Journey Mexico, known for representing luxury villas in elite Mexican locales, has noticed that families and group of friends are being motivated to book longer-term stays, motivated by a need to get away to work and play without being surrounded by unwelcome company. Corporate and social clients are now asking for upgraded technology, technology purchases (e.g monitors, routers), private tutors, private transportation, extra-curricular activities for after school, and exciting weekend planning. Their recent offerings reflect that need. For instance, the 12-bedroom beachside Casa Tau in the exclusive Punta Mita area sleeps 27. Abutting a jungle, it comes with a bilingual staff of an estate manager, four butlers, sous chefs, and 12 full-time room attendants. An open-air palapa with front-row access overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The villa recently hosted the new Netflix reality series, “Too Hot To Handle.” There’s a 75” TV, fully equipped gym, and the stay includes access to nearby attractions and venues.
You have until October 31 to book any of the Gaylord Hotels and receive 20% off, plus a $50 resort credit. The theme for this year’s Christmas holidays is I Love Movies. Guests will walk through 13 immersive scenes from favorite Christmas movies in this all-new, 17,000ft2 multi-sensory experience. Interact with the characters, sets and moments at Gaylord Texan (Dallas, TX), Gaylord Palms (Kissimmee, FL), Gaylord Opryland (Nashville, TN), and Gaylord Rockies (Denver, CO).
October 24 is family night at the London Cabaret Club in London, U.K for their new show, London Never Dies. Family packages. Bar food menu options. A live action performance evoking 007!
Mark your calendar for LEGOLAND’s Black Friday sales on November 16 to save big on the upcoming year’s specials at the Winter Haven, FL park and hotels.
SAFETY PROTOCOLS CONTINUE TO ATTRACT TRAVELERS TO THE GREAT OUTDOORS
White water rafting has ended with warmer weather, but it hasn’t deterred travellers wanting adventures in the great outdoors, especially when safety protocols are factored in by Moab Adventure Center (UT) for their Arches National Park tours. Some of the safety measures include limiting 29-passenger excursion vehicles to 15. Instead of a 10-max person limit for tours, they now only demand six. Vehicles are cleaned after each use. Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions, an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City.
You have until December 15 to book a 2021 RV vacation, a trendy family opportunity to combine camping with glamping. The RV Industry Association (RVIA) predicts 46 million Americans, many for the first time, will embark on an RV vacation in the coming year. The abundance means campsites and national parks are getting booked up weeks or years in advance. Tracks & Trails, a Colorado-based company who specializes in organizes seven to 14-day trips, has packaged national park RV vacations since 1996. “Getting in an RV and setting off without a plan can be a very bumpy road,” says Dan Wulfman, Founder and President of Tracks & Trails. “Ironically, the wild beauty that makes these places so special also attracts a lot of humans. Planning a successful trip means choosing your dates six to 12 months in advance. And then the real work begins.” The company offers 20 itineraries. They reserve prime campsites the minute they are available, book guided excursions with trusted outfitters, and prepare travelers’ comprehensive documentation to ensure things go smoothly.
www.tracks-trails.com’ firstname.lastname@example.org; (800) 247-0970
ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?
Simple question, but maybe the answers compiled by WalletHub in this recent survey will surprise you. The company compared the 50 states across 32 key indicators of happiness (or why people are not happy). They discovered New Jersey has the lowest share of adult depression, which is 2.3 times lower than West Virginia, which has the highest 27.24%. I was astounded that Wyoming has the most suicides, 25 per 100,000 residents, while New York and New Jersey have the fewest, at 8. Utah boasts the highest volunteer rate (51%) while Florida sinks at 22.8%. Maybe there’s a correlation between volunteering and being happily wedded because Utah has the lowest separation and divorce rate (15.8%), which is 1.7 times lower than Nevada, which has the highest at 26.28%. Ranking the happiest states, from #1 to 10, are Hawaii, Utah, Minnesota, New Jersey, Maryland, California, North Dakota, Iowa, Idaho and Connecticut. You can find the full listing and survey details on their site.
GRAND OPENINGS AND RESTARTS!
The 12-story, 243-room waterfront Luminary Hotel & Co. has opened in Fort Myers, FL. While three of its featured food and beverage outlets: Ella Mae’s Diner, Dean Street Coffee, and the Lobby Bar, opened, it will be sometime this fall before the hotel’s signature Silver King Ocean Brasserie, and Beacon Social Drinkery rooftop lounge, will both open.. Other key features include The Workshop, an innovative culinary laboratory; an indoor and outdoor fitness facility; and a spacious pool area on the fourth floor, with an event deck overlooking the Caloosahatchee River. Luminary Hotel & Co. is the fifth Mainsail Lodging & Development property in the Autograph Collection® of Marriott International, and the first Autograph hotel in the Fort Myers-Naples area. Recognized as the 2020 Newcomer of the Year by Cvent, Luminary houses 10,000 sf of adaptable indoor and outdoor function space and is directly adjacent to the neighboring Caloosa Sound Convention Center, now open and offering 40,000 sfof function space. In these days of COVID, it is no surprise that the Luminary Hotel & Co.has high standards for hygiene and cleanliness. Health and safety measures include handwashing hygiene, cleaning product specifications, electrostatic spraying in all public areas, guest room and common area cleaning procedures, daily temperature checks for all staff, and more. To promote the health and safety of our guests, face coverings are required for guests and associates in all indoor public areas. Social distancing guidelines and protocols are also strictly followed. Luminary Hotel & Co. is 16 miles from Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW). www.LuminaryHotel.com; www.MainsailHotels.com
Museum of Brands in London, UK has reopened with innovative programs and new safety protocols. I have written about this museum for years because I find it fascinating to their colorful exhibits that assess the world we live in, from products we buy and how they’ve been marketed, to intriguing professional speaker programs. So, for those in the area, Museum of Brands has a new exhibition called When Brands Take a Stand. Evening talks are delivered by leading figures in the sector, including advertisers, journalists and researchers. The discussion focus is one most businesspeople have had. We know brands and advertising can influence society, but what happens when large brands and businesses take a stand on societal and political issues? The exhibit poses: What happens when a frozen food brand takes a stand against palm oil production, a sports brand fights for equal rights, or a chocolate brand celebrates LGBTQ+ pride? For my readers who won’t be in their immediate area, Museum of Brands is hosting webinars. October 19 Susan Bishop addresses Ethical and Sustainable Fashion. The program will discuss the value The value of experiential retail and pop-up store test marketing as well as how fashion retail marketing is shaping up after COVID, Bishop has Masters degrees in the History of Design and Material Culture and Fashion Curation and lectures internationally. November 4 is Decoding the Face to Unlock Audiences with Adrianne Carter, an expert in facial expressions of emotion, emotions and behavior. She presents ways to engage an audience and this is a question I would like an answer for: what are the three worst facial expressions for a brand campaign?
