Music to stir the soul while trekking in the outdoors.


Music to your ears on your outdoor vacation adventure? Holiday River Expeditions has added the sweet sounds of music to accompany trips down the Colorado and Utah canyons, and while river rafting or biking. Bringing live music into the equation really takes the splendor and fun of a wilderness rafting experience to a whole new level,” says Karen Johnson of Holiday River Expeditions (Salt Lake City, UT). “Our first such trip in 2021 was an overwhelming success so we decided to expand the offering in 2022 and will likely continue to do so in the years to come.” The trips are selling out fast, and the musical groups may change, so contact the company for the available offerings.

(800) 624-6323;;

Celebrity Chef Bobby Flay has opened his third Bobby’s Burgers in Paris Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV). Sure, there will be traditional burgers, fries, and shakes, but expect many twists to the expected. There are also a veggie burger and a fried chicken sandwich. A new breakfast menu will include the Breakfast Bacon Sandwich with soft scrambled eggs, American cheese, Bobby’s sauce and potato chips on a Brioche bun; the Brunch Burger featuring a fried egg topped with American cheese and bacon on a Brioche bun; Cinnamon Maple Oatmeal with Greek yogurt, dried cranberries and toasted pecans; and the Breakfast Burrito with soft scrambled eggs, bacon, American cheese, avocado, Bobby’s sauce and potato chips served inside a whole wheat tortilla.;

Reunion Resort (Orlando, FL) has a new golf partner. The only resort in the world to feature three championship, signature golf courses designed by golfing legends Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, and Tom Watson, has now added David Leadbetter to the mix. The Leadbetter Golf Academy World Headquarters now calls Reunion home. David Leadbetter and the Leadbetter Golf Academy has been synonymous with world-class instruction for nearly 40 years, developing 26 Major winners and seven World #1 players, many of whom trained and perfected their skills at its Academy Headquarters in Central Florida. Since 2018, under the Golfzon Group, Golfzon Leadbetter has further expanded its operation to 36 academy locations in 15 countries and as well as developing new technology to make golf easier to learn. Golfzon Leadbetter’s World Headquarters at Reunion will feature the latest golf technology for instruction and practice, including lesson studios with launch monitors, 3D swing analysis, radar ball tracking on the range, club fitting, golf fitness and biomechanics. The facility will also feature a state-of- the-art Golfzon TwoVision simulator studio to host virtual golf tournaments. Leadbetter’s award winning team of instructors teach to all levels of players. “I have taught golf all over the world and there are few places as well suited for golfers to learn and play as the Reunion Resort and Golf Club. We share Kingwood International Resorts’ vision for offering the very best golf experience at Reunion. Reunion already has 3 great golf courses, now they’ll have a golf academy to match. I can’t wait to give the first lesson from the new facility.” says David Leadbetter.;  (833) 258-0472;; (407) 787-3330.


From cruises to hotels, book Freeport (Bahamas) now and get up to 50% off. Book Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line through March 31 and get $200 OFF per cabin ($100 off per person), plus five free drinks, free cabin upgrade, and $25 onboard credit. The Cruise Line also has four- and six-night getaway packages that combine a fun two-night cruise with a luxurious resort stay in Grand Bahama. Four beachside resorts have special promotional discounts through December 23 (so book now!) The resorts are Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach, Pelican Bay Hotel at Lucaya, Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan and Flamingo Bay Hotel & Marina.


The 50th anniversary party for the 2022 Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC®) kicks off at SeaWorld Orlando on June 27, but the big news for four hospitality education-focused organizations are the funding awards given out. Set to receive funding at the event, presented by VENZA and CyberTek, are HFTP Foundation, NAF, Valencia College, and the Rosen College of Hospitality Management. Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®), the producers of HITEC, is a top-level sponsor of the event. HITEC North America will take place on June 27–30 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, FL. “VENZA/CyberTek is excited to be working alongside HFTP to help raise funds to support the future work-force of the hospitality industry,” said VENZA President Joshua Bergen, CHAE, CHTP. “This is an important endeavor not only for VENZA but for me personally. As a graduate of Rosen College in my hometown of Orlando, and as a volunteer for (Orlando and now Indiana), the importance of supporting the next generation of hospitality delegates is vital. We have a 14-year history of annual fundraisers, and we want to turn the current hospitality staffing trend into the #TheGreatStay, not #TheGreatResignation,” said Bergen. The organizations singled out for the opportunities and education provided. UCF Rosen College of Hospitality Management, located in the heart of the hospitality-tourism sector of Orlando, offers direct connections to the industries for students. The Hospitality and Tourism Management Associate in Science (A.S.) degree at Valencia College is a two-year program that prepares students to go directly into a specialized career within the hospitality industry. NAF works with high schools across the country to prepare students for careers in hospitality, tourism, and more. As the philanthropic arm of HFTP®, the Foundation assists HFTP to secure nonprofit funding for hospitality and travel industry-related research, educational projects, and scholarships. VENZA helps mitigate data security vulnerabilities and ensure compliance, keeping your guests and their data safe from breaches. HFTP®, established in 1952, is a hospitality nonprofit association headquartered in Austin, TX and has offices in United Kingdom, Netherlands, and Dubai.

