HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – SEPTEMBER 2021

FLORIDA HOTELS “RAISE THE ROOF FOR HURRICANE IDA RELIEF”

Raise the Roof raised over $7000 for Hurricane Ida Relief

They came. They ate and drank. They donated to the tune of $7,000 in the one-night “Raising the Roof for Hurricane Ida Relief” program. Patrons of four Florida rooftop bars: EDGE Rooftop Cocktail Lounge (Epicurean Hotel in Tampa); Hi-Fi Rooftop Bar (Fenway Hotel in Dunedin); Vantage Rooftop Bar (The Karol Hotel in Clearwater); and Beacon Social Drinkery (Luminary Hotel & Co. in Fort Myers) donated half of the evening’s sales to directly support of those impacted by the storm. The $7,000 was given to the American Red Cross. “It came together fast, but we wanted to give our guests and neighbors a way to quickly and directly help those affected by Hurricane Ida,” said Joe Collier, President of Mainsail Lodging & Development. “It was great to see so many come out at our four hotel rooftop bars to support the cause, with some guests making private donations, including one $1,000 donation from another local business.” To donate: www.RedCross.org.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – AUGUST 2021

The Saints go marching in to newly-renamed Caesars Superdome in New Orleans, LA.

RENAMED, RENOVATED AND THE BRAND NEW

The kickoff won’t be until February 2025 for the New Orleans Saints and Caesars Entertainment rebrand of New Orleans’ iconic downtown stadium as the Caesars Superdome. The 20-year, exclusive naming-rights partnership means the Caesars Superdome will host all Saints home football games, and Super Bowl LIX to be played in February 2025. The building will also host the 2022 NCAA Men’s Final Four, the annual Sugar Bowl and College Football Playoff contests, a variety of concerts and hundreds of other annual events including Essence Festival, the Bayou Classic football game between Grambling State and Southern University, the New Orleans Bowl and the Louisiana State High School Athletic Association Football Championships. Caesars Superdome will stand as testament to Caesars’ commitment to the New Orleans Saints and to the city of New Orleans as it embarks on a $325 million renovation to transform Harrah’s New Orleans into Caesars New Orleans. “This partnership sends a strong message about the positive future for the New Orleans Saints, Caesars Entertainment, and the entire state of Louisiana,” said Saints Owner Gayle Benson. “

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – JULY 2021

Sexual Discrimination in golf packages? You’ll have to read on to see which resort chain only thinks men golf. Venue alert: new hotels and renovated properties are vying for your business. The Galapagos say, “Welcome back”!

OPEN AND READY FOR BUSINESS

The new Crystal River Rapids ride is an exhilarating way to cool off in Gaylord Palms’ Cypress Springs Water Park.

The two-year, $158 million renovation and expansion of the Gaylord Palms Resort & Convention Center (Kissimmee, FL) has been completed. More than 100,000 sf of meeting space and 306 guest rooms in the new Gulf Coast Tower have been added. Gaylord Palms has 482,745 sf of meeting space, with 76 event rooms and 10,000 sf in the largest space. Florida Exhibition Hall, Florida’s largest in-hotel exhibition facility has 178,500 sf of flexible space. The new meeting spaces add 30,000 sf of breakout space and 30,000 sf of pre-function space. The expansion includes the 306 additional guest rooms, 13,000 sf outdoor terrace and function space, parking garage, and expanded pool offerings. Added fun for adults and youth: the new Crystal River Rapids ride has twists and turns through varied currents amid limestone rock walls in the Cypress Springs Water Park.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – LATE JUNE 2021

Pose Rooftop Bar and Lounge at Gaylord National

OPEN AND READY FOR BUSINESS

The $64 million renovation of Gaylord National Resort reopened July 1. 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 redo enhances the 19-story glass atrium, all-season pool, hot tubs with river views, and the resort’s spectacular 1.5-acre garden atrium.

https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/wasgn-gaylord-national-resort-and-convention-center/overview/?

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – JUNE 2021

Argentinian Grill now at Caesars Palace Bacchanal Buffet in Las Vegas, NV.

