Monthly Archives: July 2011

Anchorage: Setting Record Profits for Associations!

Anchorage, Alaska is known as a unique and exciting meeting destination. But who knew that your Association can actually benefit financially from holding an event there?

Here is an excerpt from a testimonial letter submitted by the Executive director of a group that held their conference in Anchorage this past May:

“ From a financial perspective, our Anchorage meeting set a new record for profit! We were all quite surprised because we thought costs would be higher in Anchorage. We beat our previous record for meeting profits by nearly $40,000! Anchorage is clearly cost-competitive for large meetings.” – Jeffrey C. Sventek, MS, CAsP , Executive Director, AEROSPACE MEDICAL ASSOCIATION

Please consider Anchorage for a future meeting. We would be happy to put together a proposal for you to look at and possibly bring you on one of our fully hosted FAM’s so that you can experience firsthand what Alaska has to offer. Click here for more information.

JW Marriott Jr. Recognizes Orlando World Center Marriott for 25 Years of Service Excellence

ORLANDO, Fla., – The world-class leader of premier resort properties in the Southeast, the 2000-room Orlando World Center Marriott celebrates 25 years of service excellence with accolades from J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Marriott International, Inc. In a specially prepared anniversary video showcasing the landmark property’s history, Mr. Marriott states, “This very special milestone symbolizes the very best quality of our company’s legacy. The Orlando World Center Marriott continues to raise the bar and set the trend for outstanding convention and vacation experiences.” There is, perhaps, no other convention center hotel and resort in the world that provides such a wonderful combination of space, experience, amenities, location and climate.

If you haven’t experienced the Orlando World Center Marriott, now is definitely the perfect time! This award-winning, eco-savvy Orlando hotel for meetings boasts a remarkable 450,000 square-feet of event space, all under one roof and most entirely on one level. Planners will discover the stunning 105,000 square-foot Cypress Ballroom (the nation’s largest pillar-free resort ballroom). The sprawling outdoor spaces and terraces, which surround or overlook the resort’s impressive million-gallon pool complex, are also unique outdoor venues for creating perfect events.

The resort is home to newly renovated and beautifully designed guest rooms and suites, most with spacious balconies; Hawk’s Landing 18-hole championship golf course; Bill Madonna Golf Academy at Hawk’s Landing Golf Club; lighted tennis courts and a full service spa and fitness center. For more information or reservations, please call 888-99-WORLD or visit

About Orlando World Center Marriott
This convention hotel showcases a remarkable 450,000 total square-feet of event space, all under one roof and almost entirely on one level. It is home to the largest pillar-free resort ballroom in the nation; 2,000 beautifully designed guest rooms and suites, with spacious balconies; 10 diverse restaurants and lounges; 18-hole championship golf course and a full service spa and fitness center. The sprawling outdoor spaces and terraces, which surround or overlook the resort’s impressive million-gallon pool complex, are also perfect venues to host dynamic outdoor functions. A stellar management team is on hand to successfully orchestrate any size event. For more information visit

Association Congress Moves to ACC Liverpool After 5 Years in London

The leading conference for association, society and institute executives has announced the move of its annual summer Association Congress 2012 to ACC Liverpool in 2012, after 5 consecutive years in London.

Following feedback from delegates, the decision was made to split the congress into the UK National Association Congress – which will take place in December this year – and the International and European Congress which will take place on 15 & 16 July in Liverpool next year.

Over 400 delegates attend Association Congress and range from executive directors to conference and event managers from trade associations, PCOs and regional and international federations.

Damian Hutt, Executive Director for Association Congress commented on the association’s move to Liverpool, “With the London 2012 Olympics in mind, we started looking at a variety of cities around the UK and ultimately chose Liverpool because the venue’s proposal proved to be real value for money while the accommodation options were less than half price when compared to London.

“With over 100 routes that fly in to Liverpool and a fast train service from London, the city has proven to be an excellent, well connected destination and its accessibility puts both us and our delegates at ease when preparing for Congress.”

Director of Sales at ACC Liverpool, Kerrin MacPhie, said, “I am delighted to announce that Association Congress has made Liverpool its first conference destination away from London. ACC Liverpool has established an un-rivalled reputation across the association sector for its ability to host large numbers of delegates in a flexible venue. Welcoming delegates from a range of international associations will put Liverpool in front of key decision makers and influencers from the sector, helping to position the venue as one of the UK’s pre-eminent destinations for meetings, events and exhibitions.”

