Monthly Archives: August 2012

Kimpton’s Florida Hotels Offer Locals a Mid-Summer Day’s Dream Getaway

Special Savings for Florida Residents, Complimentary Amenities and Activities,
and Perfect Poolside Retreats Await For the Summer Solstice’s Second Half

MIAMI – With the official mid-point of summer upon us, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants’ three Florida-based hotels invite Florida residents to enjoy the remainder of the season soaking up the sun with special savings and idyllic pool and beach experiences.

At EPIC Hotel in downtown Miami; beachfront Surfcomber Miami, South Beach; and oceanfront Vero Beach Hotel & Spa, reduced Florida resident rates are available just in time to sneak in a last-minute getaway on a close-to-home vacation that promises ultimate summer bliss with personalized attention and service. Leave the headache and chaos of the world behind and whisk away for a local retreat. Regroup, relax and relish in what these fabulous Kimpton hotels have to offer. Most of all, locals can choose from three distinct experiences to bask in the summer sun – EPIC’s sky-high pool deck looming large above the Magic City; Surfcomber’s iconic South Beach pool deck and beach, or Vero’s family-style pool and beach retreat. There’s no better way to make the most of these last weeks of summer, a time of rest, relaxation, vacation and absolute fun.

EPIC Hotel – Locals are invited to spend the summer in the city at this top-rated, luxury waterfront hotel located in the heart of downtown Miami, now offering 20 percent off to Florida residents. With gorgeous 360° views of Miami and Biscayne Bay from atop its stylish, 16th floor, 13,752-square foot wrap-around pool deck, EPIC combines the style of a cosmopolitan boutique hotel with the amenities of a resort – including a full service concierge, 24-hour in-room din
ing, and a complimentary state-of-the-art fitness center – to create a sophisticated oasis for guests amid the energy and pulse of Miami. Two infinity pools, 10 private cabanas, and plenty of staff to fulfill every need and request, add up to a memorable, close-to-home experience that lives up to the city-chic hotel’s name.

To take advantage of EPIC’s Florida Resident Rate, please call (866) 760-3742 or (305) 424-5226 or visit www.epichotel.com and use booking code FSR. Guests must present a valid Florida State ID upon check-in. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and travel deals, become a fan of the EPIC Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/EPICHotel or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @KimptonInFL.

While South Beach might be known for its nightlife, Surfcomber is home to the area’s daylife. For those seeking the perfect combination of sun, surf, and sand, Surfcomber Miami, South Beach is the place to be. Situated along 200 feet of beach and Atlantic oceanfront and with its iconic pool deck providing guests with the most hours of sun than any other hotel in the area as well as 12 private cabanas, a pool bar, and varied beach and poolside activities, Surfcomber ensures a full day of play or the opportunity to relax and do nothing at all. Surfcomber’s Florida resident rate allows guests to enjoy South Beach like a true local at 20 percent off nightly room rates, plus a choice of complimentary nightly parking for one vehicle or daily continental breakfast for two.

To book a Surfcomber staycation with the Florida Resident Rate, please call (800) 994-6103 or visit www.surfcomber.com and use booking code FSR. Guests must present a valid Florida State ID upon check-in. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and travel deals, become a fan of the Surfcomber Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/surfcomberhotel or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @KimptonInFL.

If the middle of summer beckons for a relaxed, away-from-it-all-retreat, it could be the perfect time for a true family staycation at Kimpton’s oceanfront Vero Beach Hotel & Spa. Surrounded by unobstructed, breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean, a pristine beach, and an intimate, full-service pool deck, Vero Beach Hotel & Spa provides an exquisite oasis to unwind in style while being pampered by stellar service. With the hotel’s Florida resident rate, guests will receive up to 25 percent off nightly room rates and a choice of complimentary nightly parking for one vehicle or daily continental breakfast for two.

To book a summer getaway at Vero Beach Hotel & Spa using the Florida Resident Rate, call 1-866-602-VERO (8376) or visit www.verobeachhotelandspa.com and use booking code FSR. Guests must present a valid Florida State ID upon check-in. To stay up-to-date on the latest news and travel deals, become a fan of the Vero Beach Hotel & Spa’s Facebook page by visiting www.facebook.com/VeroBeachHotelandSpa or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @KimptonInFL.