If you are new to my Hotel Happenings & Program Promotions monthly (or more often) blog series, then welcome. I began this originally because I worked for a hospitality, meetings & events magazine that focused on events, destinations, technology, food, wine etc. Life had other plans in store, and soon after I created this blog to further and expand my audience, from just “industry” folk to some leisure travel readers. Pre-Covid-19’s global disruptions, I wrote about my personal travel experiences with the intent of telling you what you might experience and to show off my husband Russ’ fabulous photography that captures destinations’ assets. I am a foodie who isn’t snooty. I love to cook and bake, so my blog site has a Tasty section for restaurant reviews, my recipes, and reviews of cooking shows I have judged. I’ve missed the sharing and now that the world is steadier on its healthier direction, I intend to present as many relevant events, resort deals and openings, new technology and other news of this nature as I can. Share your news. Share your comments.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – MAY 2021

Galactic characters welcomed to Pensacola International Airport in Florida

I read a lot of news, from the morning Orlando Sentinel newspaper to various professional organization and general news feeds. It would be easy to buy into just one side of reported events, but when one story says the world is returning to normalcy and that tourism and event numbers are exploding, but the next story says the virus is still rampant and if we don’t continue being careful it will worsen… what is one to believe? As an optimist and psychic for events (did you know that part about me?), I am all in for believing that the second half of this year will be far better for the greater number of people than the past year+ has been. So there. You can help. Start by envisioning where you, your family and friends, and your business will be in just a matter of months. Would love to hear your expectations and successes!

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – APRIL 2021

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.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – MARCH 2021

Sunset on a dude ranch.

Word in hospitality, meetings & events industries is that business is returning. Slower than any of us would prefer, but it’s like Spring emerging from Winter: tender green shoots begin popping out from tended soil, buds unfold into colorful flowers, and love (personal or business—your choice) is in the air. I hear from many of my business relationships that inquiries are increasing. Bookings occurring more for fall than immediate. Some friends expecting to be travelling again soon for conferences, and yet, there are still huge question marks about safety protocols at meetings and events. Would love to have your input on what you think has made any events you’ve hosted be successful.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – FEBRUARY 2021

Villa La Datcha has sleeps 20 in 10 bedrooms.

My plants are confused. I hear there’s a lot of that going around. A week ago in Central Florida temperatures averaged 60 and the evenings dipped into high 30s or 40s. This week the lows are in the 60s and the highs in high-70s to high 80s. My plants don’t know whether to hibernate or bloom, as some are doing. Just spoke to someone in Texas who was in the midst of that horrendous below-freezing weather a couple days ago and today her area is in the high-70s. The rapid variance of temperatures is just like the world news. Recovery is imminent, airlines and cruise lines preparing for tourism crush, and COVID-related infection and death numbers are plummeting. Those stories contrast sharply with other current news that says tourism won’t recover until 2022 or 2023, and the new U.K and African viruses are more deadly and spreading quickly. What, and whom, to believe. I think the solution is: we believe what makes us feel better. So, my advice is to find something positive on which to focus and just do your best to make it happen.

HOTEL HAPPENINGS & PROGRAM PROMOTIONS – January 2021

Grizzly with a salmon seen at Chilko Lake, part of the remote area’s experience with nature.

Welcome to the New Year, when we all are hoping that our world’s health, outlook and economies rebound with vigorous speed and stability. I have faith in us. Throughout the pandemic, I have been renewed by stories of people who have switched industries, founded new businesses, reached out to others, or have received the help needed. I’d love for you to be interactive with this blog. Send me your news of destinations, events, or what topics are of concern. Comment on what I have written. Contribute ideas on what direction or information you would like to know. I will do my best to deliver. I have been privileged to be accepted onto the Independent Small Business Owners Advisory Panel for Meetings Professionals International. Have been on many local chapter committees and on the Board of Directors, as well as many other global advisories. I “feel” like this group will be invigorating, challenging, and resourceful… All great words I want to insert into my, and yours, everyday life. Be healthy, focused and productive.