For further information or images please contact Triggerfish Communication on 020 7233 9700.

About Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool
• Arena and Convention Centre Liverpool (ACC Liverpool) comprises BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena
• ACC Liverpool is one of the greenest venues in Europe due to specialist design features from wind turbines to rainwater harvesting, which ensure it produces half the CO2 emissions it would normally
• In 2010, ACC Liverpool received ISO 14001 accreditation
• Twitter: @ACCLiverpool
• New events and exhibition complex announced for 2014

About the BT Convention Centre
• Since opening in Spring 2008, the BT Convention Centre has held over 440 conferences including the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference. Over 229,000 delegates have been hosted at the BT Convention Centre
• Winner of Eventia Industry Award for ‘Venue Event Team of the Year’ 2010
• It has a 1,350-seat auditorium, a 3725 sq metre multi-purpose hall and 18 further meeting rooms. Total exhibition space is in excess of 7125 sq metres. It has hosted events including the British Council of Shopping Centres, the NHS Confederation and the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference

About the Echo Arena
• The Echo Arena has a capacity of 11,000 and has hosted a range of high profile events including the 15th Anniversary MOBO Awards 2010, the European MTV awards, BBC Sports Personality of the Year, the Davis Cup and the RIBA Stirling Prize
• Since opening in January 2008 the Arena has hosted more than 415 events and has welcomed 2 million visitors

Overland Park Convention & Visitors Bureau Releases New Mobile Application

Overland Park, KS – The Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau (OPCVB) released a free, state-of-the-art mobile application (app) for Smartphones on July 12. Available for all user-types including the iPhone, Android and Blackberry, the app was designed for use by both visitors and Kansas City area residents.

This user-friendly app includes, but is not limited to, the following features:

• Events calendar
• Overland Park restaurant guide
• Near-me mapping
• Kansas City International Airport flight information
• Area shopping, attractions and parks
• Coupons
• Area weather map

“The OPCVB is committed to providing visitors and residents useful technology to help promote the area’s venues, hotels, attractions, restaurants and services,” said Amy Garton, director of interactive solutions at the OPCVB. “For us it is about finding solutions to connect with and best serve our visitors’ and community’s needs. Additionally, the app allows us to remain on the cutting-edge of destination marketing and position Overland Park as a leader in the travel and tourism industry.”

The most unique feature of the app is the groups tab, which is a password-protected area for event information including agendas and tournament schedules for attendees at Overland Park events. The customized information is promoted through coordination with event hosts and/or planners.

“We have already had a number of clients choosing to utilize the app for their events that are scheduled for later in the year,” Garton continued. “The OPCVB staff recognized a need for our event planners and attendees, and we are excited that they find it beneficial for their events. It is a great way for us to support these events and promote the area.”

The mobile application can be downloaded by visiting
This app was built in partnership with Kansas City based MetroMedia and was programmed by LangfordMedia out of Lawrence.

Irish Heritage Inspires Coastal Virginia Bed & Breakfast

Chesapeake’s First Bed & Breakfast Opens for Summer Travel Season

CHESAPEAKE, Va. – Every Sunday Dave McLaughlin, founder and co-owner of the Irish Isle Bed & Breakfast, prepares a traditional Irish breakfast for his guests. McLaughlin is passionate about his Irish heritage. The Celtic culture inspired him to transform his custom built home in Chesapeake, Va., into a rural refuge for travelers. The Irish Isle opened earlier this year and is the city’s first bed and breakfast.

A custom home builder by trade, McLaughlin built the five-bedroom main house in 2004 on 11 private, serene acres south of Chesapeake. He and his family lived in the home for seven years before McLaughlin converted the residence into a bed and breakfast.

“The property is breathtakingly beautiful, and it’s worth sharing with others,” said Kathy DeMarco, co-founder of the Irish Isle. “Dave and I love entertaining and meeting new people, so we used the space to do something we enjoy.”

The Irish Isle offers four suites: the Dublin, the Donegal, the Galway and the Sligo and a large common area for all guests to enjoy. Room rates are seasonal and vary by suite, but range from $135 to $155 in the summer; $125 – $145 in the spring and fall; and $115 to $135 during the winter.

Some of the Isle’s most popular activities are also the most economical, and each sponsored by Mother Nature. Guests can lounge by the pool or relax on the veranda and enjoy the property’s abundance of wildlife.