ABOUT KIMPTON HOTELS & RESTAURANTS
San Francisco-based Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, a collection of boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants in the US, is an acknowledged industry pioneer and was the first to bring the boutique hotel concept to America. In 1981 Bill Kimpton founded the company that today is well-known for making travelers feel welcomed and comfortable while away from home through authentic and unscripted customer care, stylish ambience and embodying a certain playfulness in its approach to programs and amenities. Adjacent to the hotels are locally-loved, top-rated, Kimpton restaurants. Kimpton leads the hospitality industry in ecological practices through its innovative EarthCare program that spans all hotels and restaurants. Market Metrix, a recognized authority and leader in feedback solutions, consistently ranks Kimpton above other hotel companies in luxury and upper upscale segments for customer satisfaction. Privately held Kimpton was recognized by Fortune Magazine as a Best Company to Work for in 2012. The company operates more than 50 hotels and more than 50 restaurants in 24 cities. For more information visit www.KimptonHotels.com or call 1-800-KIMPTON.

The DoubleTree by Hilton Breckenridge Completes Phase Two of Renovation

The Doubletree by Hilton Breckenridge has just completed phase two of a three-phase renovation of the entire hotel. This spring, the pool area has been refurbished, along with all of the guestroom hallways.

9600 Grill restaurant and the adjacent private dining room have been remodeled with new flooring, entrance, furniture, bar and fireplace. “Fall in Breck” group rates start at $99 per night, and discounted ski lift tickets are available in winter for qualifying groups. For more information, call 970-547-5520.

San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau Names Two New National Sales Directors

The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau recently hired two new National Sales Directors in its Citywide Sales Division.
Maria Andriola, a new National Sales Director based in the bureau’s Chicago office, will handle Citywide Sales for the Midwest region as well as Hotel Meetings Sales for Illinois.
A 23-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Andriola’s most recent position was Hyatt Hotels & Resorts’ Director, Worldwide Sales. Her previous positions include Director of Sales at the Park Hyatt Chicago and Hyatt on Printers Row and Sales Manager – Conference Center Sales at the Palmer House Hilton & Towers.

Andriola joins Angie Ranalli, Vice President of Sales, Midwest region, a 19-year veteran of the San Diego Citywide Sales Team.
Bonnie Greenspan, a new National Sales Director based in the bureau’s Washington D.C. office, will handle Citywide Sales for the Washington D.C. region.

A 27-year veteran of the hospitality industry, Greenspan’s most recent position was Hyatt Hotels & Resorts’ Director of Worldwide Accounts. Her previous positions include Sales Manager at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore, Director of Sales at the Hyatt Fair Lakes in Fairfax, VA and Sales Manager at the Hyatt Arlington in Arlington, VA.
Greenspan is a member of the American Society of Association Executives and the Professional Convention Management Association. She joins Phyllis Bradley Azama, Vice President of Sales, Washington D.C. region, a 19-year veteran of the San Diego Citywide and Hotel Meetings Sales teams, and Damara Gomez, National Sales Director.

“With their 50-plus combined years of sales experience in the meetings industry, we are very excited to have both Maria and Bonnie join our Citywide Sales Team,” stated Joe Terzi, President & CEO of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau. “As we currently transition the sales and marketing efforts of the world-class San Diego Convention Center to our bureau, it is essential that we secure the industry’s top talents to keep the facility and our destination top of mind in meeting planners nationwide, and we’ve found those talents in these two industry veterans,” Terzi added.

As of July 1, 2012, sales and marketing of the San Diego Convention Center was awarded to the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau.
The bureau’s Citywide Sales Division shares office space with its Hotel Meetings Sales Division in both Chicago and Washington D.C.

NCC Open Letter about GSA Spending Draws Strong Positive Reactions

(Leesburg, VA ) – August 2012 – In mid-July, a meeting planner approached the Front Desk at The National Conference Center (NCC) holding a page of newspaper from The Washington Post featuring an advertisement for the NCC with the headline: An Open Letter about GSA Spending: Let’s seek long-term solutions, not shortsighted reactions. She came to book a meeting.

