Gaylord Grand National in Washington DC reopens July 1.

The $64 million renovation of Gaylord National Resort will finish in time to reopen on July 1 with all new guestrooms. Located minutes from downtown Washington DC on the Potomac River, the resort has easy access to National Harbor, The redesign includes the guestrooms, signature Pose Rooftop bar and lounge. The 19-story glass atrium, all-season pool, hot tubs with river views, and the resort’s spectacular 1.5 acre garden atrium offer updated splendor.


The new Bourbon Experience is described in Louisville, KY’s 2021 Visitor Guide.

LOUISVILLE, KY’s Visitor Guide, designed for locals and tourists alike, has debuted its Spring and Summer edition. Featured content includes Louisville’s urban Bourbon experience, new Black Heritage programming at seven attractions, mural selfie spots, architectural styles around Louisville, the city’s award-winning culinary scene through the eyes of local chefs Paco Garcia (FOKO), John Varanese (Varanese and River House Restaurant and Raw Bar) and Nichelle Thurston (Seafood Lady), fresh finds at Logan Street Market, and tips for having a year-round Derby Experience. Whether a day trip or longer visit, the guide also lists lodging, attractions, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, maps and calendar of events. As this is the first time a virtual-only guide is published, rack cards are available for outlets wanting a physical representation of the guide that will include a QR code for easy access to the digital version. Rack cards are available at the Louisville Visitor Center, select Louisville hotels and attractions, and at welcome centers throughout the state.


Airlines are betting flyers will return to the skies in larger number this year. That positive outlook has fueled an update on frequent flyer programs. Fortunately, WalletHub, a personal finance website group that surveys and analyzes data of interest to consumers, has already tackled what to expect, who has the better programs, and what has changed in the past year. Their 2021 Best Frequent Flyer Programs report, ranks the best 10 domestic airlines based on 21 key metrics, ranging from the value of a point/mile to blackout dates for rewards flights. WalletHub’s report also features a custom calculator that allows travelers to personalize the results based on their own budget. “The hierarchy of the best frequent flyer programs has changed a bit since the coronavirus pandemic began, so travelers shouldn’t assume they can just pick up where they left off. The biggest change is United MileagePlus dethroning Delta SkyMiles as the top program, ending Delta’s five-year run atop the rankings,” said Jill Gonzalez, WalletHub analyst. “Major airlines are also offering more rewards value in an attempt to lure people back into their planes. Five of the 10 largest carriers have increased their rewards value – by 30% on average.” Expiration dates have also undergone a shift, says Gonzalez. “Frequent flyers will not be penalized for staying grounded due to COVID-19. Most of the major frequent flyer programs have adjusted their policies to give people extra time to meet elite-status requirements. For example, Delta SkyMiles, American Airlines AAdvantage, and United MileagePlus are all extending existing elite status through January 2022.”

WalletHub’s report also indicates The Citi Premier Card and the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard are the top airline credit cards.


Caesar’s Rio, site of vaccinations for employees, new and old.

IN Dec. file Thousands of Caesars Entertainment, Inc’s employees were given priority vaccine status thanks to Caesar’s new partnership will Albertsons. During April, up to 2,000 Pfizer vaccinations a day will be given at various company-owned Las Vegas, NV resorts to team members, by appointment only. All current, furloughed and union members are eligible. The first events took place at Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino’s Conference Center in the Pavilion Ballroom. “We are grateful to partner with Albertsons to host onsite COVID-19 vaccination events, providing convenient access for our Las Vegas Team Members to receive their doses,” said Sean McBurney, Regional President of Las Vegas Operations for Caesars Entertainment. “We are strongly encouraging our Team Members to get vaccinated, which is why we are offering them an internal rewards incentive to further support the critical rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine as we continue to work toward our industry’s recovery.”