The Irish Isle grounds can also accommodate parties and events with up to 200 guests. A quaint barn located behind the main house is available as alternative meeting space or can even serve as a casual backdrop for a family gathering or reunion.

“We really enjoy what we are doing here, and I believe that this passion shines through and
helps people feel at home,” said McLaughlin. “Whether you are seeking a quiet, weekend getaway, anchoring overnight at the Atlantic Yacht Basin or traveling to the region for one of its other many attractions, the Irish Isle Bed & Breakfast can accommodate you.”

The Irish Isle is located at 809 Washington Drive in Chesapeake, Va. For more information about the Irish Isle Bed & Breakfast, or to schedule your next visit to Coastal Virginia, visit

ALHI Extending Exclusive “25th Anniversary Offer” For Group Bookings At Lansdowne Resort In Virginia

LANSDOWNE, VIRGINIA (July 2011) – In celebration of the 25th anniversary of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI), the AAA Four-Diamond Lansdowne Resort in Virginia has teamed up with ALHI to extend an exclusive offer for group programs booked through ALHI. The “ALHI 25th Anniversary Lansdowne Offer” includes: special greens fees of $25 per person on either of the resort’s two championship golf courses (which are typically $140 per round); any meeting that is held in August 2011 will also receive 2.5% off of the master account; 25% off of A/V equipment rental; and $25 round trip airport transfers to Dulles (which is a 50% savings). The offer is available to new meetings booked through ALHI by September 1, 2011, and the meeting must be held by December 31, 2012. The offer is available to new groups contracted with ALHI with a minimum of 25 rooms per night and a two-night stay, is subject to availability, and cannot be combined with any other offer.

ALHI ( is a prestigious dues-based membership National Sales Organization, which represents more than 130 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotels and resorts worldwide to meeting professionals, association executives, incentive/recognition specialists and business executives interested in conducting their face-to-face programs at upper-upper-tier and luxury-level member properties. There is no cost to planners’ or executives’ organizations to utilize the National Sales services, expertise, and account advocacy of ALHI, as its members’ dues fund the national organization specifically authorized to serve planners with local ALHI professionals.

Widely recognized as one of the very finest meeting destinations in the mid-Atlantic region, Lansdowne Resort features 296 deluxe guest rooms which provide incredible views of the resort’s championship golf courses, the Potomac River and nearby mountains. Offerings include a total of 45,000 square feet of conference space, 25 meeting rooms, a 9,525-square-foot ballroom, a 126-seat tiered amphitheater, an executive boardroom, and elegant outdoor function space. A magnificent Clubhouse, featuring its own ballroom, is another exceptional option for a private meeting or corporate outing.

Additional resort offerings include 45 holes of golf, the 12,000-square-foot Spa Minérale, a five pool indoor/outdoor aquatic complex, a full-service health club, three lighted tennis courts, volleyball, racquetball, and five restaurants and lounges. Located in Lansdowne, the resort is just eight miles from Dulles International Airport, and is also served by Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, and Baltimore Washington International Airport.

“This is a great offer at an award-winning meeting resort in beautiful Virginia, just a short drive from Washington, D.C.,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “So if you are considering a program in the mid-Atlantic region, you will definitely want to take advantage of this exclusive offer.”

For more information on the “ALHI 25th Anniversary Lansdowne Offer,” contact your nearest ALHI National Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit .

100,000 Reasons To Contact ALHI

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.

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.

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 list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit, and preview details of ALHI’s membership, including easily useful information on several defined specialty segments within the ALHI portfolio to serve distinctive meeting, convention and incentive travel needs.

On the website, 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 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

Asheville CVB Achieves Destination Marketing Accreditation

ASHEVILLE – The Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau (ACVB) announced today that it has been awarded official accreditation from the Destination Marketing Accreditation Program (DMAP). The ACVB joins the ranks of 130 distinguished destination marketing organizations in the U.S., Canada and Europe in achieving the destination marketing industry’s most prestigious organizational recognition.

DMAP is an international accreditation program developed by Washington, DC based Destination Marketing Association International. Accredited destinations have proven a significant measure of excellence in accordance with international standards and benchmarks in the field.

“We are honored to be recognized by the destination marketing community for providing outstanding service,” said ACVB Executive Director Kelly Miller. “The ACVB strives to execute the program of work set forth by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority with professionalism, innovation and a spirit of community collaboration. We’re proud to have earned this seal of approval on behalf of the destination.”