Sponsor info: Josh Bergen, VENZA president at or Anne Boon, VENZA project manager at


April 2 is the deadline to apply for the Florida Festivals & Events Association Convention and Trade Show, August 23-25 at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando FL. More than 300 attendees representing more than 3.500 festivals and events produced across Florida, come to this conference seeking talent. The average event spends $45,000 for live acts. Members includes cities, non-profits, Chambers of Commerce, independent planners, and tourism agencies. There are options for large and small acts as well as video showcases. Performances are generally 15-20 minutes and scheduled during times where attendees are by the stages.

(407) 203.1334;


The World Food Championships, a five-day outdoor cooking competition, brings top chefs and home cooks from all over the globe to battle it out for a Category Champion title and $7,500. Winners of local competitions have the chance to meet November 7 -12 in Fair Park in Dallas, TX for a chance at the World Food Champion title and an additional $100,000. One way to vie for the title is by winning one of the Taste of America contests, a series of sponsor-infused competitions. March 15-20, the contests are sponsored by Bolner’s Fiesta Products, Inc. With this one, you can enter any recipe using any Fiesta Seasonings. March 29- April 5, cooks will be tasked with entering a pork recipe using La Lechonera All-Natural Mojo Criollo product. The company is sending product. Each contest sponsor has rules and entry. for all the details.


For 30 years, Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) has produced a biennial Compensation and Benefits Survey Report. You do not have to be a member to participate, but if you do enter by March 31, you will be entered for a chance to win a free annual membership and you will receive complimentary access to the report when it’s published this year. All responses are confidential.


March 31 is the deadline for non-profits to receive $500 donation to charity of choice by signing up for Eventeny’s Pro Plan.

Eligibility details at


Florida Festival & Events Association

Florida Festivals & Events Association (FFEA) is offering scholarships to both Event Management Students and Emerging Industry Leaders to attend the August 23-25 annual conference at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress, Orlando, FL. The winners will learn about the variety of careers in the events industry, engage in discussion with industry professionals, and participate in professional development workshops. The Harvey Franklin Campbell Student Scholarship Award is open to current students at Florida-based universities who are studying in an event management related program or have a permanent Florida address while studying out of state at an accredited institution of higher learning at the time of application. An official transcript or degree audit must accompany the application. The winner will receive a one-year student membership in the FFEA. The Emerging Leader Scholarship Award is open to first-time conference attendees who have been employed in the industry for less than three years and have demonstrated a strong desire to positively affect the future of the event planning profession. Deadline to apply online for both is March 19 with winners being announced the week of April 12. See the application forms for full details of requirements.;; (407) 203-1334;

Swim with the Manatees at the Plantation on Crystal River, FL


Hundreds of manatees are slowly cruising from the cooler waters of the Gulf of Mexico to the warmer pristine 72-degree springs of the Plantation at Crystal River, FL. Take advantage of the new one-night package to interact with these mammals. The package includes overnight accommodations in a garden view room, a snorkeling tour for two with equipment provided, breakfast for two at West 82⁰ Bar & Grill, and a welcome bag filled with a plush manatee toy, fun facts, and manatee interaction guidelines. All manatee tour boats, which are enclosed, provide hot chocolate and coffee, warming boat coats and towel service. All tour captains are licensed, insured and USCG certified, and each boat is equipped with power poles to limit environmental impact. Upon return from their tour, guests are treated to a hot shower facility and changing rooms for those who already checked out or snorkelers not staying at the resort. High-quality photos and videos are available for purchase after the tour. Prime manatee viewing season usually runs through March 31.; (800) 632-6262.

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.