Monthly Archives: October 2017

Brand USA to Feature Seattle Southside in International Tourism Video

Region to Profit Through Promotion, Increased Business and New Jobs

The Seattle Southside region received some international star treatment in July when Brand USA – the United States destination marketing organization – featured the region in captivating short videos aimed at attracting international visitors from around the world.

The videos were filmed in partnership with Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority.

To show the diversity of the destination, Seattle Southside highlights to appear in the Brand USA video include Burien Town Square and Seahurst Park in Burien, Wash.; Saltwater State Park in Des Moines, Wash and Lake Sammaish State Park; Angle Lake Park and the Highline Botanical Garden in SeaTac, Wash.; the Des Moines Farmers Market in Des Moines, Wash.; and Westfield Southcenter Mall in Tukwila, Wash.

Brand USA was established by Congress in 2010 to promote the U.S. as
a premier travel destination for international visitors. Being featured by Brand USA allows Seattle Southside to profit by:

  1. Promoting their local story directly to international travelers through enticing, affordable, authentic and high-quality multimedia.
  2. Increasing business for area hotels, restaurants, attractions, retail and family-owned businesses, which generates Seattle Southside area tax revenues.
  3. Helping create jobs locally.

“Seattle Southside combines the distinctive appeal of many experiences from historic Main Street destinations to beautiful parks and gardens, locally grown produce and big city shopping,” said Katherine Kertzman, President and CEO of Seattle Southside Regional Tourism Authority. “Seattle Southside’s timeless splendor and emerging economic diversity continue to define its inimitable personality, which we will bring to life through these videos in partnership with Brand USA.”

“The enthusiasm for learning about the USA abroad is as strong as it’s ever been,” said Tom Garzilli, Brand USA’s chief marketing officer. “We have the strategy of talking about the iconic places and experiences that make the USA unique, and Seattle Southside is an exceptional destination.”

According to a study released by Oxford Economics, over the past three years, Brand USA’s marketing efforts have generated more than 3 million incremental international visitors to the United States, benefiting the U.S. economy with nearly $21 billion in total economic impact, which has supported, on average, 50,000 incremental jobs each year.

The videos like the one in which Seattle Southside will appear showcase activities and interests unique to the target travelers based upon Brand USA’s extensive research. Brand USA will distribute the videos using their own direct-to-consumer marketing channels:

About Brand USA

Brand USA, the destination marketing organization for the United States, was established by the Travel Promotion Act as the nation’s first public-private partnership to promote the United States as a premier travel destination and to communicate U.S. entry/exit policies and procedures to worldwide travelers. The organization’s mission is to increase international visitation to the USA in order to fuel the U.S. economy and enhance the image of the United States worldwide. Brand USA works in close partnership with more than 500 partners to maximize the economic and social benefits of travel. Formed as the Corporation for Travel Promotion in 2010, the public-private entity began operations in May 2011 and does business as Brand USA.

For industry or partner information about Brand USA, visit TheBrandUSA.com. For information about exceptional and unexpected travel experiences in the United States, please visit Brand USA’s consumer website VisitTheUSA.com.

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) Adds Three New Member Hotels to its Southeast U.S. Collection

Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI) has expanded its worldwide portfolio and Southeast U.S. options with the recent addition of three new member hotels. This includes:  the 450-room The Guest House at Graceland resort, which opened in October 2016 in Memphis, Tennessee; the oceanfront 404-room Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort on the Northeast Florida coast; and the grand new Hotel Bennett, opening in early spring 2018 in scenic Charleston, South Carolina. The ALHI Global Sales Organization now represents the hotels to the North American and European meetings, conventions and incentive market, according to ALHI’s Chief Sales Officer Mark Sergot.

ALHI features a distinguished portfolio of more than 250 luxury-level and upper-upscale hotels and resorts worldwide, plus 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. All of ALHI’s member hotels and resorts are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand, and specialize in serving the Meetings, Incentives, Conventions/Conferences and Exhibitions/Events (M.I.C.E.) marketplace.

“These three new members are very special and unique in their own way, with terrific appeal to both meeting and incentive groups,” said Sergot. “Located on beautifully landscaped property just a few steps from the gates of Elvis’ renowned Graceland, The Guest House at Graceland is a wonderful new option for planners. Featuring a truly picturesque setting overlooking the Atlantic, Omni Amelia Island Plantation provides world-class accommodations, indoor and outdoor event facilities and on-site offerings. While the elegant Hotel Bennett will open this spring in historic and beloved Charleston. We are proud to showcase these fine properties to meeting professionals, incentive specialists and business executives throughout North America and Europe.”

