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Renovation Slated for Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk (9/14/2007)

TAMPA, FLA. —Discussions are in the works for a meeting space, guest room and lobby upgrade at the Sheraton Tampa Riverwalk Hotel.

The property houses 293 guest units and about 12,000 square feet of meeting space.

Albuquerque CVB Expands, Promotes Sales Team (9/13/2007)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.—The Albuquerque CVB (ACVB) added a new member to its sales staff and promoted several of its existing employees.

K.C. Flores, formerly an account manager for Coca-Cola, was named convention sales manager.

Anita Sahi was promoted to senior national sales manager, non-center.

Monique Lucero, the organization’s former convention sales assistant, was promoted to convention services coordinator.

Bonnie Miller, formerly the bureau’s convention services manager, was promoted to national sales manager.

Holiday Inn Ontario Airport to Open (9/13/2007)

ONTARIO, CALIF. —The Holiday Inn Ontario Airport is scheduled to open in October here.

The hotel, located two blocks from the L.A./Ontario International Airport, will house 180 guest rooms and 5,000 square feet of meeting space.

La Quinta Coming to Downtown Chicago (9/13/2007)

DALLAS —La Quinta Inns & Suites recently broke ground in Chicago’s financial district on the La Quinta Inn & Suites-Chicago Downtown.

The hotel is expected to open in fall 2008 with 241 guest rooms, two meeting rooms, a business center, and an indoor pool.

Las Vegas Hotel Workers Authorize Strike (9/13/2007)

LAS VEGAS —Unions representing more than 8,000 culinary and laundry workers employed by a host of Nevada hotels voted Sept. 12 to authorize a strike. The vote was 99 percent in favor of authorization.

The potential strike would affect workers involved with the Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and the Bartenders Union Local 165.

The unions claim to have resources to fund a strike, with more than $80 million in their coffers to support the action and even more funds available from supporters.

If workers vote to authorize a strike, the following hotels in Las Vegas may be affected: Binion’s, El Cortez Fitzgerald’s Casino & Hotel, Four Queens Hotel & Casino, Fremont Hotel & Casino, Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino, Jerry’s Nugget Casino, Las Vegas Club, Las Vegas Hilton Margaritaville, Main Street Station Hotel Casino, Brewery Sahara Hotel Casino, and Stratosphere Plaza Tropicana.

Union officials say they hope to reach a settlement with the hotels.

In related news, the culinary members of Reno’s Grand Sierra Resort voted to authorize a strike Aug. 30, but have yet to act on the vote.

Starwood Taps New CEO (9/13/2007)

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y.—Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide appointed Frits van Paasschen its new CEO, effective Sept. 24.

Van Paasschen brings more than 20 years of experience to his new position and most recently worked as the CEO of Coors Brewing Company.

He replaces Bruce Duncan, Starwood’s chairman of the board, who served as interim CEO since April when Steven J. Heyer resigned.

Upgrades Planned for Chicago-Area Hyatt (9/13/2007)

CHICAGO—Plans are in the works for a complete renovation of the Hyatt Regency Woodfield, located 30 miles from Chicago in Schaumburg, Ill., to begin early next year.

The project is planned to improve the property’s guest rooms, public space and meeting space, and add a ballroom.

The hotel offers 470 guest rooms and more than 27,000 square feet of meeting space.

Upgrades Planned for Lake Las Vegas’ MonteLago Village Resort (9/13/2007)

LAKE LAS VEGAS, NEV. —The 347-unit MonteLago Village Resort, located here, plans to open its new Riva di Lago Events Center next spring.

The new space will house 3,829 square feet of meeting space, bringing the resort’s total up to about 10,000 square feet of group gathering space.

Facelift Planned for Kona Beach Resort (9/12/2007)

KONA, HAWAII —Discussions are in the works for a guest room renovation at the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Resort, located here.

The project is anticipated to take six months and affect all 310 guest rooms.

The resort offers a 6,900-square-foot conference room and adjoining function space for group gatherings.

Kansas City Radisson Becomes a Crowne Plaza (9/12/2007)

KANSAS CITY, MO. —The Hotel Group purchased Kansas City’s Radisson Hotel and reflagged it The Crowne Plaza Hotel Kansas City Downtown Sept. 5.

A $12 million overhaul is slated for the hotel, with plans to upgrade nearly every part of the property.

The hotel offers guests 388 rooms and 13,000 square feet of meeting space.