Recognizing that most government agencies plan and execute training meetings wisely and prudently, The National Conference Center has been critical of the government’s “shortsighted reaction to GSA overspending” by inflicting counterproductive and reactionary restrictions on meetings and travel regulations. The tempestuous story continues to bring the potential for further cuts for travel to meetings and conferences and is likely to have serious effects on the meetings and travel industry.

According to American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA), the world’s largest association of travel professionals, “meetings and events matter to the travel industry and the U.S. economy. In 2011, meetings and events generated $99 billion in direct travel expenditures, which supports 859,000 American jobs and contributes $15 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments.”

The recent ad campaign (“An Open Letter about GSA Spending”) from The National Conference Center boldy stated:

Let’s seek long-term solutions, not shortsighted reactions.

The ad was critical to the reaction of the government’s excessive spending at a scandal-plagued 2010 Las Vegas conference for employees. The controversy has continued to receive critical scrutiny and attention on Capitol Hill and in the media. According to NCC General Manager, Kurt Krause, “our industry will be severely impaired if the government continues to force unreasonable restrictions on meetings and federal employee travel. We need to work together and partner on accountability.”

A follow-up ad featured the headline:
We took a stand. We struck a nerve.
The ad refers to the “overwhelmingly positive response to the ad which ran in The Washington Post in June and July. Krause comments that The National Conference Center sought to take a leadership position and work with government agencies to help assure that money is spent more wisely. He points out that the positive reaction to NCC’s stand was based on three important observations:

1. Employees are every organization’s greatest asset. Like any well-run organization, government needs training that promotes leadership development, allowing for the sharing of best practices for long-term success.

2. Productive training requires a focused setting that is designed for learning and free of distractions like golf and gaming.

3. Recent directives on slashing travel will adversely impact training, which is critical for increasing innovation and making the most of our government’s human capital.

Director of Sales & Marketing, Eric Whitson commented that there have been other strong, positive reactions to the ad and other planners are in the process of booking and planning their meetings at The National Conference Center. “The ad”, said Whitson, “is very straightforward in declaring our leadership position and stating:

NCC is dedicated exclusively to meetings and training—nothing else—and has hosted government events for more than three decades. Training on our campus is effective because participants retain information better in a true learning environment. Training at The National Conference Center is also easy and economical.

The National Conference Center (NCC), located in Northern Virginia 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting space, NCC has become a hub for productive meetings and is on the GSA schedule. NCC is also home to West Belmont Place, Northern Virginia’s largest ballroom with 16,500 square feet for holding an elegant wedding or accommodating a large trade show or special event. For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com, or www.westbelmontplace.com.
The National Conference Center is managed by ARAMARK Conference Centers.

ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine’s 2009 list of “World’s Most Admired Companies,” ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company’s Web site, www.aramark.com.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Adds New Hawaiian Gem To Its Portfolio: The Modern Honolulu

The Modern Honolulu in Honolulu, Hawaii has been accepted as the newest member of Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). ALHI, and its established professional sales force throughout North America, now provides authorized and dedicated Global Sales Organization (GSO) services and support for the hotel to corporations, associations, independent planners, business executives, and incentive specialists desiring to conduct meetings or incentive/recognition programs at the hotel.

The Modern Honolulu, which provides spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean and which overlooks popular Waikiki Beach and a picturesque marina harbor, debuted in September 2011. The innovative and chic marina-front hotel features 353 guest rooms and suites. Situated on the island of Oahu, the hotel is ideally located a short walk to the famous Ala Moana Center (Hawaii’s largest open-air shopping center), and is just steps to the attractions, luxury boutiques and retail shops along Waikiki’s famous Kalakaua Avenue. The hotel’s exceptional meeting space includes an elegant 9,200-square-foot ballroom that can seat up to 800 for a dinner, as well as a 1,300-square-foot Sun Suite for private functions that also features an open-air terrace, and four meeting studios with state-of-the-art audio/visual equipment. Additional offerings at the hotel include a full-service spa, a restaurant by famed Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, the vibrant ADDICTION nightclub, a sophisticated lobby bar, and two pools.

