturesque valley with rolling hills and vineyards celebrates SpringFest daily through May 31 and is centrally located just 1 hour from Orange County and Palm Desert, and 1½ hours from Los Angeles.

For Food & Wine Lovers

1. Experience the Vineyard Picnic Tour with tastings at 4 intriguing Temecula Valley wineries plus a gourmet picnic lunch; it makes for a feast of a spring day.*
2. Discover or revisit Old Town Temecula specialty food stores with celebrated olive oils, vinegars, artisan cheeses, herbs, spices, more; stores’ tasting bars are an exceptional, sensory experience.
3. Savor at Old Town Temecula wine bars and tasting rooms including new releases and the vintages of the valley’s small, one-of-a-kind, boutique wineries.
4. Do a dedicated discovery of the De Portola Wine Trail’s 9 appealing wineries in Temecula Valley Wine Country; it’s the southeastern route accessed via Anza Road.
5. Shop spring’s Old Town Temecula’s Farmers’ Markets, Saturday mornings for spring greens, beautiful strawberries, sweet citrus; enjoy casual dining with international fare.

*Reservations required or recommended.

In the Great Outdoors

1. Experience springtime hot air ballooning over Temecula Valley Wine Country for spectacular views of green countryside and wildflowers in bloom.*
2. Do a dedicated discovery of Temecula Valley’s excellent golf courses; stay 3 days and nights, and play all challenging and scenic, 5.*
3. Discover the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve in spring with wildflowers in bloom and pollinators like butterflies busy-at-work.
4. Savor Temecula Valley Wine Country at night with dining and live music; time your visit for the full moon or – for a sky full of stars, the new moon.
5. Horseback ride in Temecula Valley Wine Country for fresh, crisp air and spring scenery; choose your pace: leisurely or at a happy trot.*

*Reservations required or recommended.

For Authentic & Cultural Experiences

1. Catch excellent stage performances like the musical, Jesus Christ Superstar at every-seat-is-a-great seat, Old Town Temecula Community Theater.*
2. Experience the awesome Pechanga Theater and its renown for headline shows like Chicago, Tony Bennett, Julio Iglesias, B-52s, and The Moody Blues.
3. Savor personable experiences by planning your stay mid-week when potential opportunities to meet Temecula Valley Wine Country winemakers and winemaking families are greater.
4. Do a dedicated discovery of the multi-faceted live music (jazz, popular/rock/rhythm n’ blues, country, and classical) at the intimate Old Town Temecula venue known as The MERC.
5. Wake early for an exhilarating flight over Temecula Valley Wine Country by hot air balloon; nothing else quite compares to this springtime adventure.*

*Reservations required or recommended.

For A Romantic Get-Away

1. Taste, wine and dine in Southern California’s oh-so-very romantic Temecula Valley Wine Country; purchase favorite sparkling wines to toast special moments and achievements, back home.
2. Discover the spring romance of Old Town Temecula strolling hand-in-hand, shopping the unique stores, and stopping to enjoy the fine wine bars, restaurants, and bistros.
3. Savor spring days and nights at Pechanga Resort & Casino with exciting gaming 24/7, exceptional entertainment and dining, plus great golf and an inviting spa.*
4. Share an oh-so memorable, spring, hot air balloon flight over Temecula Valley Wine Country; know romance floating free and silently.*
5. Enjoy more, personable experiences and say, “Old Town Temecula and Temecula Valley Wine Country were OURS,” by staying mid-week.*

*Reservations required or recommended.

For The Ladies (Friends, Mothers, Sisters, Daughters)

1. Do a dedicated discovery of a favorite wine varietal and taste many styles in Temecula Valley Wine Country; plus dine, shop, and enjoy live music.
2. Explore hip and historic Old Town Temecula in springtime with the seasonal specialties of boutiques, wine bars, restaurants, bistros, and coffee houses; plus Saturday mornings Farmers’ Markets.
3. Do springtime get-away to the Santa Rosa Plateau Ecological Reserve; hike, picnic, admire wildflowers, butterflies, and perhaps rabbits and deer.
4. Experience Pechanga Resort & Casino (OC Register People’s Choice, Best) with exciting poker, table games, slots; plus excellent springtime dining and nightlife; and a tempting spa.*
5. Delight in a post-flight toast to adventure and friendship following an ultimately memorable, spring-time hot air balloon ride over Temecula Valley Wine Country.*

*Reservations required or recommended.

To learn more about Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country, please go to VisitTemecula.org or call 888/363-2852.

***PLEASE NOTE: Information is believed to be accurate but is subject to change. Please call ahead for the latest details.

Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau:
VisitTemecula.org is the official website of the Temecula Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, a 501(c)6 non-profit organization that is the region’s official resource for visitors, and that stimulates tourism and economic development by promoting Temecula Valley Southern California Wine Country.

Association Professionals Gather to Advance Industry during The Power of A Week, Attend Fly-In

WASHINGTON—Nearly 500 association professionals are expected to participate in The Power of A Week, in person and online, ready to advance the association profession, equipped with research from the ASAE Foundation. A report based on a compilation of four different studies — ASAE 2011 Economic Survey, The Decision to Volunteer, a brand new Associations 990 Study and Convention Industry Council’s Economic Significance of Meetings to the U.S. Economy Study — will be distributed to Fly-In attendees on Tuesday. An advance copy is available to press and bloggers.

Associations and nonprofits tap the power of millions — those who are most knowledgeable and passionate about industries, professions and ideas. In virtually every business sector and industry across the country, associations mobilize millions to turn change into progress. The association community is leading the nation’s social progress and economic recovery.

“Associations keep America competitive, improve the economy, enrich lives and prepare for the future,” said ASAE President and CEO John H. Graham IV, CAE. “The research that will be distributed at the Fly-In on Tuesday clearly shows the vital impact of associations. As we come together this week during this crucial time, we prove our collective power and our support for the issues that matter most.”

Highlights include:

• Associations Keep America Competitive: Associations employ more than 1.6 million people in all 50 states; 1.2% of the U.S. private sector workforce is association employees.
• Associations Improve the Economy: Associations are major contributors to the meetings industry, holding meetings and seminars across the country. The meetings industry accounts for 1.7 million jobs nationwide and generates $263 billion in spending, money that funds local and national economies.
• Associations Enrich Lives: Thirty percent of the people who volunteer their time do so through an association.
• Associations Prepare for the Future: Even in a down economy, association members are valuing their membership even more and finding even more benefits.

As a reminder, ASAE will hold the inaugural The Power of A Week to highlight the numerous ways associations are improving the economy and society. The highlight of the week, ASAE’s annual legislative Fly-in, this year will be accompanied by other events to show how associations are driving the economy and society. This new effort, which will take place March 28-April 1, will explore different elements of The Power of A campaign and allow participation from across the country:

• Tuesday, April 29: Fly-in participants will meet with The Power of A Committee Chairman Mark Golden, CAE and other speakers as they share how associations can use the campaign in their association management strategies. Tuesday will also feature the American Associations Day Reception, hosted by the ASAE Board of Directors at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill. More information is available here.
• Wednesday, March 30: Association leaders from more than 30 states will go to Capitol Hill to carry The Power of A message. More details on the event, as well as free registration, can be found here. The event is open to any association executive, staff member, or leadership volunteer passionate about association issues who wants to make a difference, as well as meet and network with fellow advocates from across the country. Those not able to participate in person will be able to contact their elected officials virtually.

• Thursday, March 31: ASAE will hold its first The Power of A Awards webinar, where associations can learn about the new awards and how to create a winning entry. Registration for the free webinar can be found here. The Associations Advance America Awards and the Associations Make a Better World Awards were recently combined to become The Power of A Awards to honor associations that exemplify how the association industry and professionals are essential to a stronger America and World.
• Friday, April 1: ASAE Career HQ will sponsor an association career event for those interested in learning about careers in associations and about the latest trends in association employment. More information is available here.