$315 Million Expansion Slated for Gaylord Texan (9/10/2007)

NASHVILLE, TENN. —The city of Grapevine, Texas, gave Gaylord Hotels & Resorts the go-ahead on a massive expansion to the Gaylord Texan Resort and Convention Center, located in Grapevine.

The project’s plans are still subject to finalizing approval, but if given the green light, Gaylord plans to begin construction on a $315 million expansion next year and finish it in 2010.

The project will add 500 guest rooms and 200,000 square feet of meeting space to the resort, resulting in a property with approximately 2,000 guest rooms and 600,000 square feet of convention space.

Ardent Assumes Management of North Carolina Sheraton (9/10/2007)

SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. —Ardent Hotel Advisors, formerly Opus Hospitality Advisors, signed on to manage the Sheraton Atlantic Beach Oceanfront Hotel in Atlantic Beach, N.C.

The property features 200 guest rooms, 9,000 square feet of meeting space and a 600-foot private fishing pier.

British Columbia’s Tourism Richmond Expands Staff (9/10/2007)

RICHMOND, BRITISH COLUMBIA —Ed Gavsie was named director of visitor and member services for Tourism Richmond [British Columbia], located 13 miles south of Vancouver, British Columbia.

Gavsie most recently worked as co-founder and vice president of Universal Learning Institute in Richmond.

Facelift of Santa Fe’s Eldorado Hotel Nears Completion (9/10/2007)

SANTA FE, N.M. —The Eldorado Hotel & Spa, located here, plans to finish a $10.5 million renovation project in November.

The project includes the refurbishment of the hotel’s guest rooms, lobby, fitness center, and meeting space.

The hotel houses 219 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Grossman Inducted into FLA Hall of Fame (9/10/2007)

BOCA RATON, FLA.—Nicki Grossman, president and CEO of the Greater Fort Lauderdale CVB, was inducted into the Florida Tourism Hall of Fame during the 40th annual Governor’s Conference on Tourism, held Aug. 26-28 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Palm Beach County.

The Hall of Fame was established in 2001 by Visit Florida—the state’s official tourism marketing corporation—to honor industry leaders who’ve made a significant impact on Florida’s development as a desirable destination. And if crowd reaction was any indication, Grossman more than fit the bill.

Under her leadership, tourism in Greater Fort Lauderdale has experienced record-breaking growth and a successful transition to a multifaceted, year-round resort and business locale. Among the many highlights of her career, she served as vice chair of the Super Bowl Host Committee and was instrumental in bringing the event to South Florida in 2007 and again in 2010. In addition, she helped create the Superior Small Lodging program, which was so successful it was later adapted by Visit Florida to market small hotels throughout the state.

Beyond her professional achievements, Grossman is a popular fixture at industry events, known for her contagious enthusiasm and fearless wit, which was on prominent display at the Governor’s Conference.

“I didn’t realize I was old enough to get this,” she quipped upon receiving her award.

Hurricane Henriette Spares Los Cabos (9/10/2007)

LOS CABOS, MEXICO—Hurricane Henriette, a Category 1 storm, showered Baja California’s Los Cabos resort area Sept. 4, leaving the destination’s tourism infrastructure intact and departing with only a relatively small amount of debris in its wake.

According to tourism officials, the destination closed its airport Sept. 4 and re-opened it Sept. 5.

Visitors were ordered to stay in their hotels during the storm.

Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel to Open (9/10/2007)

BOSTON —The Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel is slated to open in January 2008 in the South Boston Waterfront District.

The hotel will offer 471 guest rooms and 20,736 square feet of meeting space.

Upgrades Set for Austin Omni (9/10/2007)

IRVING, TEXAS —Plans are under way for a $10 million guest room renovation at the Omni Austin Hotel Downtown, with an completion date set for early next year.

The 20-story property offers 375 guest rooms and 20,000 square feet of meeting space.

Wyndham Reflags Lakeside Princeton Hotel (9/10/2007)

PRINCETON, N.J. —Wyndham Hotels and Resorts assumed management of the Lakeside Princeton Conference Center & Hotel and renamed it The Wyndham Princeton Forrestal Hotel & Conference Center.

The recently renovated property, located about five miles away from Princeton in Plainsboro, N.J., offers groups 364 guest rooms, 62,000 square feet of IACC-certified meeting space and a 400-seat auditorium.

The Chattanoogan Completes Renovations (9/9/2007)

CHATTANOOGA, TENN. —Benchmark Hospitality recently finished updating The Chattanoogan, located here.

Updates were applied to the hotel’s guest rooms, lobby and The Foundry Bar.

The hotel offers 199 guest rooms and 25,000 square feet of meeting space.

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