Monthly Archives: September 2011

The Lights on Broadway Brighten – the 2,000 Room New York Marriott Marquis Reveals Exciting New Multi-Million Dollar Renovation

Marriott Hotels & Resorts and Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. raise the curtain on Broadway, unveiling a multi-million dollar renovation of the brand’s flagship New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square. At the heart of the extensive renovation is the brand’s reinvented lobby, including two signature restaurants and lounges, where guests can work, socialize, relax, eat and drink. The makeover also encompasses the hotel’s nearly 2,000 guest rooms and a new, high tech 29,000 square foot Broadway Ballroom. [Check out this exciting video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGMXxbtER0A.]

“Even though we celebrated the New York Marriott Marquis’ 25th Anniversary last year, it feels like a brand new hotel opening,” says Mike Stengel, vice president, market general manager for Marriott International. “We still have the great staff and service our guests have come to know – but now it’s in a whole new setting. Our guests are thrilled with the transformation we’ve undergone this past year.”

Envisioned and created by the interior architecture and design firm ForrestPerkins of Washington, D.C., the hotel’s new interior and custom furnishings reflect the vibrancy and energy of New York City.

Renowned for offering travelers some of the most spacious guest rooms in Manhattan, the renovated New York Marriott Marquis guest rooms feature custom furnishings with clean, crisp lines that enhance and accentuate the space of the room.

Neutral colors of cocoa-brown, cream and champagne prevail within guest rooms. Accent pin lighting is mounted on oversized headboards inlaid with nickel, meant to evoke a streetscape grid. High-definition televisions and desk consoles, pull-out love seats and new carpeting and curtains complete the new look. Enhancements to the bathrooms include spa shower curtains. More than 1,000 guest rooms have been totally redesigned, with the remainder to be completed by Spring 2012.

The new restaurant and lounge, Crossroads – an American Kitchen and Bar, features a spectacular two story mirrored spiral bar encircled with 11 high definition television screens. Surrounding the restaurant’s centerpiece is a mix of low sofas and comfortable armchairs accented by four waterfall towers. Crossroads also offers a more traditional seating area for more than 100 guests, surrounded by perforated panel screens that slide to accommodate private or more open events. Illuminated crystal light rods hang above, creating a linear feel, or a streetscape grid pattern. The menu items are quintessential New York classics with a modern twist, such as Niman Ranch Pork Rib Pot Roast and Roasted Turkey BLT with Pecan Wood Smoked Bacon.

The design of the new Broadway Lounge is inspired by New Year’s Eve and the traditional ball drop. Guests’ eyes are immediately drawn to six spherical chandeliers, each with 234 shimmering clear glass balls, reflecting Broadway’s bright lights and electronic billboards. Two-story arched glass windows give guests panoramic views of Times Square. The multi-level seating in the Broadway Lounge offers guests the choice to be in the middle of the action or enjoy privacy. The lounge is richly colored in deep turquoise, petrol blue, dark ginger and grays. The menu features sharing and artisanal tasting dishes, as well as offerings inspired by New York City food trucks, including tacos, sliders and flatbreads.

The glamorous Broadway Ballroom, which seats up to 2,400 guests is the ballroom of the future, with chandeliers in amorphous shapes that resemble a geode being sliced down the middle. The room’s “vanishing ceiling” in black allows it to be transformed in myriad ways for every type of occasion. The programmable chandeliers offer thousands of choices for customers, with color-changing LED technology.

For smaller functions and banquets, The Liberty Room, is scheduled to open in October on the hotel’s eighth floor. This is a windowed room that seats 140, overlooking the famous Shubert Alley.

The overall renovation will include all guest rooms (to be completed in Spring 2012), restaurants, lounges and public areas and will cost approximately $39 million. ForrestPerkins in Washington, D.C. is the design and architectural firm responsible for both guest room and public area renovations. The New York Marriott Marquis has 1,946 guest rooms and over 100,000 square feet of banquet and meeting space, so this is a significant investment by its owners, Host Hotels & Resorts. The hotel has had a complete makeover, to provide guests with more choices and to convey its understanding of how today’s traveler likes to work and relax. It is one of the busiest Marriott hotels in the world.

