Swim with a dolphin. Snorkel among thousands of tropical fresh. Hand-feed exotic birds. All this is possible with a 40% discount for an inclusive day at Discovery Cove® (Orlando, FL) when you book by October 22, 2023 and use by December 31, 2024! As part of the all-inclusive experience, guests also enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast, lunch, and all-you-can-eat snacks throughout the day, plus unlimited gourmet coffee, ice-cold beverages, and beer and wine (for guests 21+). Parking, lockers, wetsuits, and swim gear are also included.
Wine tasting, cultural tour, and a 15% discount on F&B, as well as AV are just some of the perks when you book at least 30 rooms a night a minimum three nights at Live Aqua Urban Resort San Miguel de Allende, located near the Obraje Dam in Mexico. You must make this new booking by December 30. There are many promotional packages available so check them out to see which might work for you.
Here’s an offer I’ve never seen before. Richmond Region Tourism has a summertime offer that will provide a 15% rebate off your banquet master bill and a NetZero Emission Event Certification whether you book your meeting or event this month or June through August of 2024. The booking must be made by December 31, 2023. The Virginia tourism group will assist how many carbon offsets you are entitled to from examining your RFP and will purchase those offsets to make you eligible for NetZero Emission Event Certification.
JourneyMexico has exclusive villas and resorts across Mexico who have special offers, from cooking classes to holiday activities to pay for four nights and get a fifth for free. One of those is Villa Bahia in South Puerto Vallarta. The five bedroom, seven bath house must be booked by October 31.Check out the complete list of private properties and resorts.
You have plenty of time to book the Wyndham Grand Clearwater Beach for your group and still be able to take advantage of benefits offered. Book your new meeting by December 31, 2023 and actualize by December 31, 2024 to receive benefits such as 5% off all Master account charges, reduced resort fee to $20 per group room, or a complimentary basic Wi-Fi up to 3 mbps in the meeting space. The more rooms booked, the more benefits accessible. The hotel has 343 guest rooms, 22,000 sf of meeting space, and the area’s largest ballroom.
https://www.wyndhamgrandclearwater.com/meetings?; (727) 281-9500
NEW AND COMING SOON!
Trilith Guesthouse, at the main entrance of the European-inspired Town at Trilith in Fayetteville, GA, is scheduled to open January 2024. Next door Trilith Studios is the second largest film and television studio in North America. Designed to inspire creativity and collaboration, the five-story, 193-key boutique hotel will include 36 apartment-style studios and one-bedroom suites; a signature street-level restaurant; fifth-floor rooftop bar; culinary studio; and indoor/outdoor event spaces spanning more than 17,000 sf. Trilith Guesthouse will become a member of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio of independent boutique hotels. Reservations now accepted for March 3and beyond. The signature restaurant is Prologue. The menu provides a rich history of Mediterranean tapas, guided by the genuine hospitality of the South.
Plano Event Center, Plano, TX’s 86,400 sf convention center, is undergoing a $3.2 million courtyard renovation that should be completed by summer of 2024. Highlights will include hardscape paving, site lighting and furniture, shade structures, fireplace, AV equipment and connections, new fencing, trees and landscape plantings. There will be a stage area for performances and outdoor seating with tables for al fresco dining. The venue’s flexible function space can accommodate up to 5,000 people. There are 16 different breakout rooms, 21,600 sf carpeted, column-free exhibit hall; free parking, free public WiFi, plus private fiber internet access, and full service business center.
Renovations have continued at Opal Grand Resort & Spa (Delray Beach, FL). A rooftop event space with ocean views will open in early 2024.
Hotel Bardo Savannah is a new brand that describes itself as “equal parts urban resort and neighborhood clubhouse.” Formerly The Mansion on Forsyth Park, the historical Savannah, GA property is undergoing a major renovation and will reopen February, 2024. There are 140 rooms, a pool, bars, a ballroom, and new coastal Italian restaurant, Saint Bibiana. A cooking school was slated to open September 2023.
PITCH COMPETITION RETURNS
Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP®) has three pitch events planned for 2024. Pitch competition Entrepreneur 20X (E20Xgives applicants three opportunities to present their cutting-edge platforms at HFTP’s inaugural Digital Horizons 360 (DH360) Symposium in Europe in February and at HITEC Dubai and HITEC North America in June. DH360 in February will be the event’s return to the continent where it was last held at HITEC Europe in 2019. “Entrepreneur 20X’s triumphant return at DH360 is a testament to the unbeatable spirit of innovation and enterprise that defines our global community,” said HFTP CEO Frank Wolfe, CAE. DH360, February 20–21 in Mallorca, Spain, is an invitation-only symposium for hospitality technology leaders to participate in roundtable discussions on the technologies set to have the biggest industry impact in Europe. The two-day event has centered this year’s programming on subjects including artificial intelligence, self-sovereign identity, and cybersecurity. “At an event concentrated on celebrating thought leadership and what’s next in hospitality technology, it only makes sense to invite the next generation of industry visionaries to present their solutions,” said HFTP EMEA COO Carson Booth, CHTP. “E20X is not just a competition; it’s a transformative journey that propels ideas into action and dreams into reality.”