For more information, visit ThePowerofA.org.

About ASAE
ASAE 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 nearly 50 countries around the world. With support of the ASAE Foundation, a separate nonprofit entity, ASAE is the premier source of learning, knowledge and future-oriented research for the association and nonprofit profession, and provides resources, education, ideas and advocacy to enhance the power and performance of the association and nonprofit community. For more information about ASAE, visit www.asaecenter.org.

Colorado Springs Attractions Mark Big Anniversaries in 2011

Colorado Springs, CO – March 23, 2011 – Like a fine wine, six Colorado Springs attractions are only getting better with age. In 2011, Cave of the Winds, Pikes Peak Cog Railway, the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, the Golden Bee, Cheyenne Mountain Resort and El Paso County will celebrate milestones ranging from 150 years to a silver anniversary. Visit the Pikes Peak region this year and commemorate these momentous occasions with various special events and exhibits. For more information, go to www.VisitCOS.com.

Pikes Peak Cog Railway – 120 years

The Cog Railway, the highest cog in the world, was built in 1891 by mattress tycoon Zalmon Simmons, a visitor to the region in the late 1880s, who envisioned a better way than a two-day mule ride to get to the top of Pikes Peak. Spencer Penrose, owner of the world-renowned Broadmoor Hotel, acquired and upgraded the cog in 1925. While the style of the railcar has changed several times over the years, the amazing experience remains the same for travelers bound for the summit of Pikes Peak.
www.CogRailway.com

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center – 75 years

The Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center (FAC) opened April 20, 1936 during The Great Depression. The FAC is home to world-class art galleries, Broadway-worthy live theatre and an art school for all ages. The FAC carries the legacy of Colorado’s arts and cultural heritage. The FAC’s building is considered an architectural landmark in the Rocky Mountain region and is listed on the National Register for Historical Places. Throughout 2011, the FAC will celebrate 75 years of history with a series of events.
www.CSFineArtsCenter.org

Cave of the Winds – 130 years

Cave of the Winds is celebrating 130 continuous years as a public attraction (1881-2011).Over the years, visitors have toured the subterranean passages exquisitely decorated with stalactites, stalagmites, flowstone and helictites. Cave of the Winds is an irreplaceable natural resource of scenic, scientific, educational and historic importance. The Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum is featuring a free exhibit of historical photographs, artifacts and memorabilia of the Cave in 2011.
www.CaveOfTheWinds.com

The Golden Bee – 50 years

In 1961, The Golden Bee originally came to The Broadmoor as a collection of panels and fixtures from a 19th-century pub shipped from England and reassembled in Colorado Springs. While it has stayed true to its authentic English pub heritage, “The Bee” has established several traditions of its own: flying bee stickers, yards of ale and a sing-along piano. “The Bee” will mark its 50th Anniversary on May 27, 2011. A partnership with Bristol Brewery will produce a special-release Golden Bee 50th Anniversary Ale at the May 27 Anniversary Party. After May, the new brew will be available at all Broadmoor outlets for 2011.
www.Broadmoor.com/Golden-Bee-Anniversary.php

Cheyenne Mountain Resort – 25 years

Cheyenne Mountain Resort opened in 1985 with a focus on delivering exceptional Colorado experiences to visitors from near and far. The AAA Four-Diamond-rated resort is enhancing the original vision of a Colorado lifestyle resort with a $23 million renovation to upgrade guest rooms and refresh leisure areas. Guests can enjoy numerous activities, including indoor and outdoor pools, a private 35-acre lake, indoor and outdoor tennis, an 18-hole golf course designed by Pete Dye and on-site dining.
www.CheyenneMountain.com

El Paso County – 150 years
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El Paso County celebrates its Sesquicentennial this year. The county has some of the most interesting parks in the region, including Interpretive Paint Mines Park with mushroom-like rock formations called “hoodoos” and Bear Creek Dog Park, frequented by many two- and four-legged visitors. Fountain Creek and Bear Creek Nature Centers serve as the interactive gateways to Bear Creek Park and Fountain Creek Park offering various activities and events for visitors of all ages.
www.ElPasoCo.com