The New York Marriott Marquis is located at 1535 Broadway, between West 45th and West 46th Streets in Times Square. It is owned by Host Hotels & Resorts, Inc. and managed by Marriott International. www.NYMarriottMarquis.com

Marriott Hotels & Resorts is Marriott International’s signature and most widely distributed brand, with more than 500 hotels and resorts in 60 countries. Marriott continues to inspire performance and a balanced life on the road for discerning and high-achieving business and leisure travelers, offering warm, professional service; sophisticated yet functional guest room design; lobby spaces that facilitate working, dining and socializing; restaurants and bars serving international cuisine prepared simply and from the freshest ingredients; meeting and event spaces and services that are gold standard; and expansive, 24-hour fitness facilities. All Marriott hotels participate in the award winning Marriott Rewards frequent travel program that allows members to earn hotel points or airline miles for every dollar spent during each stay. For more information visit www.meetthedriven.com. Follow Marriott Hotels & Resorts on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MarriottHotels.

Visit Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR) for company information. For more information or reservations, please visit our web site at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com.

Asheville Takes Off to Fun and Amusement

Allegiant Announces Nonstop, Low-cost Travel Service Between Asheville and Orlando with Introduction of $49.98* Fares

ASHEVILLE, N.C. —Allegiant (NASDAQ: ALGT) today announces new, nonstop jet service between Asheville, N.C., and Orlando, Fla., via Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB), will begin Nov. 18. The company, known for its exceptional travel deals, will introduce the new service to Western North Carolina area residents with fares as low as $49.98* one way.

“We’re pleased to bring an affordable and convenient travel option to Asheville,” Andrew C. Levy, Allegiant Travel Company President, said. “We are confident Western North Carolina will appreciate flying nonstop to Orlando and take advantage of the great deals we offer on hotels, car rentals and theme park tickets.”

“Asheville Regional Airport is proud to partner with Allegiant Travel Company, and looks forward to welcoming them to Western North Carolina,” said Lew Bleiweis, A.A.E., airport director. “Allegiant is a quality airline with great fares, and we know that our air travelers will welcome them with open arms. We have received many requests in recent years to advocate for Allegiant to come to our airport, and I am pleased to say that the time has come. It will be a great sight when the first Allegiant jet lands at AVL – a plane that will seat 150 people – and an even greater sight of our friends and neighbors enjoying the non-stop, low-fare flights to Orlando Sanford International Airport.”

The new flights will operate two times weekly between Asheville Regional Airport (AVL) and Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) with service Monday and Friday. Flights will depart Asheville at 8:20 p.m. arriving in Orlando-Sanford at 9:50 p.m. Flights leaving Orlando-Sanford will depart at 6:10 p.m. arriving in Asheville at 7:40 p.m. (all flight times are local). The carrier will utilize a full-size, 150-seat MD-80 jet aircraft on the route.

With plenty of shopping, dining, outdoor activities and entertainment, Orlando offers vacationers the perfect getaway. Located in the heart of Central Florida, Orlando is home to the world’s most exciting theme parks including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and SeaWorld. Orlando’s famous International Drive is more than 10 miles long and features more than 100 hotels, 450 stores, several attractions and two major outlet malls. Orlando is also home to more than 175 golf courses, many of which were designed by pro golfers such as Greg Norman, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus.

Allegiant’s $49.98* one-way introductory fare is limited, must be purchased by Oct. 3, 2011, and is valid for travel between Nov. 29, 2011, and Feb. 14, 2012. Introductory fares are not available on all flights.

Reservations can be made on the airline’s website at www.allegiantair.com or by calling the company’s travel experts at 702-505-8888. Allegiant guarantees the lowest price on air and hotel vacation packages through the company’s Low-Price Pledge. If the customer finds an air and hotel package for less, Allegiant will credit the difference for use on a future booking. Allegiant is also rewarding customers who book an air and hotel package through the company with an instant $20 savings on roundtrip airfare, making it even more affordable to book an air and hotel package.