The Modern Honolulu becomes ALHI’s third member in Hawaii, and the second on the island of Oahu, joining the elegant Halekulani on Waikiki Beach; and the popular The Mauna Lani Bay Hotel and Bungalows, nestled on 30 oceanfront acres on the beautiful Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii.

As the newest member in ALHI’s worldwide portfolio, The Modern Honolulu also becomes the newest offering in the “ALHI Beach & Island Collection,” which consists of ALHI’s 35 Four- and Five-Diamond quality member hotels and resorts with distinction in coastal destinations around the world, which are designed to serve meetings and programs. (Visit www.alhi.com for listings.)

“The Modern Honolulu is an exceptional new hotel that is sophisticated and chic, with a wonderful contemporary design that is both upscale and refreshingly relaxing,” said David Gabri, president and CEO of ALHI. “Featuring a great location, excellent air access, and a picturesque Hawaiian setting, it is a great choice for any planner wanting a distinguished new resort for their programs in Hawaii.”

ALHI (www.alhi.com) is a prestigious dues-based Global Sales Organization (GSO), which for over 25 years has specifically provided dedicated and professional GSO services to meeting professionals, association executives, incentive specialists and business executives interested in conducting successful face-to-face programs, exclusively for its more than 140 Four- and Five-Diamond quality hotel and resort members.

With a worldwide portfolio of over 100,000 rooms and suites and nearly 10 million square feet of meeting space, ALHI provides planners and their organizations experienced Global Sales services with exclusive and diverse Four- and Five-Diamond quality portfolio options, among its outstanding worldwide member hotels and resorts, which all specialize in meetings and incentive programs. There is no cost to planners’ organizations to utilize the ALHI GSO services, expertise, and account advocacy, as its members’ dues fund the Global Sales Organization to best serve planners with local professionals.

Meeting professionals, association executives, and incentive specialists have utilized ALHI’s Global Sales services for more than 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.

For a list of ALHI’s entire portfolio, visit ALHI’s website www.alhi.com, 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 Global Sales Offices to serve, with locations in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City, Louisville, New York City, Orlando, Philadelphia, Richmond, Savannah, Southern California, Toronto, Washington, D.C., and Washington (state). Go to www.alhi.com to identify the “ALHI Team” 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 “National Sales Guide To Meeting Facilities,” contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit www.alhi.com.

Renovations Nearing Completion at Famous French Quarter Hotel

Hotel Monteleone Refreshes, Modernizes While Retaining Historic Charm

Back in the 1920s, Hotel Monteleone featured the latest in luxurious comfort for its patrons. Recent upgrades then included a radio in every room, and some of the rooms were even air conditioned. How times have changed! But what hasn’t changed is Hotel Monteleone’s dedication to providing the ultimate in amenities for its guests.

Today, after more than a year of upgrading, iPhone docking stations and Keurig coffee makers in every room are standard, along with sparkling glassware and gleaming new chrome bathroom accessories. Each guest room is now a Wi-Fi “hotspot.” Meeting rooms can support more than 3,000 simultaneous users on the fastest Internet connection in the French Quarter.

While staying in the Hotel’s elegant rooms with traditional names such as Queen Anne, River View and Bonnet Carre, guests will notice lots of other updates aimed at giving the great old hotel a fresh look.

An extensive renovation of Hotel Monteleone’s beloved Carousel Bar and Lounge is complete. Carousel Bar expanded its lounge area and opened up the space with coffered ceiling designs and customized crown molding, circular glass chandeliers and expansive windows along Royal Street. An additional crescent-shaped bar and more seating provide ample room for thirsty patrons to mix, mingle and enjoy free live musical entertainment several nights a week.

The highly-anticipated restaurant Criollo, with its beautiful décor and mouthwatering cuisine prepared from fresh local ingredients, is now serving breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. Led by Chef de Cuisine Joseph Maynard and Executive Chef Randolph Buck, Criollo’s dishes are infused with traditional Creole flavors of French, Spanish, Italian, Caribbean and African with new spices, creating dishes in the style it calls Louisiana Fusion. The setting is creating quite a buzz of its own, with appealing natural lighting courtesy of generous and expansive windows bordering picturesque Iberville Street – a typical French Quarter scene freshly replanted with lush tropical greenery.