Gstaad Palace Again Number One of Swiss Resorts Hotels

For the second time the Gstaad Palace is top on the list of the best Swiss Resorts hotels. Here is the comment from Claus Schweitzer the journalist in charge of the ranking:

“Genuine hosts. Being the third-generation Manager of a grand hotel is not a choice. It is an obligation and an interesting, challenging job. Andrea Scherz has found the right balance for his Gstaad Palace between Alpine tradition and a refreshingly offbeat spirit – and thanks to its unique spa, varied cuisine and exceptional generosity towards the guests, it has regained the number one spot among holiday hotels in Switzerland. Scherz is not one of those managers who stays at his desk most of the time and is obsessed with figures, but a host who inspires others in a calm and collected manner which leaves a lasting impression on guests and employees alike. He regularly convinces the latter that every day is new and different….”

These words are used to describe the Gstaad Palace in the latest issue of the economical magazine BILANZ and to present the 2010 5-star Resort ranking where the Gstaad Palace achieved the first place. The accredited Swiss hotel ranking is released annually in the summer issue of the Swiss BILANZ magazine composed by the journalist and travel expert Claus Schweitzer.

The complete ranking can be found in the Bilanz issue 13/10 or on www.bilanz.ch (from July 29, 2010).

IMEX America Due to Exceed Original Forecasts

Organizers of IMEX America, America’s new worldwide exhibition for the meetings, incentive travel and events industry, announced that as a result of the enormous demand from suppliers across the industry they are now confidently forecasting attendance of well over 1,500 exhibiting companies from across the world representing the entire meetings industry sector.

The announcement signals an important milestone in the run-up to the show’s first edition and has resulted in the IMEX Group booking a second hall at the Sands Expo. The organizers also expect up to 100 countries to be represented when the show opens in October. IMEX America will run October 11-13 at the Sands Expo, which is connected to the show’s Headquarters Hotel, the Venetian/Palazzo.

The news coincides with MPI’s (Meeting Professionals International) annual European Meeting and Events Conference in Dusseldorf. As strategic partners and premier educational providers for IMEX America, MPI will be delivering a unique line up of speakers and education for attendees throughout the show beginning Monday October 10 with the MPI MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation.

Among those European exhibitors confirmed for the trade show are Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, France, Monaco, Germany, Greece, Russia, Spain and Switzerland. From other powerful global markets come Dubai, Jordan and South Africa. Many important Australasian destinations will also be exhibiting. To date these include Australia, Fiji, Malaysia, New Zealand and Thailand.
Interest from Latin American exhibitors has also been strong. Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, and Panama are all committed, whilst Caribbean exhibitors so far include the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean Tourism Organisation.

Hotel representation at IMEX America is also set to be a significant attraction for buyers and an important part of the exhibition. Exhibiting hotels will include Zacchera, Fiesta Americana, Carlson Hotels, Disney Destinations, Dolce, Fairmont-Raffles-Swissotels Hotels & Resorts, Four Seasons, Gaylord, Hilton, IHG, Leading Hotels of the World, Loews, Mandarin Oriental, Marriott, Millennium, Morgans, Sofitel, Sol Melia, Starwood and Ritz-Carlton.

All the major hotel groups are also acting as intermediaries by inviting their top US and international clients as a part of IMEX’s unique model hosted buyer program. The program will welcome over 2,000 hosted buyers to the show – the largest hosted buyer program ever to be delivered in North America – of which 80 per cent will be from North America and 20 per cent from the rest of the world. All buyers have to place business in both domestic and international markets in order to attend as part of the prestigious and carefully vetted program.

Among the many hundreds of North American exhibitors attending will be Anaheim, Boston, Bloomington, LA Inc, Canada, Chicago, Colorado, Denver, Hawaii, Las Vegas CVA, Miami, Phoenix, Scottsdale, San Diego, San Francisco, Yosemite, and Washington DC. In addition, Atlantic City, NYC & Company, Visit Pittsburgh and Salt Lake City will also be part of the strong US line up.