HITEC Dubai, co-located with The Hotel Show is June 4-5 at the Dubai World Trade Center. HITEC North America is June 24–27 at the Charlotte Convention Center in Charlotte, N.C.
Applications to compete at all three competitions are available on the E20X site. The deadline for E20X Europe is December 15, 2023 and the deadline for the Dubai and Charlotte competitions is March 15, 2024.
For more information, firstname.lastname@example.org.
NO, DAY OF THE DEAD CELEBRATIONS IS NOT THE SAME AS HALLOWEEN
Yes, people do wear costumes and some of them are downright spooky, but the Day of the Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebrations in Mexico are vastly different than Halloween. As Pueblo Bonito resorts note in promoting their festival dates of November 1 & 2, Day of the Dead celebrations are a combination of pre-Hispanic religious rites and Christian feasts that unfold over two days, All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day, in a celebration of life-affirming joy. While the theme is death (but not in a morbid way), the point is to show love and respect for family members now gone. In towns and cities throughout Mexico, revelers don makeup and costumes, march in parades, and dance and party in the streets. Popular dances include La Danza de los Viejitos—the dance of the little old men—in which boys and young men dress as old men, walk around crouched over, and then suddenly jump up and whirl. La Danza de los Tecuanes—the dance of the jaguars—depicts farm workers hunting the big cat. To commemorate lost loved ones, an altar, or ofrenda, is often built in private homes, cemeteries, and, in San Jose del Cabo, on the sidewalks of the town’s historic quarter. Not for worshipping, these altars welcome spirits back to the realm of the living. As such, they’re adorned with offerings—a favorite meal, family photos, and a candle for each deceased relative. Flowers (especially marigolds) and monarch butterflies are common symbols; orange and purple are typical colors. Seven Pueblo Bonito Resorts, including five in Los Cabos and two in Mazatlan, will offer special meals and themed festivities on both November 1 and 2. In Los Cabos, Montecristo Estates Luxury Villas (Cibola restaurant), Pueblo Sunset Beach (LaFrida restaurant), Pueblo Bonito Rosé (Mare Nostrum restaurant), Pueblo Bonito Pacifica (beach area), and Quivira Steakhouse will offer a range of Mexican buffets and themed tasting menus. These resort properties will also feature live regional music, traditional altar displays, and pre-Hispanic ceremonies. In Mazatlán, La Cordeliere at Pueblo Bonito Mazatlan Beach Resort will offer a Mexican buffet, fireworks, a piñata, and live music. At Pueblo Bonito Emerald Bay, Palomas restaurant has scheduled a Mexican buffet.
(800) 990-8259; www.pueblobonito.com.
UNITED WE FLY FOR BUSINESS?
United for Business has a plan to less travel stress for any group of 10 or more participants. The airline company is offering special pricing and priority benefits when traveling on a common flight to a common destination. They will provide an airport coordinator and priority check-in. Some locations may have a guaranteed fare. There will be flexibility on name changes and possibly payment flexibility. Use this link for inquiries: www.united.com/ual/en/us/grouptravel/bidrequest/submit
ORLANDO, FL FIRST FOR FOODIES???
I live in the Orlando, FL area and certainly enjoy the bounties of ethnic, innovative, and competitive cooking, but I was still taken by surprise at the results of WalletHub’s newest survey, Best Food Cities in America. The personal finance website compared more than 180 of the largest U.S. cities across 28 key metrics. The data set ranges from affordability and accessibility of high-quality restaurants to food festivals per capita to craft breweries and wineries per capita. Orlando, FL took first, followed by Portland, OR. The next 18 of the top 20 winning cities for foodies are Sacramento, CA; Miami, FL; San Francisco, CA; Tampa, FL; San Diego, CA; Las Vegas, NV; Austin, TX; Seattle, WA; Denver, CO; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL; Richmond, VA; Pittsburgh, PA; Washington, DC; St. Louis, MO; Houston, TX and New York, NY.
Oct. 17, 24 & 31: Bands on the (Pensacola, FL) Beach. All shows at 20 Casino Beach Blvd. Oct. 17 is String Farm. Oct 24: Knee Deep Band. Oct. 31: Not Quite Fab. www.visitpensacola.com/events; (850) 932-2257.
Nov. 4: Technology enthusiasts, design aficionados, or simply curious about the latest trends in home construction, vehicle innovation, and home audio entertainment, this day, from 10-4 pm in Winter Park, FL, is designed for you. Chat with reps from Bang & Olufsen, Land Rover, Aston Martin, Moke, Artisan Gallery, LiveTrends and WPCH.
email@example.com; (407) 443.1675
Dec. 16: Winterfest Boat Parade in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Celebrate 20 years together of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Winterfest. This year’s theme is Reflections Afloat. firstname.lastname@example.org
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. Karen@KarenKuzsel.com; www.karenkuzsel.com; www.ThePsychicLady.com; @karenkuzsel; @thepsychiclady. She is also active with Experience Kissimmee CVB and Wedding Venue Map..