Planners, grab whatever you use for note taking. Not sure which is hotter right now: global climate changes or the hotel and destination deals being offered. Here’s a sample of what’s happening.
SIZZLING SUMMERTIME HOTEL HOT DEALS
Norman’s at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes sweetens their deal with a gift card. Book a $5,000 meeting by August 31 and get a $150 gift card, but go for the gusto with a $10,000 party and get double dollars on that gift card. Laura Fletcher has all the details. Laura@Normans.com; (407) 393-4343.
Book any of the four Gaylord Palms hotels by July 21, stay by September 30th, and you will receive savings of 15% off plus a $25 Hotel Credit. Now here’s the part where I sound like one of those late night informercial promos: Wait! There’s More! Yes, there is more. Kids eat FREE all summer long. Anyone who knows Gaylord Palms properties knows there are many, many dining and entertainment options. (800) 228-9290. Ask for promotional code F8L or book online.
If summer is your time to plan for your fall meetings, check out the incentives Pine Mountain, GA is offering at Callaway Gardens®. Book your 25+ group stay from a August 1 through February 1 of 2015 fulfillment and here what your All Fall Complete Meeting Package will include in addition to unlimited admission to Callaway Gardens and its many attractions.
- Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Morning and Afternoon Breaks
- Gardens Admission each day of stay and day of departure
- Accommodations in the Mountain Creek® Inn
- General session meeting room
- All taxes and gratuities
Callaway Gardens is 60 minutes southwest of Atlanta and 30 minutes north of Columbus. (800) 225-2592; www.callawaygardens.com
You have until August 31 to stay at any of more than 100 international hotels in the Design Hotels™ collection and receive major discounts or incentives such as buying 5 nights and getting two for free. There is also a 15% commission up for grabs. The offers vary as much as the individually-styled exotic destinations and luxurious boutique hotels. If you need company, I might be able to get my bags packed quickly. https://www.designhotels.com/deals/commission?utm_source=2403260&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_content=commission-ad&utm_campaign=summerspecials
THESE GADGETS ARE MADE FOR WALKING, TALKING & PLANNING
Explore St. Louis this summer during its 250th birthday year with the city’s new easy-to-operate digital St. Louis Lost and Found audio tour. It’ll be like listening to God telling you about the creation of the earth, except that the voices you hear may be impersonators of humorist-storyteller Mark Twain, baseball legend Stan Musial, St Louis city founder Pierrre Laclede, or even freed slave Dred Scott, regaling you with the entertaining and informative history of the Gateway City. Creator Randy Tankersley says he wants “Visitors to really feel the past come to life through our tour’s storytellers and hear historic moments as if they were standing next to Mark Twain, Stan Musial and others from our past.” Like with most audio tours, this one hints at places to tour, such as the historic Old Courthouse; America’s first modern skyscraper, the Wainwright Building; and of course, the city’s iconic Gateway Arch. Pick up the palm-sized $15.95 keepsake device at the St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission’s downtown visitor centers in Kiener Plaza and at select hotel gift shops, museums and other retail locations. The complete St. Louis Lost and Found tour audio also is available via the iTunes music store for $9.99. www.StoriedWalk.com
I’m not a Meeting Planner, but I know many who spend a lot of time booking resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean, so this info may be of value. IBEROSTAR invites you to become a Meeting Specialist for their 19 all-inclusive resorts in Mexico and the Caribbean with their new instant-access planning tools. The info will short-circuit your search for which property and amenities will best suit your group, no matter the size. http://iberostarmeetingspecialist.com/user/register
NEW & REINVENTED RESORTS & DESTINATIONS
I have friends who will want to stay at the Renaissance Dallas Hotel just because they’re crazy about pink. Not the singer Pink, but the color of the 156 tons of Marble Falls Pink Granite that decorates the hotel’s exterior and is the splash of color in the new 50,000 sf meeting and event space that opens July 14. The 514-guestroomed Dallas hotel shares its love for the Marble Falls Pink Granite with other Texas landmarks, such as the Texas State Capitol, the Galveston Seawall, and the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The centerpiece of the new space will be a 16,000-sf Grand Ballroom (1,500, seated). Directly above the new ballroom, the redo of the City View Room and City View Rooftop Terrace will include an additional 10,900 sf of indoor and outdoor space. The renovation of the rooftop spaces will reopen September 1. www.facebook.com/RenaissanceHotels
Tourism accounts for one job per 100 visitors to The Palm Beaches in South Florida. Those visitors spend an average of $1,100 apiece. No wonder construction catering to tourists has been booming.
- Construction of the 403-room Palm Beach County Convention Center Hilton Hotel began December, 2013 and will be completed in 2016. The hotel directly connects to the 350,000-sf Palm Beach County Convention Center.
- The completely reinvented Waterstone Resort & Marina, a DoubleTree by Hilton has just opened. The property includes 139 guest rooms, several restaurants, a marina and on-site watersports.
- Coming this September to Jupiter’s Intracoastal Waterway, the 179-room Wyndham Grand Jupiter will serve as anchor to Harbourside Place. The hotel offers more than 15,000 sf of event space, a rooftop pool, a signature restaurant and a 31-slip marina.
- Also in Jupiter, the anticipated June opening of the Courtyard Palm Beach Jupiter will include 125 guestrooms, nearly 2,500 sf of event space, a restaurant, coffee shop, full service bar and an outdoor swimming pool.
- By year’s end, the 95-room Fairfield Inn Delray Beach should open
- Also by the end of 2014, look for the opening of a 152-room Marriott Residence Inn in downtown West Palm Beach.
The surf’s up in Huntington Beach, CA and alongside it, a new hotel is rising from the ground. The eight-story, 250-room luxury Paséa Hotel & Spa will be integrated with the 191,000 sf Pacific City retail and entertainment center. The complex is expected to open in early 2016. In Spanish, paséa means to take a stroll, and combines the words “Pacific” and “sea,” evoking a slow and steady pace… an appropriate vision for its location adjacent to the beach. The Paséa Hotel & Spa rooms will have ocean views and the Balinese-inspired spa will have both indoor and outdoor treatment rooms. A rooftop deck and bar will overlook the Pacific Ocean. The property will include 25,000 sf of event space, including an 8,700-sf ballroom and 6,000-sf event lawn, and 10 meeting rooms of various sizes. Pacific Hospitality Group (PHG) will manage the property as a part of its growing Meritage Collection, which includes independent hotels, resorts, wineries, and golf courses in California’s most desirable travel destinations, including Napa Valley, Newport Beach, Santa Barbara, and La Jolla. www.meritagecollection.com
Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries. She is a Contributing Editor-Writer for Prevue Magazine and is an active member of ISES and MPI. She writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, Karen has owned magazines, written for newspapers, trade publications, radio and TV. As her alter-ego, Natasha, The Psychic Lady, she is a featured entertainer for corporate and social events. email@example.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady