Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina is one of many properties in the Fort Myers-Sanibel area that are offering incentives for meetings. Photo by Beaches of Fort Myers-Sanibel.


Book your meeting by December 22 and stay by December 31, 2020 at any of these participating Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, FL properties and receive a $3 room rebate per actualized room up to $5,000. Created by the Visitor & Convention Bureau (VCB), the program for new bookings (only) will also cover destinations besides those in Lee County. Fort Myers venues include Crowne Plaza Fort Myers At Bell Tower Shops, Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, Drury Inn & Suites, and the new Luminary Hotel & Co., Autograph Collection (which is slated to open in September). Captiva Island properties include South Seas Island Resort and ‘Tween Waters Inn Island Resort. Two Fort Myers Beach properties are Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina and DiamondHead Beach Resort. Other meetings properties are: Embassy Suites Hotel (Estero), Gasparilla Inn & Club (Boca Grande),   Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort and Spa (Bonita Springs), The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village (Cape Coral), and Sundial Beach Resort & Spa (Sanibel Island).;

Caribe Royale Orlando has BOGO packages.

You still have until September 30 to take advantage of Caribe Royale Orlando’s Summer BOGO 50% Off Package. The Orlando, FL package includes Buy 1, Get 1 off your nightly room rate, 50% off self-parking (a savings of $7.50 plus tax, per night), and two specialty coffees and two bagels, muffins or croissants daily at Java’s Coffee Café or Café 24. Travel must be used by September 30. A daily $25 plus tax, per night resort fee will be added. Caribe Royale Orlando has a “Travel with Confidence Cancellation Policy” that permits cancelling without penalty up to 24-hours prior to arrival.

Pink Shell Beach Resort & Marina is one of many properties in the Fort Myers-Senibel area that are offering incentives for meetings.

The Inn on Fifth and Club Level Suites, a luxurious AAA Four-Diamond, Forbes Four-Star boutique hotel in downtown Naples, FL, has a three-night Labor Day package that includes daily breakfast and $100 credit at onsite restaurant Ocean Prime, along with other perks. Additional package amenities include a complimentary bottle of wine and cheese plate in room upon arrival, poolside Continental breakfast for two people each morning, complimentary use of beach chairs and private golf cart transportation to/from Naples’ white sand beaches, and a late checkout on Sept. 7.


Call it a “sign” of the times. During the pandemic, more businesses are finding it necessary to have clients sign liability waivers. For WaiverSign, Resmark Systems (Salt Lake City, UT), their intuitive, contactless product created in 2013 has become increasingly important. One feature generating enthusiasm is the “Event Management” feature, which allows business owners to set up specific events, associate them with a date, even assign a coordinator. This feature has been quite useful for hotels for events. Another strong feature is being able to customize questions, according to Kate Tucker, WaiverSign’s Business Development Manager. “An example is the ability to offer clients check boxes and even the ability to ask a question where you can have several answers. It can be programmed where the user can just select one answer. I’ve seen this come into play with specific COVID waivers with business owners presenting COVID symptoms and asking their clients/customers to select any symptoms they’ve been exhibiting or if they’ve been exposed to someone with COVID.” WaiverSign is being used by spas, salons, rental agreements, facility use agreements, amenity agreements, damage release forms, an even consent forms for image use with photography and videography. The digital program has proved useful as a COVID screening tool. “The business owner is relaying COVID language and rules per their state and then asking people to check if they’ve been exposed or not, whether or not they are exhibiting symptoms, and ensuring they can abide by the COVID mitigation protocols that the organization has in place,” says Tucker, adding that with this contactless system, businesses can place the waiver link on their websites, send the link out in confirmation emails or texts, and also tie the waiver to a QR code on personal mobile devices.; (877) 741-7705.


The renovations for the Westin Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village will be completed by the end of 2020, a full year earlier than expected.

When do you ever hear of a renovation being done sooner than anticipated? The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village (Cape Coral, FL) wasn’t expected to be finished with its renovation until December 2021. If you’re looking for any silver linings, the Covid-19 pushed construction and now the $15 million renovation should be finished by December 2020, a full year earlier. The renovation includes increasing room inventory and a new design inspired by the concept of biophilia, “a belief that people have an innate need to connect with nature”, said Michael Tighe, general manager.

Get ready for easier travel from Los Angeles, CA and Seattle, WA to Southwest Florida when Alaska Airlines begins its new service in late November.  Alaska Airlines will fly between Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), starting November 21 and from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) on November 20.

The 11th revised edition of USALI by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) has just released a digital version that is available through a subscription service. The internationally popular guide’s primary purpose is to offer operating statements formatted to provide hotel owners, managers and other interested parties with operational information pertinent to the lodging industry. The first USALI was published in 1926. HFTP purchased the copyright to the USALI in 2018. HFTP Deputy CEO Thomas Atzenhofer, CPA said, “Since HFTP purchased the copyright, we have actively worked to raise the profile of the USALI, by participating with the Global Finance Committee in the revision process for a 12th revised edition and introducing two professional USALI Certificates.”; (512) 220-4020.


The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel, FL have launched a free podcast called Shell (available wherever you listen to podcasts) to keep potential visitors up to date on activities and venues.


The challenge for hospitality program students across the globe this summer asked participants to tackle COVID-19 head-on and address the challenges it has posed to all sectors of the hospitality, travel and tourism industry, and to develop solutions to move it forward. The first-time Hilton College Hospitality Hackathon,sponsored by University of Houston Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management, in partnership with Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), drew 29 entries. Participating students represented 32 undergraduate and graduate programs from international hospitality schools. Submitted solutions were reviewed by an esteemed panel of 15 judges representing various sectors of hospitality. Ten undergraduate finalists and eight graduate finalists were(virtually) named August 8. “The response to our first HC3 Hilton College Hospitality Hackathon from hospitality programs around the world has been nothing short of remarkable,” said Dr. Dennis Reynolds, dean of the University of Houston Hilton College. “The creativity, thoughtfulness and innovation demonstrated by both graduate and undergraduate students alike made this a tough task for our distinguished panel of industry judges. These hacks can now be used to have an immediate impact on our industry. Based on these entries alone, the future leadership of our industry is in great hands and I am beyond proud that Hilton College is leading the way to help benefit our industry during this unprecedented challenging time.” First place teams each received a $3,000 USD scholarship to be divided equally among members. They were also interviewed in special editions of No Vacancy podcast with Glenn Haussman.

For a full list of winners and to see their videos, visit

Karen Kuzsel is a writer-editor based in the Orlando area who specializes in the hospitality, entertainment, meetings & events industries.  She is an active member of ILEA and MPI and is now serving on the 2019 – 2020 MPI Global Advisory Board for The Meeting Professional Magazine for the second consecutive year. Karen writes about food & wine, spas, destinations, venues, meetings & events. A career journalist, she 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.;; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.