While companies are busily trying to protect their clients from COVID, cyber thieves aim to exploit personal health information embedded in company sites. Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) is working to prevent that cyber activity. The Austin, TX group has put together the Global Hospitality PII Management (GHPM) Task Force of prominent hospitality technology experts to thoughtfully examine and develop guidelines for hospitality companies to follow as best practice. The final reports will have an international perspective, with participants representing countries across the globe. This is especially important as data privacy regulations vary internationally and will be an essential consideration in the development of the resource. “By the nature of today’s technologies, companies now collect vast amounts of personal data to assist in providing seamless and personalized services to their customers. Artificial intelligence, facial recognition and other future technologies will change the way the entire world operates,” said HFTP Global President Mark Pate, Sr., CHAE, CHTP, MBA, assistant controller and IT director for Highpointe Hotel Corp. “Developed by experts specifically knowledgeable of the hospitality space, our goal for these guidelines and directives is to stay focused on the data issue and assist with solutions to challenges the industry is facing today and into the future.” Because the panel of experts will represent the global hospitality industry and the resulting resource will be published as guidance for the global hospitality industry, HFTP has left positions open for additional volunteers. The selection of individuals to fill these spots will be done by the entire task force. To submit your interest in volunteering, visit t HFTP has recently completed a similar project for the club industry in partnership with the National Club Association (NCA). The guidance will be available to HFTP and NCA members at the end of May 2021 during both associations’ member conferences. 


I don’t pretend to understand how all the technology I’m told about operates. What I can tell you is that technology updates faster than CDC guidelines on many days. One of the innovative companies I keep reading about is Pixilated (Baltimore, MD-based). Their new PixiWeb Live Slideshow sounds like a fab way to engage attendees with a real-time slideshow of crowdsourced photos. The technology can be paired with the company’s Virtual Photo Booth. Live Slideshow works in tandem with Virtual Booth to give your audience a seamless and enjoyable way to add new pictures and view everyone else’s event photos! The description says that “after each user navigates to your online photo gallery either by uploading a new photo (and getting automatically redirected to the gallery page) or by clicking “Check out the gallery” from the virtual booth landing page, he or she will be able to launch the slideshow in a separate window to be able to watch the slideshow as it updates automatically with each new upload!” Further explanation indicates that a full-screen slideshow with automatic transitions is the most effect way to use the slideshow for live events.

Remote Viewing logo


If you aren’t familiar with Remote Viewing, it’s the skill of being able to “see” places, people and things that you have not set eyes on in real time. Remote Viewers were actually unsung heroes during World War II. The study and practice of Remote Viewing continues to this day. Right now, for those who do want to test their skills, the deadline for the third ARV contest is April 19. Winners will receive $2500 in Bitcoin cash prizes to the top three Remote Viewers who best describe a photograph to be shown on the website at a TBD time Feedback will be posted on the website the following day, April 20th, which is when the winners will also be announced and paid!
Questions: email is now live!


rafting in Utah’s Desolation Canyon

I write about adventures such as Western River Expeditions through Desolation Canyon in the 730-mile Green River on rare occasion, but I think families still trying to find safe and healthy family fun might find this intriguing. The Green River was spawned by glacial melts on the Continental Divide in the wilds of northern Wyoming. What makes this vacation trip unique is that all of it is outdoor and good for families with children ages five and up. Transportation to the put-in is by small plane on a 40-minute flight over the desert plateau from Moab, UT. Passengers are appropriately distanced on the aircraft and are required to wear masks on the airplane and in shuttle vehicles. “Being able to travel and vacation in confidence will also assist the healing process – especially for parents,” said Brandon Lake, co-owner of Western River Expeditions. The rafting journey through Desolation Canyon is much more than rafting. The environment offers large beaches, swimming holes, outlaw cabins to explore, Native American sites, wildlife, fishing, and great hikes. The Green is less strident than the Grand Canyon’s rollicking Colorado River. Whitewater on the Green is playful, marked by over 60 warm-water Class I-III rapids, packed with more than enough splash to excite all ages. Among the highlights: exploring 88 river miles in either two-person inflatable kayaks or in a guide-powered oar boat, while eyeing 40 million years of geologic history. Maneuver more than 60 Class I-III rapids, become acquainted with the legacy left behind by Fremont Native American petroglyphs, and visit famous Wild West outlaw hideouts, such as those used by Butch Cassidy.

Dec. 11: Winterfest Parade in Broward County, FL

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 International Live Events Association, Meeting Professionals International and the Society of Professional Journalists. She is now serving on the 20121-2022 MPI Independent and Small Business Owners Advisory Board. 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.