“By applying for and receiving DMAP accreditation, the ACVB has demonstrated a commitment to quality programs and services,” said James T. Wood, FCDME, DMAP Board Chair. “Accreditation tells the community of Buncombe County and potential visitors that your destination marketing organization has attained a measure of excellence assuring that their trust is well placed and their business in good hands.”

The Asheville Convention & Visitors Bureau is a department of the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and serves as the official tourism promotion organization under the auspices of the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority. More than 2.9 million overnight leisure visitors travel to the Asheville area each year generating more than $1.8 billion in economic impact to the region.

DMAP accreditation standards cover a wide variety of topics including governance, finance, management, human resources, technology, visitor services, group services, sales, communications, membership, brand management, destination development, research/market intelligence, innovation and stakeholder relationships.

DMAP is an independent international accreditation body and a leader in defining quality and performance issues in destination marketing. For additional information about DMAP, visit

AH&LA ADA Webinar Focuses on Minimizing Impact on Operations, Litigation

Third in a Series of ADA Complimentary Webinars

Washington – The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is hosting a third Webinar, New ADA Title III: Will You Be in Compliance on March 15, 2012?, on July 27 from 2–3:30 pm (EST). The ADA Webinar series, which has received an overwhelming response from AH&LA members, has focused on the new 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III Regulations (the “2010 Regulations”) that took effect on March 15, 2011. With some compliance deadlines less than nine months away, members will learn how the 2010 Regulations will impact operations and facilities and minimize exposure to litigation and government enforcement actions.

Subject matter experts Minh Vu and Karen Stephenson of Seyfarth Shaw LLP will discuss:

• New requirements for existing swimming pools, spas, saunas, and steam rooms
• New standards for what is considered an accessible facility
• Clarified or expanded requirements regarding hotel reservations, service animals, effective communication with guests with disabilities, and ticketing
• Coverage of power mobility devices
• Coverage of timeshares and condo-hotels
• Proposed regulations for accessible Websites, point-of-sale devices, guestroom beds and other furniture, and other self-service equipment.

Registration is free for members and $99 for nonmembers. For additional information, contact Lauren Pravlik at or (202) 289-3116.

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.

Play Ball! USSSA World Series Hits the Field

Overland Park, KS – Overland Park, Independence and Platte County will welcome 100 amateur teams for the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) 12A and 14B World Series, July 18-22. Organized by Midwest Sports Productions (MSP), the fast pitch softball tournament draws participation from all across the Midwest region.

“We are very excited to welcome back the USSSA World Series event in 2011,” says Justin Stine, Director of Sports Alliance at the Overland Park Convention and Visitors Bureau. “The Kansas City metro is filled with exceptional athletic venues and attractions perfect for hosting all of the talented coaches, players and their families.”

The projected economic impact of the tournament to the local region is $1 million. Blue Valley Recreational Complex, Adair Park and Tiffany Hills Sports Complex will serve as the play venues for the 1300 participating athletes.

Opening ceremony festivities will take place in the Independence Events Center and are open to the public at no admission charge. Highlights of the week’s activities include a player’s scavenger hunt at the Independence Center Mall and a skills competition that features a dizzy bat race.

Tournament and day passes are available for purchase. For more information including the tournament schedule, please visit

7th Switzerland Meeting Trophy: Victory of the French Team

The French team has won the 7th Switzerland Meeting Trophy organized last weekend by Switzerland Tourism. This unconventional rally, which has now become an essential summer event for meeting and incentive travel specialists, gave 85 participants the chance to discover Switzerland and its meeting facilities on a route going from Bern to Lausanne via Gstaad, Montreux and the Lavaux region.

Eight national teams, representing Great Britain, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands, France, North America, the Nordic countries (winners of the last two editions) and Russia, took part in the rally from 8 to 10 July. All these countries are growth markets for Switzerland in the segment of meetings and incentives. Traveling through towns, over mountains, across a glacier (Glacier 3000) and over Lake Geneva, whilst also visiting UNESCO World Heritage sites like Bern and the Lavaux vineyards, the teams were able to appreciate the wealth of leisure opportunities and the quality of meeting facilities offered by the small country of Switzerland.

Photos of the 7th Switzerland Meeting Trophy can be downloaded from: