New rock climbing and canyoneering experiences on tap by Moab Adventure Center.

Do you know the difference between rock climbing and canyoneering? I didn’t Moab Adventure Center described their unique experiences that continue through November. Here’s how Sierra Schmutz, General Manager of the Moab Adventure Center, explains. Rock climbers use the textures, bumps, and cracks in the rock walls (and may wear special shoes) to go up a rock wall. Once they reach the top, they descend with the rope and harness back to the horizontal ground. Canyoneers slide or rappel down into canyons and caverns where only a rope can give them access. Often there are multiple descents through a given canyon. All guides with the Moab, UT company are trained and certified by the Association for Canyoneering education (ACE). They have passed every advanced canyoneering and rescue course ACE has and have customized their knowledge to fit the needs of Moab Adventure Center guests and participants. To help answer the demand for these rapidly growing sports, the company recently added a new Moab canyoneering option that includes rappelling & adventure hiking in Bow and Arrow Canyon. This five-hour adventure begins with a hike among sandstone fins up to Longbow Arch, followed by rappelling through slot canyons hidden by massive sandstone monoliths. The route descends farther and farther down into the canyons on each of four rappels. The first descent is a warm-up at 15 feet, followed by descents of 80 and 25 feet, concluding with an open drop of 50 feet. Professional canyoneering guides provide detailed instruction through each section, offering insights into geology, plant life and natural history. Also available through November is Moab Adventure Center’s signature introductory program to canyoneering: Canyoneering Grandstaff Canyon – Ephedra’s Grotto and Morning Glory Arch. This five-hour excursion begins with the first rappel at 90 feet down into a narrow chasm called the Medieval Chamber and then 120 feet down the massive Morning Glory Arch (actually a Natural Bridge). The adventure concludes with a hike along a trickling stream bed in the gorgeous Grandstaff Canyon. When it comes to canyoneering, this region is celebrated as “canyon country,” where the sport of canyoneering was practically invented. “Like rock climbing, canyoneering is a crafted experience conducted under the watchful eyes of trained instructors,” said Schmutz. “The playing field comprises gear and safety equipment fitted to the participants, sheer rock walls, narrow crevasses, a breathtaking natural bridge, wide-open vistas and, always, adrenalin.” Another popular pursuit is basic rock climbing. Through guided instruction, participants at all skill levels learn how to improve face and crack climbing techniques, how to use and care for equipment, the techniques of knot and rope work, and basic belaying and descending. This can help transition climbers from a climbing gym to real rock or even offer the ideal first experience for someone who has never tried rock climbing. A variety of routes and a relaxed atmosphere allow guests to progress at their own pace. Moab Adventure Center is a division of Western River Expeditions, an adventure travel company headquartered in Salt Lake City,;;;;

Rainbow Roll at new Ossu in The Tropicana Atlantic City, NJ.

After 40 years, Tropicana Atlantic City has lifted the limits on how far it will go to enhance the resort’s evolution as a casino of the future, beginning with the debut of eight new dining and entertainment concepts. Some have opened recently. Others are coming. The new additions and enhancements are part of Caesars Entertainment’s commitment to invest $400 million into its Atlantic City, NJ resorts by 2023. Eight of the 14 new restaurants and fast-casual concepts debuting at Caesars Atlantic City properties this year are at Tropicana. Changes are also taking place at Caesars Atlantic City and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City, including $170 million in room and suite enhancements across all three properties. NOBU Atlantic City and Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen arrive later this year and a brand-new show by Spiegelworld debuts in 2023 at Caesars Atlantic City. Wild Honey Smokehouse and Tavern opened in April. The 5,000-sf BBQ restaurant celebrates classic American comfort foods, including regional BBQ traditions from across the country. Large format cocktails, beers, and a selection of double-barrel smoked cocktails complete the offerings. The new Ossu Japanese Tavern introduces modern Japanese tavern experiences. Over the summer, Hash House A Go Go and daiquiri bar, Purple Zebra were added. The 4,000-sf Gin Rickey’s, with a live music sing-along bar and dueling pianos opened in The Quarter. This fall, look for The Royce Social Hall, an American beer hall meets an adult rec room concept within a 10,000-sf space within The Quarter. The highly rated Il Verdi, in operation at Tropicana since the beginning, is getting a new, beachfront location and design transformation. The décor draws inspiration from the coast of Italy and the Amalfi region.

Hamburger with mac&cheese at Wild Honey Smokehouse & Tavern at The Tropicana Atlantic City, NJ. photo by Stuart Goldenberg.