The grand lobby is getting new furniture this summer. Meeting rooms and guestroom corridors are being updated with new wall coverings, drapes and carpeting. Plantation shutters are going up in elevator foyers. At the pool, there are new awnings, light fixtures and landscaping – and very important misting stations for those steamy New Orleans summer days.

“It’s taken us more than a year of hard work to complete all these upgrades,” said Hotel Monteleone Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer Ronald Pincus. “Our continuing goal is to provide our guests the best in amenities and service while highlighting and retaining the historic charm of one of the city’s most enduring and cherished hotels.”

Hotel Monteleone, located at 214 Royal Street in New Orleans, was founded in 1886 by Italian immigrant Antonio Monteleone. It remains a family owned business today, and is a must-experience destination for locals and visitors alike at the gateway to the French Quarter. To find out more about the award-winning amenities at Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, please visit www.hotelmonteleone.com.

Since 1886, the Hotel Monteleone, www.hotelmonteleone.com, has proudly stood as one of the first landmarks in the famous French Quarter. The hotel is the Quarter’s largest full-service hotel, featuring 600 comfortable, luxurious guestrooms and suites. Hotel Monteleone is within walking-distance of some of New Orleans most famous attractions and is conveniently located 11 miles from the Louis Armstrong International Airport. Hotel Monteleone is a member of the Preferred Hotels® & Resorts, a consecutive AAA Four Diamond award-winner, and has won the J.D. Power and Associates Upscale Hotel Award for “An Outstanding Guest Experience.” The Hotel Monteleone celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011.

Kuala Lumpur Convention Center Contributed to Malaysia’s Better Ranking

Malaysia records highest ever number of meetings

The Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), the country’s premier convention facility, recorded an increase in international delegates by over 1,000 guests to 19,750 in 2011, compared with 18,725 in 2010.

Datuk Peter Brokenshire, General Manager, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre attributed the Centre’s continuing success to having a world-class facility staffed by a knowledgeable and experienced team who remain committed to putting the company’s vision of “turning heads by making a difference with a team of dedicated, connected professionals, striving for perfection and excellence to become the global market’s preferred choice where all things are possible”, into action.

“The steady increase in the number of delegates recorded over the last two years reinforces the Centre’s reputation, not only as a venue of choice in Malaysia, but also internationally. However, the continuing growth in head count signals the need for larger space. To meet this demand, the Centre has acquired 2,600 sqm of additional space through a semi-permanent marquee adjacent to the Centre known as Hall 6. This will enable us to accommodate larger exhibitions, conferences, concerts and other events,” said Brokenshire.

Brokenshire also applauded Tourism Malaysia and the Malaysia Convention and Exhibition Bureau’s (MyCEB)’s efforts to make the country a premier business tourism destination, and that Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur are starting to see the benefits of a fully functioning bureau and subvention fund.

According to the recently released International Convention & Conference Association’s (ICCA) Country and City Rankings Report 2011, Malaysia recorded her highest number of meetings to date with 126 association meetings, an increase of seven from the previous year’s (2010) 119. Of this, Kuala Lumpur took the lion’s share with 78 meetings.

Malaysia also reaffirmed her credentials in the Asia Pacific and Middle East region with a seventh placing, unchanged from the previous year (2010), and a global ranking of 29th place.

Kuala Lumpur leapfrogged Asian counterparts Hong Kong and Shanghai to improve on her global city ranking by two places, to 21st most popular city for international meetings, and by three positions to fifth in the Asia Pacific and Middle East region.

Since opening in June 2005 through to April 2012, the Centre has hosted 5,673 events and over 12.5 million delegates and visitors and in turn, has contributed approximately RM3.7 billion in economic impact to Kuala Lumpur city and Malaysia.

With members in 86 countries, ICCA is one of the most prominent organisations keeping track of the global meetings industry.

New Director of Global Sales Joins the DMC Network, LLC

SAN RAMON, CA – The DMC Network, LLC, is extremely proud to announce that Gina Rodigou, CMP, has been named to serve as the company’s new Director of Global Sales.