About the $49.98* one-way fare:
Seats are limited. Fares are one-way and not available on all flights. Must be purchased by Oct. 3, 2011, for travel by Feb. 14, 2012. Offer not available Dec. 24, 2011–Jan. 4, 2012. Prices do not include PFC, segment tax or Sept. 11th security fee of up to $10.70 per segment. A segment is one take-off and one landing. A fee of $14.99 per segment, will apply when purchased through Allegiant call centers. For ticket counter hours of operation, please visit www.allegiant.com. When purchased at the time of booking, a checked bag fee of up to $14.99 per bag will apply per person, per segment. If purchased at flight check-in, a fee of $35 per checked bag, per person, per segment will apply for the first two bags checked. Additional higher fees will apply for three or more checked bags. Fare rules, routes and schedules are subject to change without notice. Restrictions apply. $20 savings based on a two-night, air+hotel purchase; valid at select Allegiant hotels.

Allegiant, travel is our deal.
Las Vegas-based Allegiant Travel Company (NASDAQ: ALGT) is focused on linking travelers in small cities to world-class leisure destinations such as Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Phoenix-Mesa, Orlando, Fla., and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Fla. Through its subsidiary, Allegiant Air, the company operates a low-cost, high-efficiency, all-jet passenger airline offering air travel both on a stand-alone basis and bundled with hotel rooms, rental cars and other travel-related services. In 2010, Allegiant was ranked number one for low-cost carriers in Aviation Week’s Top Performing Airline study and ranked 25 on FORTUNE magazine’s Fastest-Growing Companies list. Receive breaking news from Allegiant by visiting Allegiant’s Facebook Fan Page at www.facebook.com/Allegiant or follow Allegiant on Twitter at twitter.com/allegianttravel.

Lucerne, Switzerland Selected to Host the 2012 Adventure Travel World Summit

(SAN FRANCISCO/TORONTO) – SEPTEMBER 28, 2011 – Lucerne, the famous resort town at the shores of Lake Lucerne in the heart of Switzerland, right at foot of Mount Pilatus and the Alps, has won the bid to serve as Destination Host to the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s (ATTA) ninth annual Adventure Travel World Summit (ATWS).
Expected to draw 600 adventure tourism professionals from more than 50 nations, the ATWS will be held October 8-11, 2012 at the KKL Luzern (Culture and Congress Centre), built by renowned architect Jean Nouvel.

Announced by the ATTA and Switzerland Tourism officials during last night events in San Francisco and Toronto, ATTA reported its decision came after extensive review of several sites throughout the world. In addition to meeting all prerequisites outlined in the bidding process, Lucerne won the 2012 ATWS bid primarily for its long-standing partnership with the ATTA and readiness to share its extensive experience in modern adventure travel and tourism, which many say, originated 150 years ago in Switzerland.

It will be one of the most environmentally friendly Summits yet, thanks to Switzerland’s strong record as a sustainable travel destination, where most travel will take place by public transportation. This unique network of trains, buses, boats and city transit systems helped Switzerland again be number one as the top adventure tourism destination among developed countries in the 2011 Adventure Tourism Development Index, a study published by The George Washington University, the ATTA and Vital Wave Consulting. In addition to its commitment to sustainability, Switzerland earned this rank for its support of entrepreneurs and its strong adventure image.

Partners for the 2012 ATWS are Switzerland Tourism and Lucerne Tourism. “The Summit ties in directly with Switzerland’s overall tourism strategy because year-round adventure travel is a unique and authentic way to enjoy Switzerland’s diversity, both naturally and culturally”, said Alex Herrmann, Director Americas of Switzerland Tourism. “Adventure travel in Switzerland is something for everybody, and the Pre-Summit adventures will allow delegates to experience this first-hand. And Switzerland is a small country, so a short scenic train ride can get a visitor from an adrenaline-pumping mountain bike ride in Western Switzerland’s wine country, a UNESCO World Heritage, to a leisurely hike on the Swiss Trails network followed by a spa visit in an upscale resort in the Alps.”

“Lucerne is centrally located, not just in Switzerland but in Europe, and its proximity to Zürich International Airport, just one hour by direct train, will make next year’s Summit easily accessible for the adventure travel community in Europe and across the world”, said Marcel Perren, Director of Lucerne Tourism.
“For several years, the ATTA has partnered with Switzerland Tourism to see adventure travel in the Alpine region evolve further to include the full depth and breadth of Switzerland’s cultural and natural assets,” said ATTA President Shannon Stowell. “Switzerland and the ATTA are a natural fit, as Switzerland is also home to some of the most popular adventure destinations in the world, such as Interlaken and Zermatt.”

Entering its eight year, the ATTA’s Summit conferences engage, enlighten, inspire, and energize the leaders of the adventure travel community with networking, business and professional development programs, educational seminars and emerging adventure destination product review opportunities.

With its ATWS events, the ATTA and its Summit delegates, primarily tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, media, agents, adventure lodges, and service organizations (e.g., transportation, technology, marketing), influence the manner in which adventure travel is introduced, executed and sustained in any given destination worldwide. These adventure travel organizations collaborate to encourage the industry to adopt sustainability and best practices that give back to the people and places impacted by adventure travel.
Registration is now open at www.adventuretravel.biz/atws2012.

About ATTA: Established in 1990, the Seattle-based ATTA (www.adventuretravel.biz) is a global membership organization dedicated to unifying, networking, professionalizing, promoting and responsibly growing the adventure travel market. ATTA members include tour operators, destination marketing organizations, tourism boards, specialty travel agents, guides, accommodations, media and service providers. Host of the annual Adventure Travel World Summit executive trade conferences (www.adventuretravelworldsummit.com), the ATTA also makes possible www.Adventure.Travel, the traveler’s hub of physical, cultural and nature-based adventure travel and guide to trusted tour operators from around the globe.

About ATDI: The Adventure Tourism Development Index (ATDI), now in its third year, offers a ranking of countries around the world based on principles of sustainable adventure tourism and is calculated through a combination of expert survey data and quantitative data gathered from international indices. (www.adventureindex.travel/downloads.htm).

About Switzerland Tourism/Lucerne Tourism: Switzerland Tourism is the official national marketing organization of Switzerland (www.MySwitzerland.com). Lucerne Tourism is the destination marketing organization for the city of Lucerne and the Lake Lucerne Region (www.luzern.com).

ACC Liverpool takes centre stage for the official welcome of Labour Party Conference 2011

ACC Liverpool Chief Executive Bob Prattey officially welcomed the Labour Party Leader Ed Miliband as the award-winning venue opened its doors to an expected 11,000 delegates for this year’s Labour Party Annual Conference 2011, 25 – 29 September.

2,000 national and international press and media are set to attend this year’s conference, with broadcasts from the BBC’S The Andrew Marr Show, Daily Politics Show and Breakfast News as well as coverage from ITN and Sky News transmitted live from ACC Liverpool, home to BT Convention Centre and Echo Arena throughout the week ahead.

The venue will be used to its full scope for the conference and its associated activities: keynote speeches by Ed Miliband and Harriet Harman will take place in the Echo Arena while breakouts and exhibitions will be held in the adjoining BT Convention Centre. Hall 1C will become a showcase for Young British Talent hosted by Eddie Izzard while another 500 fringe events will be hosted throughout the venue, in a marquee village adjacent and at various locations across the city.

The largest event ever held at ACC Liverpool, the Labour Party Conference represents one of the tightest security operations in the North West and has been rigorously planned between ACC Liverpool and city stake holders including Merseyside Police, Liverpool Convention Bureau and Liverpool City Council. Maximum security procedures are in place throughout the week facilitated by the venue’s ease of lockdown, effectively creating a secure campus site.

The Labour Party Annual Conference is expected to bring an economic benefit to the city of £15m and brings ACC Liverpool’s total contribution to the city economy to £500m since it opened in 2008.

Bob Prattey, CEO ACC Liverpool said, “Labour Party Annual Conference is widely recognised as being one of the most high profile events in the UK and we are delighted to be host venue and the central focus of the Labour Party’s activity. This is the largest scale event we have staged and we are very much looking forward to seeing the rigorous planning and logistics bear fruit when Ed Miliband takes centre stage on Tuesday for his keynote address.”

ACC Liverpool Chairman David McDonnell also commented: “The decision of Labour Party to bring their annual conference to Liverpool demonstrates that our venue and city can host events of national and international significance on a huge scale. This is down to the fact that organisations in both the private and public sector are able to work together towards a common aim.

“Praise must be given also to the people of the city for consistently laying on such a fantastic warm Liverpool welcome to conference-goers year after year after year.”

For further information please contact Triggerfish Communications 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
• Since opening in 2008, ACC Liverpool has contributed £500m to the local economy
• 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 470 conferences including the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference. Over 244,000 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 Royal College of Nursing Congress and the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference 2010

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 440 events and has welcomed over 2 million visitors.

InterContinental Tampa Offers Planners Up to a Million Priority Club Points

Tampa, Fla. – The InterContinental Tampa is offering meeting planners up to 500,000 Priority Club points for every meeting booked by October 31, 2011 and conducted by December 30, 2011. In 2012, planners
may earn up to a million bonus points for every meeting booked by Jan. 31, 2012 and conducted between Jan.1 and Mar.31, 2012. Priority Club Meeting Reward Points can be used toward hotel nights, airline tickets,
shopping, dining and more. Meeting planners must be Priority Club members prior to booking. For more information on planning your next meeting at InterContinental Tampa, please call (866) 915-1558 or visit
www.intercontampa.com.

InterContinental Tampa is conveniently located in Tampa’s popular Westshore business and shopping district, convenient to downtown Tampa and Tampa International Airport. With all of the amenities the InterContinental name ensures, the AAA Four Diamond property offers wireless high-speed internet throughout the entire hotel, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a full-service concierge program, and a rooftop pool with spectacular views of the bay and city. The hotel also offers outstanding on-site dining at the world famous Shula’s Steak House, as well as gourmet Illy coffee products and “fare on the go” at Caffé and an extensive cocktail menu at Shula’s No Name Lounge.

IMEX America Exceeding Forecasts

London, England & Las Vegas, NV – When the first edition of IMEX America opens its doors at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas, on Oct.11, 2011 the trade show will be the largest this year – and the biggest hosted buyer event ever in the U.S. – to address the business, networking and educational needs of the US meetings, incentive travel and events industry.

“We have spent almost two years communicating why the IMEX business model is different and precisely how and why it will benefit the meetings industry in the US. Business is at the heart of everything we do and the reason why we launched IMEX America in the first place. We believed that the US needed a fresh trade show format and I have every confidence that IMEX America will now deliver – on business volumes, buyer quality and numbers, and exhibitor numbers and diversity,” said, IMEX Chairman, Ray Bloom looking ahead to IMEX America’s first day, “What is more, with the help of our strategic partner and premier education provider, MPI, our education program is second to none. With unparalleled industry support we’ve also been able to deliver an extraordinary 14 co-located trade association events. I’m confident that the sum of the parts is going to be greater than the whole and I urge everyone in the meetings, events and incentive travel to come to Vegas and experience ‘the IMEX effect’ on their business goals for themselves.”

• More than 1,800 exhibitors representing 100 countries now confirmed
• More than 90 live educational events confirmed
• MPI announces speaker line-up for Smart Monday
• Online diary and scheduling tools now live
• Wild Card and TechnoHow Zone award winners announced
• Forums and Meetings to Share Thought Leadership with Industry
• New Industry & Association Partnerships Unveiled
• Las Vegas Gives a Warm Welcome to the Industry
• IMEX America Is Going Green in the Desert

“We couldn’t be more excited to see this event come to life in Las Vegas with our long-time partner, IMEX,” said Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of Meeting Professionals International (MPI). “We look forward to connecting with thousands of professionals through our innovative education programs and keynotes each day. We’re confident that attendees will find inspiring ideas they can act on at the show and throughout their careers – which is exactly the remarkable professional development MPI consistently delivers.”

AWG Is Official Ground Handler for IMEX America 2011

September, 2011 – AWG was announced as the official ground handler for IMEX America 2011. AWG is the DMC Networks exclusive Las Vegas partner and regarded as the original go-to company in the city, with a well-established clientele of private and corporate customers.