Also this fall, Hawthorne & Cork debuts. The signature bar and lounge will offer bespoke cocktails, fine wines, and spirits. Not to be overlooked, a multitude of gaming enhancements will take place. A new Caesars Rewards experience center will bring digital and in-person gaming together with tablets and a Caesars Sportsbook app center in a shared space. The experience center will feature self-service kiosks to check accounts and print cards, and a state-of-the-art video wall. Additionally, there will be 240 new games, with over 200 new titles on the floor. The entire gaming floor will be revamped, including new carpeting, to enhance the overall guest experience.

Martha Stewart and her new The Bedford restaurant in Paris Las Vegas hotel.

Farmhouse charm in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip? When you’re global design icon you can countrify menus at The Bedford by Martha Stewart restaurant at Paris Las Vegas and no one will think twice except to make a reservation.  Developed by Stewart and her team of experts, The Bedford’s menu features flavorful dishes from fresh ingredients sourced locally. The restaurant boasts French-inspired cuisine and a combination of Martha’s favorite recipes. For starters, guests may enjoy the Classic Niçoise Salad, made with olive oil-packed tuna, haricot verts, vermouth-dressed potatoes, hard-cooked egg and topped with an anchovy vinaigrette. Seafood enthusiasts may delight in the Oysters Rockefeller, baked with Pernod cream, spinach and watercress, and finished with a crunchy parsley breadcrumb topping. Tableside entrée presentations include a Whole Roast Herb Chicken carved tableside and Martha’s Smashed Baked Potato, smashed tableside and served with crème fraiche, chives, and bacon lardons. One of Stewart’s signature desserts on the menu is the Upside-Down Lemon Meringue Pie. “I am so thrilled to open the doors to The Bedford at Paris Las Vegas, my first-ever restaurant,” said Martha Stewart. “We have worked tirelessly to bring my farmhouse in Bedford, NY to life in Las Vegas. These are the same dishes that I serve to family and friends in my own home.” There are also signature cocktails, including the Martha-tini, made with Żubrówka bison grass vodka, dry vermouth and a lemon twist, and the Frozen Pomegranate Martha-rita, created with Casa Dragones Blanco tequila, Cointreau, pomegranate juice, and a salt and sugar rim. Additionally, the restaurant features Martha’s Chard, her California chardonnay from 19 Crimes. Designed by Stewart herself, the 194-seat dining destination offers guests an authentic glimpse of how Martha lives and entertains in her own home. The Bedford by Martha Stewart draws inspiration from her 1925 country farmhouse, including an accurate replica of her own brown faux-bois dining room. Additional elements inside The Bedford include a kitchen space with white marble counters, stainless steel appliances and gray wood cabinets. Hanging copper pans in a variety of sizes from the MARTHA by Martha Stewart collection also adorn the kitchen area. The restaurant is near Nobu and across from Bobby’s Burgers by Bobby Flay.

Caesars Virginia, full-service entertainment facility set to open in late 2024, has broken ground in Danville, VA. Parent company is Caesars Entertainment, Inc. The 500-room hotel and world-class casino gaming floor will have over 1,300 slots, 85 live table games, 24 electronic table games, a WSOP™ poker room, and a Caesars Sportsbook. In addition, the resort will feature a full-service spa, pool, high-quality bars and restaurants, a 2,500-seat state-of-the-art live entertainment theater, and 40,000 sf of meeting and convention space. Caesars, EBCI and a local minority investor will be partners in the joint venture. The Caesars Sportsbook app is already live and available for download and registration throughout Virginia.;

Gaylord Pacific Resort & Convention Center debuts in 2025 in Chula Vista, CA. Seven miles from downtown San Diego, the resort will be flanked by San Diego Bay to the west and Chula Vista Marina to the south. Expect 1,600 rooms, including 89 suites, 487,913 sf of flexible indoor & outdoor event spaces, nine restaurants and bars, state-of the art fitness center and award-winning Relâche Spa & Salon, and a 4.25-acre water park experience.


Michael Chitwood, Sheriff of Volusia County, slid into the activities for Daytona Lagoon’s First Responders Weekend last year.

Attention First Responders. Daytona Lagoon is hosting its 5th Annual First Responders Weekend September 10-11 and is offering free waterpark admission to all active firefighters, lifeguards, emergency medical service (EMS) professionals, and law enforcement. To receive free entry, present a valid professional ID or badge at time of admission. Daytona Lagoon’s Waterpark will be open from Noon to 6:00 p.m. on both days. For all other guests visiting the Daytona Beach, FL waterpark, the cost of entry is $23.99.