“Gina is a dynamic, resourceful, results-oriented hospitality professional, with a solid reputation for developing and facilitating client relationships. Her well-rounded industry experience in DMC’s, Hotels and CVB’s provides clients with a wealth of knowledge and insight to ensuring their meetings are successful. We are thrilled to have Gina as part of our growing organization.” said Dan Tavrytzky, Managing Director for the DMC Network.

As a hospitality industry veteran of over 20 years, Gina has a solid record of achieving business goals by building and maintaining mutually beneficial partnerships. She will join the DMC Network’s Executive Vice President of Business Development, Sean Kirkland, in providing clients a global resource to ensure that their programs are executed with precision from one destination to another.

She will represent the DMC Network and its top performing Destination Management Company (DMC) members in over 50 North American cities into the future.

Gina Rodigou, CMP, Director of Global Sales, DMC Network, LLC, stated that, “This is an ideal opportunity to be a connection and resource for our clients in enhancing their events around the globe. I am very excited to represent this highly accredited, professional network of Destination Management Companies.”

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

IMEX America 2012 – New Developments to Enhance Trade Show Experience for Buyer-Attendees

Having conducted extensive surveys and one-to-one feedback among both hosted buyers and buyer-attendees following the inaugural IMEX America last Fall, the IMEX Group is now set to introduce a range of new services and upgrades to enhance the trade show experience for both groups.

Last October almost 1,000 non-hosted industry buyers – known as buyer-attendees – visited the show to do business and take advantage of the free, business-focused tradeshow floor featuring over 1,800 exhibitors from 147 countries, the extensive free education program and multiple, high-level networking opportunities and co-located events.

At the launch show North American buyers were particularly enthusiastic in their appreciation and use of the IMEX online scheduling system as a business planning tool. This unique system allows all buyers to make their own, independent appointments with exhibitors of their choice. This year a personalized IMEX inbox is being introduced, which will collect all exhibitor messages to buyers into a single inbox on the IMEX website. By generating just one aggregated email per day to each buyer, the intention is to help all buyers manage exhibitor marketing information, emails and invitations to receptions and special events more systematically and effectively. This new streamlining of emails was tested at IMEX in Frankfurt this year among 50% of hosted buyers and met with a positive response and a measurable increase in the number of appointments achieved in the test group. The new IMEX inbox will be available to both hosted buyers and buyer-attendees allowing both groups to manage their time more effectively at the show.

Popular demand drives increase in networking and education opportunities

In addition, several new networking receptions will be built into the 2012 show to provide more opportunities for expanding professional business networks. MPI will take the lead by introducing an early evening reception for planners at the end of Smart Monday – Powered by MPI – on Oct.08.

Aside from the rainmaking opportunities at the show, all of IMEX America’s 100-plus professional development and education sessions are provided free of charge to all participants.. This means that all attendees can access the full education program on Smart Monday, Oct 08, plus each morning’s MPI keynote and a vast choice of other seminars and workshops taking place on the show floor, the LearningCurve Zone and the Sustainability Center. Smart Monday access also includes high-level education delivered by other partners and associations, including Site, ISES and ACTE; plus Association Focus – a conference within a conference for association meeting professionals and delivered by ASAE, ICCA and PCMA. The show’s initial ‘schedule at a glance’ for 2012 is now available online. Checking schedules and planning which sessions to attend will also be eased by further enhancements to the IMEX App and extended use of free wifi throughout the Sands Expo to all buyers.

Free shuttle bus service extended

Free shuttle-bus services are also being extended to buyer-attendees between their hotels, the Sands Expo and McCarran airport. In addition, preferential accommodation rates have been agreed with the show’s headquarters hotel, The Venetian®|The Palazzo®, offering bookings at $139 with no resort fee. Airline discounts are also available with IMEX America’s Official Airline – Delta – and similarly strong deals with Sky Team and Star Alliance airlines around the world.

Commenting on the planned changes to the trade show experience for buyer-attendees, Carina Bauer, CEO of the IMEX Group, says: “Our inaugural trade show made a really strong start and since then we have listened closely to make sure the changes we implement are well received and truly beneficial. At the end of the week, we want all visitors to feel they’ve received outstanding value and return on time and effort invested.”