Inspired by the iconic Graceland Mansion, the AAA Four-Diamond The Guest House at Graceland opened this past fall as the most significant enhancement to Graceland since it opened to the public in 1982, and was the largest hotel project in Memphis in over 90 years. In addition to the 450 beautifully appointed and spacious guest rooms and suites, the resort hotel offers more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space, which includes the 10,700-square-foot Grand Ballroom and a state-of-the-art 464-seat theater which is perfect for group presentations and live events. Known for its warm Southern hospitality, the resort also features two full-service restaurants with indoor/outdoor seating, a lobby bar, an expansive outdoor pool, and a manicured lawn space that can accommodate a 400-person tent for outdoor events. The resort is just three miles from Memphis International Airport (MEM).

Nestled on 1,350 acres at the tip of a barrier island just off the Northeast Florida coast, Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort features 404 oceanfront guest rooms, each featuring a private balcony or patio facing the ocean. The legendary destination resort also offers 80,000 square feet of versatile meeting space, which includes a new 16,825-square-foot ballroom, 13,200 square feet of pre-function space and a new 11,000-square-foot event lawn.  In addition, the hotel features 10 restaurants, world-class resort pools, 54 holes of championship golf, a full-service spa, 23 tennis courts, kayaking, paddle boarding, and many other recreational options. The resort is 45 minutes from downtown Jacksonville, and 29 miles from Jacksonville International Airport. Private and corporate aircraft charters also can fly directly to Fernandina Beach Municipal Airport, just four miles north of the resort.

Slated to debut this spring, the exceptional new Hotel Bennett features an ideal location on picturesque Marion Square, the most famous green space in the city, which is the site for such events as the Charleston Wine + Food Festival and the popular Charleston Farmer’s Market. Blending unparalleled luxury with a prominent setting, the grand hotel is located on a historic site that formerly housed the Charleston Library and the original west wing of The Citadel. In addition to offering 179 finely-appointed guest rooms and suites with custom furnishings, the hotel will feature 9,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space, which will include a 6,600-square-foot ballroom, a terrace overlooking Marion Square, and event spaces with sweeping city views. Plus, the hotel will have a two-tiered restaurant offering outdoor dining, a rooftop pool, a spa, a retail shop and a lobby bar. Charleston International Airport (CHS) is just 20 minutes away.

The Guest House at Graceland becomes ALHI’s second member hotel in Memphis, joining the world-famous and legendary The Peabody Memphis. Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort becomes ALHI’s fourth option in Northeast Florida, joining the dazzling 193-room One Ocean Resort & Spa, the graceful and stylish 66-room The Lodge & Club at Ponte Vedra Beach and the AAA Five-Diamond, 249-room Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. Hotel Bennett is ALHI’s second member in Charleston, joining the sophisticated 434-room Belmond Charleston Place.

For more information about ALHI, any of its member hotels and resorts or Global Luxury Alliance members worldwide, contact your nearest ALHI Global Sales Office. For specific contacts, go to alhi.com to identify the nearest “ALHI Team” sales professionals in your area. Or, call the “ALHI Group Desk” toll-free in the U.S. at 866-303-ALHI (2544), and visit alhi.com .

About ALHI, with 250 Hotels & Resorts + Alliance Members

ALHI, established in 1986, is the leading independent Global Sales Organization serving the meetings and incentive marketplace, providing one-call access for its distinguished membership of more than 250 luxury-level hotels and resorts, which are either independent or are with an independent hotel brand. Hired and authorized by member properties, ALHI features a distinctive portfolio of exquisite resorts, luxury-level city center business hotels, historic grand landmark hotels, lifestyle hotels, and boutique hotels. ALHI’s portfolio also features a Global Luxury Alliance partnership including 23 luxury cruise ships appropriate for meetings and incentive programs, and Destination Management Companies (DMCs) in 100-plus locations worldwide. ALHI offers 21 Global Sales offices in the U.S., Canada and now London, providing extensive Global Sales services, valuable expertise, local connectivity, market intelligence, and account advocacy for meetings and incentive programs of any size and scope worldwide, at no cost to accounts. alhi.com

Prague Congress Center presents the new exhibition hall and Pankrác Square

The International Architectural and Urban Competition of the New PCC has its winner and the public knows the winning design. The subject of the competition was the completion of a new exhibition hall for the Prague Congress Center and its surrounding area. Today, the public knows the names of the winners and the form of the winning design.

“For a long time, the Congress Centre has been unable to meet high demands for exhibition and congress areas, and therefore it needs a new hall. However, it is also important to address the entire area around the Prague Congress Centre so that it can serve more efficiently to people. We received a lot of designs and I am glad that a lot of them were of high quality and I believe that we eventually really picked the best one, “says Prague Mayor Adriana Krnáčová.