Ocean views from the bathroom at the new Max Beach Resort (Daytona Beach Shores, FL)

Take advantage of this limited offer through September 30 for a two-night stay and a $50 food & beverage credit at the new Max Beach Resort (Daytona Beach Shores, FL). The 12-story, 72 spacious one-, two- and three-bedroom residence-style suites is the area’s first professionally managed, short-term rental offering that includes enhanced guest amenities for leisure and business travelers. Use Promo Code: MAXGO. The project combined development and hospitality management expertise and resources of Bayshore Capital Inc. and Crescent Hotels & Resorts. Upscale resort amenities include full-service dining and fully stocked residential kitchen, an oceanfront pool with private cabanas, bicycle rentals, and a unique sky-level training center and lifestyle lounge. For business and social gatherings, the resort offers sunrise and sunset event terraces, and a ground-level hospitality suite and deck area. State-of-the-art WiFi, curated background music, floor-to-ceiling glass walls throughout, and design advancements such as increased acoustical isolation, turtle-friendly tinted glass, and smart TVs.

The Bahamas now has non-stop air from Orlando, FL

Fly nonstop from Orlando, FL to Freeport and when you book your travel now through September 10 on Bahamasair, the official national flag carrier, you can take advantage of this introductory promotional package for $297 (Roundtrip, taxes included). Travel must be scheduled on Sundays and Mondays, and you can enjoy a four-day and three-night getaway or a five-day and four-night getaway in The Bahamas second largest city!


Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) upcoming HITEC will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 26–29, 2023. The group has gained endorsements and will now represent 50,000 members, more than 60% of hotels, and 2,500 clubs in America. HITEC is the largest and oldest nonprofit event of its kind hosting 300+ exhibiting companies and a thoughtfully-designed education program with over 50 education sessions. “HITEC has established itself as a hub for hospitality technology, acting as a center for related meetings, knowledge sharing, new product releases, innovation demonstrations and more,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE, FIH. “The success and breadth of the event is not singularly pulled off by the HFTP team but is built upon by numerous parties including allied organizations, exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers and so many more who participate, with HITEC as the annual focal point for the exploration of hospitality technology.” Annually co-located with HITEC is the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International Americas (HSMAI) Commercial Strategy Week. HSMAI president and CEO Bob Gilbert stated, “For many, this provides them an opportunity to walk the floor with their CIO or CTO colleagues and this only enhances the critical working relationship between revenue and technology executives at a hotel company.” Also co-located at HITEC is the Annual Conference for the International Hospitality Information Technology Association (iHITA). Dr. Thomas Schrier, president of iHITA, said, “We anticipate the continued participation of top hospitality technology scholars at our conference and look forward to sharing the latest research findings of our members with the attendees.” Other participating groups are the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant, and Institutional Education and the Asian American Hotel Owners Association. Partnering with HFTP and HITEC for the first time is Women Leading Travel and Hospitality. Registration and hotel reservations opens in January 2023.;;


National Taco Day is Oct. 4 and Pueblo Bonito is sharing fan favorite recipes.

Pueblo Bonito Resorts (Mexico) is betting they have a taco to suit your taste buds and are showcasing some of the available variety at multiple resorts for National Taco Day, October 4. Until I heard about this honor to tacos, I’d never considered the origins of Mexico’s revered dish. Allegedly, tacos came about in Mexican silver mines. The workers brought food wrapped in corn tortillas for their lunch. Sticks of dynamite wrapped in paper to blow up rock were referred to as tacos. You aren’t limited by the date to sample tacos at any of their resorts, but here are the favorites from each (and you can click the link for the recipes). Baja Shrimp Tacos from Peninsula at Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort; Taco de zetas al ajillo from La Frida at Pueblo Bonito Sunset Beach; and the Rib Eye Taco from Quivira Steakhouse at Quivira Golf Club.


September through December: New riverfront Caloosa Sound Amphitheater kicks off its free concert series, Rockin’ on the River, on Sept. 13, with a performance by classic alternative rockers The FIXX. Located adjacent to Luminary Hotel & Co. in downtown Fort Myers, FL, the series will also feature classic pop rock sounds of Pablo Cruise (Oct. 30); country music legend Lorrie Morgan (Nov. 21); and contemporary swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Dec. 15). All shows begin at 7 p.m. General admission is free but must be claimed in advance at A limited number of $35 VIP tickets will be available and will include a reserved seat directly in front of the stage (within the first five rows), one complimentary drink and access to VIP restrooms. There will be $50 Super VIP tickets, as well, which include an exclusive meet-and-greet with the artist. The result of a unique public/private partnership between Luminary Hotel & Co. and the City of Fort Myers, the Caloosa Sound Amphitheater is expected to draw a mix of residents and visitors downtown. Mainsail Lodging & Development has partnered with Tampa-based marketing agency, Mind Stone Marketing Group, LLC, to provide marketing, sales, booking and consultation services for Caloosa Sound Amphitheater.

Nov. 9 – 13: World Food Championships in Dallas, TX. Tickets now on sale for five days of tasting experiences. Live culinary cookoff.

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 2022-2023 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.