Attendees and buyers at IMEX America will also benefit from the presence of some of the biggest meetings industry suppliers in the city of Las Vegas. These include Caesars, MGM Resorts, The Cosmopolitan, the show’s Headquarters hotel, the Venetian/Palazzo, as well as the Wynn/Encore.

Ray Bloom, IMEX Group Chairman, states: “We are delighted with the response from the industry to IMEX America. The demand over the past year has been outstanding and we are looking forward to delivering a truly international show for the US market come October, with all sectors of our industry represented. Our strategic partnership with MPI has been instrumental in delivering our message to the industry and will be of enormous importance in attracting top buyers to the show. MPI will be key to underpinning the educational elements of the show through the MeetDifferent Day of Education and Innovation and their Power Keynotes each morning. With education an increasingly important element in the delivery of value to buyers and suppliers, MPI’s contribution will be of vital importance.

“As a result of our various new partnerships, IMEX America has the opportunity to reach more than 100,000 meetings professionals worldwide. We will be working hard in the next few months to ensure they know and understand that this should be an unmissable part of their business calendar this year.”
MPI President and CEO Bruce MacMillan adds, “Our joint vision of creating the pre-eminent global exhibition and innovation experience for the meeting and event industry in the US is already exceeding our expectations. Along with power keynotes every morning, the addition of MPI-designed mobile technology applications for IMEX America will enhance show-floor value for attendees, as well as connecting the IMEX America experience to meeting and event professionals everywhere.”

View IMEX America TV at http://imexamerica.com/tv.html

Austin, Texas’ Barton Creek Resort & Spa Becomes New Member of Associated Luxury Hotels

WASHINGTON, DC – Barton Creek Resort & Spa, widely regarded as the #1 golf resort in Texas, has been accepted as the newest member of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). The Austin, Texas resort completed an impressive two-year multi-million dollar renovation project in 2010 which included enhancements to its indoor and outdoor meeting space, guest rooms, world-class spa, clubhouse, guest floor corridors, and restaurants. The resort, which sits on 4,000 acres in the heart of the picturesque Texas Hill Country, will now receive dedicated National Sales services and support by ALHI as its authorized National Sales extension to the meetings, incentive/recognition, and convention marketplaces.

ALHI (www.alhi.com) is a prestigious dues-based membership National Sales organization that represents more than 130 Four- and Five-Diamond hotels and resorts worldwide to meeting professionals, incentive/recognition specialists, association executives, product launch specialists, and business executives wishing to conduct programs at one or more of the member properties. There is no cost to planners’ or executives’ organizations to utilize the National Sales services of ALHI, as its members’ dues fund the organization to serve planners in their region.

Seven Texas ALHI Options

Barton Creek Resort & Spa becomes ALHI’s second member in popular Austin, joining the legendary and newly-renovated The Driskill. The resort also becomes ALHI’s seventh member in Texas, joining such other properties in ALHI’s impressive portfolio as: the historic The Adolphus (Dallas), known as the “Grande Dame of Grand Hotels”; InterContinental Dallas, offering exceptional meeting spaces and located in the heart of North Dallas within walking distance of 175 restaurants and entertainment venues; the incredible Gaylord Texan Resort & Convention Center (Grapevine), situated on 150 acres overlooking majestic Lake Grapevine, with 400,000 square feet of meeting space; the AAA Four-Diamond The Houstonian Hotel, Club & Spa, located in Houston’s popular Galleria area and offering 32,000 square feet of meeting space; and the contemporary and luxurious Hotel Valencia Riverwalk on the banks of the famed San Antonio River Walk, in San Antonio.

“Barton Creek Resort & Spa is an exceptional new addition to ALHI’s membership,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “The extremely popular resort for meetings of all types features four incredible championship golf courses, impressive meeting space, beautiful outdoor venues for events and meetings, and truly first-class facilities with easy access to the airport and the nearby Austin vibe. Especially with the now-complete renovations and resort enhancements, along with the resort’s genuine Southern hospitality, Barton Creek is an outstanding Texas choice for programs.”

Located just minutes from vibrant downtown Austin, Barton Creek Resort & Spa presides over 4,000 acres of rolling hills, scenic woodland and winding creeks in the scenic Texas Hill Country. Offerings at the 312-room resort include more than 43,000 square feet of meeting space, four 18-hole championship golf courses designed by masters of the game, the Barton Creek Golf Academy, the world-class Three Springs Spa, a lighted 11-court Tennis Academy, a state-of-the-art fitness center, indoor and outdoor pools, an indoor running track, a nature trail, miniature golf, and several dining options including the acclaimed Hill Country Dining Room.

Recent enhancements at the resort include the enclosure of the property’s 6,000-square-foot Resort Pavilion, as well as the addition of a “Texas-sized” limestone wood-burning fireplace and an all-new 40-foot observation deck with panoramic views of the acclaimed Fazio Hills course and Texas Hill Country. The resort also added a 4,800-square-foot patio adjoining the Hill Country Dining Room, upgraded the spa treatment rooms and fitness center, enhanced the meeting space, and opened a new boutique.

A consistent recipient of the meetings industry’s highest honors, the resort is just 13 miles from Austin Bergstrom International Airport, and is convenient to the many sites of Austin, which is the state capital of Texas and is known as the “Live Musical Capital of the World.”

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s National Sales services for 25 years, with reliable one-call professional sales assistance and access to their distinctive hotels and resorts for meetings and incentive/recognition programs ranging from 10 to more than 6,500 rooms.

With a worldwide portfolio of over 100,000 rooms and suites and more than 10 million square feet of meeting space, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced National Sales services with diverse options among its outstanding worldwide member hotels and resorts which specialize in meetings and incentive programs.

Member hotels include extraordinary Four- and Five-Diamond quality meeting and incentive resorts, incomparable city hotels, exclusive smaller hotels, golf resorts, historic and landmark properties, island destinations, resorts with spas, properties in international destinations, and hotels with world-class gaming and entertainment.

For a complete list of ALHI’s entire worldwide portfolio, visit www.alhi.com, and preview details of ALHI’s impressive portfolio, including easily useful information on several defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio to serve distinctive meeting, convention and incentive travel needs. Included among these are: “ALHI Level 5 Collection,” for ALHI’s 18 hotels that have earned the highest and most distinctive recognitions including the prestigious AAA Five-Diamond rating, and/or the esteemed Forbes (Mobil) Five-Star rating; and the “ALHI Big Box 5-50 Solutions Collection,” featuring ALHI’s 27 member hotels and resorts that offer more than 500 rooms, feature over 50,000 square feet of meeting space each, and have at least one 20,000-square-foot ballroom or more.

Other specialty segments include: the “ALHI Historic Collection,” consisting of 36 legendary hotels and resorts with more than 50 years of heritage; the “Mountain Collection,” for planners desiring to conduct programs with inspiring mountain views; the “ALHI U-200 Gems Collection,” consisting of ALHI members with 200 rooms or under, which specialize in serving meeting and incentive programs; the “ALHI Golf Collection,” consisting of ALHI’s 43 Four- and Five-Diamond golf resorts that cater to the meetings and incentive marketplaces (and which will now include Barton Creek Resort & Spa); and the “ALHI Beach & Island Collection,” featuring 33 Four- and Five-Diamond beach and/or island resorts and hotels with distinction which are designed to serve meetings and programs worldwide.

To make it easy for planners to access options within any of the specialty segments, there is an “ALHI Specialty Segments” quick reference button on the www.alhi.com Home Page. The button provides easy access for planners to preview the options available in each specialty segment, to be augmented by their ALHI national sales executive, also easily identifiable at www.alhi.com . On the site, planners can quickly see details of the properties’ meeting, accommodation, recreational and dining offerings, as well as destination information and “Luxury on Sale” value opportunities. A photo gallery, meeting floor plans and specs, and a location map for each property are also easily available.