The first prize was awarded to the design of a young OCA studio from Barcelona run by Marc Subirana, Hernan Lleida Ruiz, Biela Susanna and Bernard Garcia. They commented on their participation “We   have set up our office to extend our work and opportunities beyond the local context of Barcelona or Catalonia. In this case, it was especially motivating that we could contribute to the building of such significance in a historic city like Prague. It was a challenge when we realized how complex this task is, and that it means not only to solve the functionality of the building but also to create an intensive public space. This is the key aspect of our design.”The second prize was received by Francisco Jorquera’s team from Palma de Mallorca.

An eleven-member jury, with its chairman, architect Petr Hlaváček, chose from big number of received anonymous designs in the two-round competition. The competition was opened to participants from all over the world – 76 teams from 23 countries sent their designs. It represents the work of at least four hundred architects, planners, engineers and other professionals.
All designs will be exhibited in the Prague Congress Center from 13th to 19th September and 23th September to 5th October 2017, South foyer, entrance 10, daily from 12-7 p.m.

The jury consisted of representatives of PCC – Mayor of Prague and Vice-Chairman of the Supervisory Board Adriana Krnáčová, Chairman of the Board of Directors Radim Haluz, General Director Roman Ray Straub, supported by Mark Kopec from IPR (Prague Institute of Planning and Development) and Councilor of Prague 4, Alžběta Rejchrtová.

The architectural professionals were represented by Petr Hlaváček and Ivan Kroupa, together with Elias Zenghelis from Greece, Mathias Müller from Switzerland and substitutes Viktoria Součková and Tomáš Koumár. Petr Hlaváček summarizes their collective work: “Great foreign juries with younger substitutes, keen representatives of the investor and politicians. In spite of the great diversity of the approaches of individual jurors, we largely acted in concord. I suppose that when a jury agreed on one design, it has the potential to captivate the public and other participants in the process.”

Elia Zenghelis, co-founder of the famous OMA office and currently a professor at Yale School of Architecture, said about the winning team after the competition: “The original building of the Prague Congress Centers has to deal with the identity of a very impressive monument of the Communist era, which must be re-formulated. This includes a new look, a position within the city and a connection to a complex traffic situation. This complexity has been mastered by the authors of the winning design.”

From the 76 proposals mentioned above, the jury selected the best six in March. The chosen authors further elaborated their designs for the second round. The authors of the awarded designs will be, in addition to receiving the financial reward, invited to further negotiation procedures without a publication in which the contract assignment will be decided. Four other teams that have not reached the prize will receive a sketch fee for participating in the second round. Since the third prize was not awarded, this amount was evenly distributed among the finalists.

The 1st prize:

OCA / Bernardo García, Marc Subirana, Biel Susanna, Hernan Lleida; cooperation: Joaquim Sellas, Play-Time architectonic image, Anabel Lazaro, Josep Ramon Rius, Silvia Juventeny, Simona Sulcová, Alfambra copisteria and Francesc Villena (Barcelona, España)

The 2nd prize:

Francisco Jorquera; cooperation: Catalina Riera, Sebastiano Rossi, Juan Jorquera, Cubic consultors (Palma de Mallorca, España)

Further finalists:

TAKENAKA EUROPE / Peter Mulík, Václav Sobolík, Haruka Fuji, Adam Huleja, Peter Chládek, Ivana Jedrzejková, Tomáš Jelínek, Eliška Křížová, Lenka Marečková, Tomáš Palkovský, Martin Šťastný; cooperation: Vladislav Bureš, Václav Mach, Jiří Petlach, Aranka Vondráčková (Prague, Czech Republic)

Szymon Rozwałka, Rudolf Müller, Martin Křivánek;cooperation: Anna Glajc, Barbora Jurčíková, Oliver Kažimír, Petra Krajčová, Matúš Peklanský; technical cooperation: Eva Fajkusová, Pavel Hladík, Jiří Janoušek, Stanislav Král, Ondřej Navrátil, Albert Novák, Petr Preininger, Luboš Zbranek (Brno, Czech Republic)

Office of Adrian Phiffer / Dimitrios Karopoulos, Saarinen Balagengatharadilak, Diana Franco Camacho, Michael DeGirolamo, Chloe Leung, Liusaidh Macdonald, Duc Anh Nguyen; cooperation: Silman Structural Engineers / Nat Oppenheimer, Aniket Zarekar; Transsolar / Linda Lam; Lam & Associates / Alex Tan, Patrick Lam; Propos Liberec; Martin Hejl (Toronto, Canada)

FAR frohn & rojas / Marc Frohn; cooperation: Treibhaus Landschaftsarchitektur Berlin / Deniz Dizici; Wetzel & von Seht / David Fuentes Abolafio, Wolfgang Keen; pin planende ingenieure / Norbert Müller; ARGUS Stadt und Verkehr / Christoph Ludwig (Berlin, Deutschland)