Save the date for IMEX America 2012: Smart Monday – Powered by MPI – kicks off the week on October 08. The IMEX America trade show runs Oct 09 – 11 at the Sands Expo, Las Vegas and is followed by PCMA’s Global Professionals Conference, Oct 11-12.

Margaritaville and Resorts Casino Hotel Announce Plans to Open the first Margaritaville Casino and Entertainment Complex on the East Coast

(Atlantic City, NJ) – Margaritaville and Resorts Casino Hotel are now giving Atlantic City visitors their license to chill with an experience unlike any other on the East Coast. Governor Chris Christie announced today at a press conference on the Boardwalk in front of Resorts that Resorts will be adding a Margaritaville complex to the property which will open in May 2013.

“The Margaritaville project at Resorts is an amazing step forward for Atlantic City,” said Morris Bailey, owner of Resorts Casino Hotel. “Our investment coupled with the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville brand is a huge coup for Atlantic City and I am extremely proud to say it was Resorts and the state of New Jersey that made it happen.”

“This is easily one of the biggest things to happen to Atlantic City since the inception of gaming in 1978,” said Aaron Gomes, executive vice president of operations at Resorts Casino Hotel. “The Margaritaville and Jimmy Buffett brand is one of the most recognizable in the world and without a doubt will become the must-see attraction in Atlantic City.”

The Margaritaville complex at Resorts will completely embrace the lifestyle featuring a casino, restaurant, Five O’clock Somewhere Bar, retail stores, LandShark Bar and Grill, a year-round beach bar complex, and their first ever coffee shop. Additionally, Resorts Boardwalk façade will be re-themed with the Margaritaville brand.

“Today’s Margaritaville announcement is another great sign for Atlantic City and another important step forward in our efforts to revitalize Atlantic City as a premier resort and vacation destination,” said Governor Chris Christie. “The success of Atlantic City is critical to both the regional and state economics, which is why we have seen an unprecedented amount of investment and cooperation among all of the casinos, the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, and my Administration. The continued addition of world-class entertainment, retail and gaming offerings in the city illustrates the commitment of all partners to making this effort succeed. I congratulate both Resorts Casino Hotel and the Jimmy Buffett Margaritaville brand on making this a reality.”
“It is certainly no surprise to me that a huge flock of Parrotheads reside on the Jersey Shore,” said Jimmy Buffett, “I am very grateful for the years of support from some of our most die-hard fans in the country. Atlantic City is a historic beach town and I am very happy to be a part of helping it find its place again as a beach vacation destination. I’ll see you on the Shore.”

Additional information, a HD video of the announcement (available by 5 p.m. EST) and a downloadable rendering can be found at www.margaritavilleatlanticcity.com.

About Margaritaville
The atmosphere is inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, whose evocative songs inspire a cross-generational yearning for an island adventure. Comprised of retail shops, restaurants, consumer products, hotels, casinos, and even a national radio station on Sirius/XM, Margaritaville delivers a tropical experience where guests can enjoy the sights, sounds and tastes of their favorite destination regardless of their current latitude. Since launching its first location in Key West, Margaritaville has expanded to some of the most popular U.S. destinations, including: New Orleans, Orlando, Las Vegas, Myrtle Beach, Panama City Beach, Glendale, Mohegan Sun Casino, Nashville and Jimmy Buffett’s at The Beachcomber in Honolulu, Hawaii. Margaritaville Casinos can be found at the famed Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas; Biloxi, Mississippi opened in May 2012 and Bossier City, Louisiana scheduled to open in 2013. International locations can be found in the Caribbean, Mexico, the Republic of Panama and Canada with Australia coming soon. The Margaritaville Beach Hotel in Pensacola Beach, Florida opened in July 2010.

About Resorts Casino Hotel
The all new Resorts Casino Hotel was named the “2011 Casino of the Year” by the Philadelphia Daily News and Philly.com for their groundbreaking and unique initiatives throughout their inaugural year. For more information on Resorts Casino Hotel visit www.resortsac.com or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/resortscasino or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/resortscasino.
Resorts Casino Hotel is a full destination resort located on the beach and Boardwalk featuring 942 hotel rooms in two towers, seven dining options, two theaters, spa, salon, health club, pool and more than five bars and lounges.