Harvey’s Lake Tahoe Hotel & Casino (Las Vegas, NV) has completed the renovation of all 519 guest rooms in the famed resort’s Tahoe Tower as part of a $41 million total property investment over the past two years. Harvey’s first opened in 1944 on the South Shore.
Caribe Royale Orlando (Orlando, FL) has completed its multi-million-dollar villa renovations. All 120 villas, each 1,260 sf, and can sleep up to six adults and two children.
A VIRTUAL ESCAPE ROOM TRAPPED ME IN ITS GLOBAL SPY THRILLER
Love me some intriguing, alluring spy thriller to read or watch. I’ve been to one escape room several years ago and while it was fun with my team, I wasn’t sure how Roobicks’ virtual escape room game was going to be able to capture the pressurized motivation to solve the puzzles and find freedom before the final buzzer (ok, maybe I’m mixing too many metaphors) sounded. I couldn’t have been more wrong. My Meeting Professionals International Orlando (MPI Orlando) chapter participating members were randomly divided into two teams. We had the same globe-trotting spy thriller to solve and whoever won would receive… well, the honor of winning! Each team had a coordinator who was there to answer questions, offer occasional hints, and make sure we stayed on track for the hour-long experience. One of the positives was that anyone can play on any device: laptop, PC, phone etc. I had wanted to try another company’s game but was unable to play except on a PC with a webcam, which I don’t have. This game started with a Mission Impossible vibe that quickly threw us into the game with sharp pictures, voice overs and videos. The hour flew by. My team solved the puzzle but we were slightly behind the other team. The Roobicks company offers diverse escape rooms to suit a variety of ages and group size.
THE HOLIDAYS ARE FAST APPROACHING!
It’s family fun this Halloween when TradeWinds Island Grand (St. Petersburg, FL) sweetens three days of a special “Halloweekend.” There will be holiday-themed crafts, Dive-In movies, ghoulish paddleboat rides, costume contests, and the return of the fan-favorite Captain RedBeard’s Pirate Show. Adults aren’t left out. There are Candy Corn Coladas and Frankenstein Margaritas. Special room rates. The fun lasts October 30 through November 1.
https://www.tradewindsresort.com/halloweekend; (800) 808-9821.
Tired of sheltering at home? Missing the experience of a live concert? Then this October 30-31 Halloween weekend offering by DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront, in partnership with ReVibe Wellness Retreat, may be the perfect solution. CDC-compliant, the two companies are hosting dozens of live music performances on two stages for guests’ enjoyment from their own hotel room and balcony. The lineup includes Buku, Mersiv, TRUTH, Shlump, Ivboo, Wreckno, Manic Focus, SoDown, Break Science, Daily Bread, Michael Menert and many more. Food will be available from multiple dining rooms and onsite food trucks.
Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center (Kissimmee, FL) has a Halloween Spooktacular called Alive! They invite families to wander through the eerie Castillo de San Marcos Fort where live storytellers recount real-life ghost stories. There will be trick-or-treating, movies and story time with Morgana.
Safety is first but the fun is a close second at LEGOLAND FLORIDA’S annual Brick or Treat. Each Saturday and Sunday through October 31, the Winter Haven, FL theme park hosts kid-friendly spooky shows, hands on experiences, character interactions, movies, and themed food. New this year: a mobile app so guests can virtually line up for popular attractions and contactless distribution of candy. As is their policy, social distancing is mandatory, there are 200 hand sanitizer stations, and live show entertainers will be on elevated platforms. The park has extended its hours from 10 am to 6 pm on event dates.
It’s always a holiday for me when there is Beatles music playing. I missed being able to tell you sooner about the free virtual concerts sponsored by Abbey Road on the River through October 8-11, honoring what would have been John Lennon’s 80th birthday, but if you read this before October 12, you can see the line-up at https://www.arotr.com/tickets. Even though the Abbey Road on the River’s annual Beatles party for 2020 was cancelled, the dates for 2021 in Jeffersonville, IN at Big Four Station Park are set for May 27-31. The event will feature 50 bands including Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, The Zombies; Grammy award winning producer, author, and recording artist, Peter Asher; the #1 Beatles tribute band in the world, The Fab Four; and The Weeklings, featuring Glen Burtnik from Styx and The Orchestra, formerly ELO.
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. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com; www.karenkuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady.
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