ALHI has 16 professionally-staffed National Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orange County (CA), Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, San Diego, Savannah, Toronto and Washington, DC. Go to www.alhi.com to identify the “ALHI Contacts” sales professionals in your state/area.

For more information about ALHI, to inquire about a future meeting at any of the ALHI member properties, and/or to acquire a free copy of ALHI’s “2010-2011 ALHI National Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities,” contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit www.alhi.com.

New Food and Beverage Team Takes Award-Winning Culinary History to New Heights at the Orlando World Center Marriott

ORLANDO, Fla., – A world-class leader of premier resort properties in the Southeast for nearly 25 years, the Orlando World Center Marriott holds some of the nation’s highest honors for service excellence to include: 24-time winner AAA Four Diamond Award; 24-time consecutive winner Meetings & Conventions Gold Key Award and 22-time consecutive Successful Meetings Pinnacle Award, the most of any hotel in Orlando!
Over the years, Orlando World Center Marriott’s culinary professionals have developed an excellent reputation as a leader in the global hospitality industry by working in total harmony to anticipate the needs of guests and exceed expectations. The newly expanded culinary team will continue to bring international insights and exquisite flavors to the world-class venue with the appointment of Mark Beaupre as the new Director of Food & Beverage.

Director of Food & Beverage, Mark Beaupre will oversee 10 diverse restaurants and lounges and a multi-million dollar banquet operation. Formerly Director of Food & Beverage and Executive Chef at the JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes, Beaupre brings more than 25 years of hospitality and culinary experience to the world’s largest Marriott. Beaupre is poised to further develop the outstanding reputation of the Orlando World Center Marriott by building on the team that has carefully established and nurtured the Four-Diamond property.

A native of Maine, Chef Mark Beaupre graduated from the Culinary Institute of America. Prestigious awards and accolades garnered over the years include the Food & Beverage Excellence Award, J. Willard Marriott Award of Excellence Nominee, Award of Culinary Excellence and Marriott’s Culinary ACE award. His kitchens have received the distinguished Gold Platter Award and the Culinary Excellence Award from the IFMA Association.

Executive Chef, Greg Picard has been with Marriott for nearly 25 years and was a former chef for Mr. Marriott and his family. Chef Greg started his culinary career in upstate New York at his mother’s diner and on the family’s clam bake. He attended the Culinary Institute of America before serving as Executive Chef at Nashua Marriott Hotel in New Hampshire, Denver City Marriott, Renaissance Esmeralda Resort and Spa and the New Orleans Marriott Hotel, to name a few.

Executive Pastry Chef, Ramon Ramos has zeal for pastries and chocolates which can be seen or tasted in every single one of his treats or show pieces. He discovered his desire to work with pastry from his grandfather and uncle in Mexico, who worked with sugar, ice creams and sorbets. When he was 16 years old he left for California where he took his first steps as a pastry cook at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel. Chef Ramon has been with the Marriott and Ritz Carlton Company for 19 years. He was formerly the Executive Pastry Chef at the Ritz-Carlton JW Marriott LA Live.

Dine around the world and experience one of the culinary gems tucked away inside the Orlando World Center Marriott Resort. Home to 10 diverse restaurants and lounges including Mikado’s Japanese Steakhouse, serving exemplary sushi combinations and specialty drinks along with fun entertainment by skilled teppan-yaki chefs; Hawk’s Landing Steakhouse and Grill, providing America’s finest cuts of USDA prime aged beef and fresh seafood and Ristorante Tuscany, showcasing fresh Tuscan favorites and an extensive wine list. High Velocity is also one of the largest and most popular sports bars in Orlando and is taking sports bars to a whole new level.

This meeting destination showcases 450,000 total square-feet of event space, all under one roof and most entirely on one level. It is home to 2,000 guest rooms and suites, most with balconies; 18-hole championship golf course and spa. The sprawling outdoor spaces and terraces, which surround or overlook the resort’s impressive million-gallon pool complex, are also perfect venues to host outdoor functions.

For information please call 407-239-4200, or visit www.marriottworldcenter.com.

AH&LA Honors Allied Member, Hoteliers from Across the Country

Washington, D.C.– The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) announced the winners of the John Whitaker Award and the State Leadership Awards during the first day of the association’s annual Legislative Action Summit (LAS).

David Goldstone, CMHS, vice president of sales & hotel relations, LodgeNet Interactive Corporation, received the 2011 John Whitaker Award, which is presented to an outstanding hotel supplier for their dedication to and innovation within the industry. The AH&LA Allied Executive Council selects the award recipient, which is named for a long-time hospitality veteran who served as international sales manager for SICO America, Inc., until his death in 2007. A 17-year hospitality industry veteran, Goldstone was previously with Panasonic Hospitality and Australian manufacturer Tango Products USA. He has served on the AH&LEF Golf Classic Committee since 1998, and was named a member of the AH&LA Centennial Committee in 2009.

The State Leadership Awards, formerly known as the Most Valuable Volunteer Awards, were created in 1998 to honor standout members in each partner state association who help implement and strengthen programs. Award recipients, who are chosen by AH&LA’s partner state associations, included the following:

Yvette Hebard
General Manager, Fairbanks Princess Riverside Lodge
Fairbanks, AK

Brian Johnson
Managing Director, Loews Ventana Canyon Resorts
Tucson, AZ

Linda Collins-Smith
Owner, Days Inn & Suites, Pocahontas
Pocahontas, AR

René Boskoff
General Manager, Monterey Marriott Hotel
Monterey, CA

Dan Pirrallo
General Manager, Millennium Harvest House
Boulder, CO

Keith Overton
President, Tradewinds Island Resorts
St. Petersburg, FL

Charlotte Kang
Vice President, Colliers PKF Consulting USA
Atlanta, GA

Ernest Nishizaki
President, Kyo-ya Management Company, Ltd.
Waikiki, HI

Jim Gould
Vice President, Portfolio Hotels & Resorts
Schaumburg, IL

Michael Conner
General Manager, Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Northwest
Indianapolis, IN

Katie Doherty
General Manager, Hampton Inn & Suites, National Harbor
Oxon Hill, MD

Michael J. Downing
Vice President, Auxiliary Services, Johnson & Wales University
Seekonk, MA

Rick Winn
Vice President and Managing Director, Amway Hotel Corporation
Grand Rapids, MI

Lara Lubinski
Director of Operations, Holiday Inn Express
Butte, Great Falls, and Missoula, MT

Ron Morin
Vice President and Managing Director, Grove Park Inn
Asheville, NC

Rebecca Eastham
Director, Business Development, Meridian Technology Center
Stillwater, OK

Philip A. Guarno
General Manager, Fenicci’s Ristorante
Hershey, PA

Robert Ayers
General Manager, Residence Inn by Marriott
Warwick, RI

Bill Mish
General Manager, Doubletree Hotel Chattanooga
Chattanooga, TN

Barron Hobbs
General Manager, Hilton College Station & Conference Center
College Station, TX

Kimberly Christner
CEO, The Beck Company
Williamsburg, VA

Robert Y. Dove, Jr.
General Manager, Best Western Bridgewood Resort Hotel
Neenah, WI

John Eastman
Owner, Inn on the Creek
Jackson, WY

For more information on the State Leadership Awards or the John Whitaker Award, please visit www.ahla.com.

Serving the hospitality industry for a century, AH&LA is the sole national association representing all sectors and stakeholders in the lodging industry, including individual hotel property members, hotel companies, student and faculty members, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides members with national advocacy on Capitol Hill, public relations and image management, education, research and information, and other value-added services to provide bottom line savings and ensure a positive business climate for the lodging industry. Partner state associations provide local representation and additional cost-saving benefits to members.