AWG is a one of a kind destination management company (DMC). With more than twelve years of experience in Las Vegas, AWG is one of the few companies that is keeping pace with the dynamic growth of Las Vegas.

AWG is your single source for destination services, limousines, party buses, and transportation in Las Vegas. This multi-faceted company provides the “cutting edge” in the development of a comprehensive event experience, from airport limo service to destination management to the most entertaining talent available. Whether it is one or more services, AWG is available to assist with fresh and exciting concepts.

Please visit at www.imexamerica.com/groundhandler.html

About the DMC Network, LLC:
Unique in the industry, the DMC Network is an LLC of the top-performing, independently owned DMCs throughout North America. Through our alliance with Ovation Global DMC, our reach extends across five continents. With an average of over 25 years in business and more than twice as many accredited DMCs as any other DMC consortium or company, each DMC Network partner delivers unsurpassed knowledge of their market and a confidence that they are a sound, professional organization that consistently exceeds clients’ expectations. With an insider’s knowledge, we make it effortless for our clients to produce meetings and events around the world. We are your knowledge network and are dedicated to doing business your way, in every way. As a network, we represent many destinations, but only one relationship — the one with you.

www.dmcnetwork.com

Virginia Launches Declaration of Meeting Excellence

New Meetings and Conventions Campaign has Powerful Online Search and Tool Kit to Help Planners “Get their Life Back”

RICHMOND, Va. – The Virginia Tourism Corporation unveiled the Virginia Declaration of Meeting Excellence, a new meetings and conventions campaign that touts Virginia’s commitment to exceeding expectations of meeting planners everywhere. The state’s tourism industry has come together to support the campaign, making it Virginia’s first-ever statewide campaign to target the meetings and conventions industry. Virginia launched the new campaign to 1,000 meeting planners and industry leaders at HSMAI’s MEET National in Washington, D.C.

The Virginia Declaration of Meeting Excellence is infused with the spirit and tone of Thomas Jefferson and declares that meeting planners have many rights when doing business in Virginia. The first of which is the right “to get your life back” by using Virginia’s enhanced online meeting planning tools. Meeting planners can “exercise their rights,” online at www.virginia.org/meetings and access convenient meeting planning tools including:

• A powerful, online “Quick Venue Search” to find destinations by locality, square footage, room counts, amenities, and other needs
• A side-by-side venue comparison
• A quick RFP submittal that goes directly to selected meeting locations
• Online Meeting Planning Tool Kit including welcome letter from the Governor, a Virginia video, images for brochures, local contacts and more
• An online version of the 2012-2013 Virginia Meeting Planning Guide

“Virginia’s Declaration of Meeting Excellence is truly a revolution,” said Alisa Bailey, President and CEO of the Virginia Tourism Corporation. “We have rallied our industry around this campaign and are committed to making planning and hosting a meeting in Virginia the best experience possible. Our new Web site is designed to make life easier for meeting planners who are short on time and have high expectations. Meetings are big business and we are making sure that meeting planners know we want your business in Virginia.”

Virginia is within a day’s drive or less for 60 percent of the U.S. population, boasts 11 commercial airports – including Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International – plus 57 general aviation airports and Amtrak rail service. Whether drawn by the state’s convenient location, historical attractions, celebrated wine and culinary offerings or scenic natural beauty, planners have a wide selection of venues including large convention centers, or smaller meeting spaces such as a winery, museum or onboard a historic yacht. The state also offers a variety of unique extracurricular activities available on Virginia.org/meetings.
In addition to Virginia’s new initiatives, planners can take advantage of upcoming events and new venue additions and developments from across the state including:

• Operation Sail 2012, the Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the birth of the Star-Spangled Banner national anthem, will bring tall ships, naval vessels and the Blue Angels flight demonstration team to Virginia’s Hampton Roads region June 7-12, 2012.
• The Oceanaire Resort Hotel & Conference Center, scheduled for completion in 2012, will be the third phase of the highly successful Ocean Beach Club & Resort in Virginia Beach. This development will add more than 200 rooms and 10,000 square feet of meeting space to the existing resort.
• In 2011, the Virginia Beach Convention Center became the first in the country to achieve certification as LEED® Gold for Existing Buildings. In addition, the VBCC has partnered with Virginia Energy Sense, the Commonwealth’s statewide consumer energy education and outreach program. Virginia Energy Sense is reaching out to consumers, businesses and other organizations to enlist them as “Energy Agents,” who will spread the word about the things they are doing to save energy.
• The recently opened Executive Conference & Training Center (ECTC) in Dulles has launched Executive Rewards, a first-of-its-kind loyalty program for meeting planners, specifically designed for those who book meetings, conferences, and training sessions near Washington, D.C. The program leverages the ECTC’s relationship with its neighboring partner hotel brands and allows planners to earn points on their loyalty programs including Marriott Rewards, Hilton Honors, and IHG’s Priority Club.
• The 300-room Renaissance Arlington Capital View, which opened in spring 2011, features a modern look with kinetic sculptures, glass-enclosed meeting spaces, open-air terraces and a green roof. More than 17,000 square feet of event space is outfitted with the latest event technology and audiovisual equipment, including flat screen panels that control AV, lighting and atmosphere.

• The new Sherwood Center, located in Fairfax, is perfect for groups of up to 400. Its Assistive Listening System is the most sophisticated system in Virginia and is available throughout the building. The Center has a state-of-the-art AV system for meetings and 15,000 sq. ft. of space.
• In Northern Virginia, the Prince William Ice Center’s new, state-of-the-art facility offers 1,400 square feet of meeting space for up to 200 people and up to 400 people on NHL and Olympic-sized rinks year round.
• Sunset Beach Resort’s newly renovated meeting space offers capacity for groups of up to 150. The resort, located in Cape Charles, offers full-service waterfront dining, with over 8,000 square feet of deck space, a private beach and on-site operator for planning outdoor group activities.
• The 8,000-square foot Smithfield Center, one of the premier event and conference centers in coastal Virginia’s Hampton Roads region, has recently undergone a cosmetic renovation to both its interior and exterior.

Virginia’s natural beauty, affordability, central location, incomparable history and attractions make it a premier meetings destination. Visit www.Virginia.org/meetings and “exercise your rights” as part of Virginia’s Declaration of Meeting Excellence.

Peppermill Resort Spa Casino Offers Online Check-In

(Reno, NV) – The Peppermill Resort Spa Casino is pleased to offer online check-in for our guests. No waiting in line when you arrive; use online check-in and simply pick up your room keys at our Express Check-In Kiosk. Use your computer to conveniently check in up to one day prior to your arrival. It’s that easy!

The Peppermill opened in 1971 as a simple coffee shop and lounge. Forty years later, the Peppermill Resort Spa Casino has become a Reno landmark, sprawling more than two million square feet, featuring 1,635 luxurious rooms and suites, two resort pools, 9 award-winning restaurants, 16 themed bars and lounges including EDGE nightspot and Terrace Lounge, free nightly entertainment in the Cabaret Lounge, 24/7 gaming action, headliner entertainment, as well as the 43,000 square foot Spa & Salon Toscana and fitness center featuring the nation’s only Caldarium with indoor pool, sun deck and Secret Garden.

For more information, please visit the Peppermill online at www.peppermillreno.com.

World Routes, The 17th World Route Development Forum

Germany’s première for the “World Routes” – the leading international Aviation Forum will take place in Berlin from 2 to 4 October 2011. A topic of the industry meeting will be the future major airport BBI.

World Routes is the place to examine air services; find out about new market developments; get up to speed on the up-and-coming destinations; providing airports and airlines with unrivalled business development opportunities.

Once a year the world’s aviation community come together, along with all the stakeholders who share an interest in air service development. Over an intense three days they meet and take decisions which shape the industry for the coming years.

For airlines, airports, tourism authorities and other stakeholders, World Routes is the place to learn, to negotiate, to build relationships and help shape business so that it has the competitive edge it needs in the coming years to grow and thrive.

To find out more please go to www.routesonline.com.