Janet Ziegler was named director of meetings and incentives for the Mid-Atlantic Region for Barcelo Hotels & Resorts, which operates 32 all-inclusive resorts throughout Mexico, the Caribbean and Latin America.
Thomas D. Reese became president of Hersha Hospitality Management, which manages more than 50 nationally franchised midscale and upscale hotels in the eastern United States.
Dana Berry was named corporate director of public relations for Magnolia Hotels, which has hotels in Denver, Dallas, Houston and Omaha, Neb.
Gina Meyerson became a senior account executive with Landry & Kling Inc., which specializes in ship selection and cruise event management. Meyerson will handle the Midwestern U.S. market.
Certified Master Chef Klaus Happel, of the Renaissance Scottsdale Resort, won the Arizona Taste of Excellence contest, a major competition for professional chefs, as well as the 17th Annual National Taste of Elegance, earning top honors as Chef Par Excellence.
Corina Wood was named director of sales and marketing for the Renaissance Scottsdale Resort.
Judy Kabler of Scottsdale, Ariz.’s Hotel Valley Ho received the “Concierge of the Year” Silver Plume Award for her outstanding performance in the hospitality industry.
Mark Wellbrock was named director of sales for the Denver Magnolia Hotel; Jim Mascaranez was named director of food and beverage.
Carlos Salas joined the Quorum Hotel-Tampa [Fla.] as a sales manager for the Northeast markets and portions of the local market. Javier DeJesus became the property’s executive chef responsible for all food and beverage operations.
Daniel Gutierrez was promoted to vice president of engineering and facilities management at Rosen Hotels & Resorts in Orlando.
Bill Davis will become Universal Orlando Resort’s new president and CEO on Jan. 1, 2007.
Warren “Mac” McLaughlin, president and CEO of the Palm Beach County [Fla.] Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is retiring after 20 years with the bureau. A nationwide search for his replacement is underway. Linda Stith was named national sales manager for the southeast and southwest regions of the U.S. and incentive markets for the Palm Beach County CVB.
Michael Russell was named executive chef for the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
Gayle Elliott was appointed director of marketing and sales for the Bradley House Hotel in Palm Beach.
Thomas Glickman became vice president of marketing for Meeting Dynamics and Dynamic Productions, a Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based national destination management company specializing in full-service meeting and event planning.
Peggy Benua became general manager of the South Beach Marriott in Miami.
Susan Santiago was named general manager of the Hyatt Key West [Fla.].
Christopher Thomas became director of sales for the Athens [Ga.] Courtyard By Marriott.
J. Drew Perkins became operations manager of Atlanta-based destination management and event planning company Atlanta Arrangements; Meghan Griffin Norton was promoted to senior sales manager. Tim Barrett, CMP, and Jenny Munn were named sales managers.
Joseph Marinelli, CDME, became president of the Savannah [Ga.] Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Christopher Spina became executive chef at Pawleys Plantation Golf and Country Club on Pawley’s Island, S.C.
Holly Clapham was promoted to vice president of marketing of the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau (GHCVB); Lindsey Brown was promoted to director of marketing. Both received the Community Service Award from the Travel Industry Association of America for organizing nearly 50 free or heavily discounted activities for Hurricane Katrina refugees in the Houston area.
The executive board of the GHCVB began a national search to find qualified candidates for the CEO position. Current CVB President and CEO Gerard “Jordy” Tollett was asked to submit an application.
Veronica Torres was promoted to director of diversity and community relations for the Dallas Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Michael Sawaya became the head of San Antonio’s newly formed Convention, Sports and Entertainment Facilities Department.
Four new nonstop flights between Palm Beach International Airport and Las Vegas serviced by US Airways are scheduled to begin Feb. 11, 2007.
The Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear reopened last month. The Four-Star, 550-acre waterfront resort has 405 guest rooms and suites, two 18-hole Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses, eight tennis courts, 39,000 square feet of function space, five restaurants and lounges, and a 37-slip marina.
The Tutwiler Hotel in Birmingham is undergoing a $7.5 million renovation, scheduled for completion February 2007. Improvements include refurbishment of all 147 guest rooms, updated meeting space, a new fitness center, complimentary hot breakfasts, complimentary WiFi Internet, a new signature restaurant and lounge, and a library business center.
Fairfield Inn & Suites Birmingham Bessemer is expected to open this month with 76 guest rooms and one event room.
In Mobile, The Battle House, a Renaissance Hotel, is expected to open next month with 238 guest rooms and 25,943 square feet of total meeting space, including a 9,628-sq. ft. ballroom.
The Courtyard Anniston Oxford, an 88–room hotel with 1,220 square feet of meeting space, is expected to open next month in Oxford.
Scottsdale’s Hotel Valley Ho received the AAA Four Diamond Award for 2007. Its VH Spa for Vitality + Health was named one of the country’s best new spas this year by Condé Nast Traveler. A member of the Historic Hotels of America, the property celebrates its 50th anniversary on Dec. 20.
The Royal Palms Resort and Spa is expected to complete its $12 million renovation/expansion project this month with the unveiling of 70 new guest rooms in its Montevista Courtyard and Suites complex. Amenities include 119 total guest rooms, including six Alvadora Spa suites and a two-bedroom villa, garden terraces, Spanish courtyards, on-site dining, a full-service spa, a cigar and a piano bar, gardens and reflecting pools.
Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort and Spa was named the No. 1 resort in the U.S. as part of the Condé Nast Traveler Reader’s Choice Awards, published last month. The 53-acre resort has 98 casitas and six private homes.
The Olive & Ivy Restaurant & Marketplace opened Oct. 16 at the Scottsdale Waterfront. Billed as an upscale casual restaurant, the restaurant serves Mediterranean-by-way-of-California cuisine and has an adjacent marketplace selling gourmet espresso, coffee, café fare and baked goods.
Aspen/Snowmass opened its ski season early; improvements include new gondolas and terrain.
The Courtyard Denver Cherry Creek is expected to open January 2007 with 240 rooms, eight meeting rooms and a 3,530-sq. ft. ballroom.
In Ponte Vedra Beach, a $56 million enhancement project is underway at the Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa, including the Players Stadium Course and the TPC Sawgrass Clubhouse, with the intention of transforming Ponte Vedra into the “Pebble Beach of the East.”
The Residence Inn Tallahassee Universities at the Capitol opened with 135 suites, complimentary Internet access, meeting space for up to 200 attendees and a 24/7 business center.
The smoke-free Courtyard St. Petersburg Downtown opened with 128 rooms and 806 square feet of meeting space.
Several Marriott properties are expected to open next month: the 85-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Clermont, the 126-room SpringHill Suites Gainesville, the 101-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Jacksonville Butler Boulevard, and the 151-room Courtyard Jacksonville Beach.
In Orlando, an interactive talk show, iVillage Live, will begin broadcasting Dec. 4 from the Universal Orlando Resort. The first of its kind, the daytime program will simultaneously appear on air (Bravo), online (iVillageLive.com) and in front of a live studio audience. The Blue Man Group is expected to open its live show at the resort in June 2007.
On Hallandale Beach in Broward County, the Las Vegas-style Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino opened. Half of the profits from the slot machines will go toward education in Florida.
The St. Regis Resort, Fort Lauderdale opens Dec. 15 with 166 guest rooms and 20 Intracoastal suites. The property will have 24,000 square feet of meeting space, including an 8,500-sq. ft. grand ballroom and a 2,900-sq. ft. junior ballroom.
The Westin Colonnade Coral Gables is scheduled to open Jan. 4, 2007, with 157 guest rooms and 23,000 square feet of meeting space.
Sanibel Island was named one of “the best in the world” in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 2006 Readers’ Choice Awards, earning a spot on the Top-10 North America Islands list.
The Sanibel Sea School opened a day camp program for children ages six to 13, and a Fish Camp for teens and adults, which incorporate field trips and crafts projects.
The Bridge Water Inn on Pine Island became a “One Palm” Florida Certified Green Lodge for its commitment to environmental performance in the areas of water and energy conservation, waste reduction and indoor air quality.
The Fort Myers Tarpons joined the National Indoor Football League and will begin play in March 2007 at the Lee Civic Center in North Fort Myers.
The 125-acre, 318-room Naples Beach Hotel & Golf Club completed renovations of guest rooms and suites in two of its six wings. Resort amenities include 34,000 square feet of meeting and event space; an 18-hole, par 72 PGA championship golf course; a full-service spa and a fitness center; a beachfront swimming pool; an award-winning Tennis Center; and an Orchid House with more than 5,000 tropical plants.
The TIB Amphitheater in Islamorada opened with 300 fixed seats and an adjacent event lawn capable of accommodating thousands more.
The Alpharetta Welcome Center became a Regional Visitor Information Center for the state of Georgia.
Motel Enterprises, which owns the Athens Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, and Hilton Garden Inn, has announced plans to build a hotel on Daniels Bridge Rd. in Oconee County.
The Atlanta Airport Marriott began an $18 million renovation of its 638 guest rooms and suites. Improvements will include flat-panel televisions equipped with connectivity for iPods and laptops, granite desk- and countertops and WiFi Internet access. Guest room renovations are scheduled for completion by April 2007.
DiamondRock is set to acquire the 521-room Renaissance Waverly Atlanta Hotel before the end of the year. The property is attached to the 320,000-sq. ft. Cobb Galleria Centre in northwest Atlanta, and has 65,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Renovations will reposition the Waverly’s food and beverage options.
The Fairfield Inn & Suites Atlanta East/Lithonia opened with 85 guest rooms and 2,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Lottie Moon House Bed & Breakfast opened in Cartersville. Originally built as the First Baptist Church of Cartersville, it was used as a hospital by Gen. Sherman’s army during the Civil War.
The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans is scheduled to reopen this month. The state’s only Five Diamond hotel has a 20,000-sq. ft. day spa, 34,000 square feet of meeting space and dedicated conference concierges, on-site dining and a state-of-the-art fitness center.
Fair Grounds Race Course reopened last month in New Orleans. The nation’s third-oldest track has been upgraded with 600 flat-screen TVs and a 15-ft. by 20-ft. video board
The New Orleans Marriott Metairie at Lakeway is scheduled to open in January with 220 guest rooms and 6,800 square feet of total meeting space.
The Residence Inn Memphis Southaven is scheduled to open this month with 78 rooms and a 350-sq. ft. event room. Sister property Courtyard Memphis Southaven is expected to open with 85 rooms and event space next month.
Both Marriott and Hilton have been approved to build hotels in the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport’s 25-acre office park, adding a total of 240 rooms to the area.
The Golden Nugget is completing the first phase of its multi-million dollar renovation. New amenities include The Tank, a $20-million pool surrounded by aquarium tanks filled with sharks and other marine life; The Showroom, an updated 600-seat theater; the Grotto Restaurant, serving upscale Italian cuisine; a full-service spa; a VIP lounge; and Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, a signature fine-dining restaurant from Landry’s Restaurants, which owns the property.
The Palms Casino Resort in Las Vegas began construction of The Pearl, a 2,400-seat concert venue with two 14-ft. by 16-ft. video screens, three levels of seating with beverage stations and restrooms on each level, and 18 private and semi-private skyboxes. The space will be wired to allow simultaneous live-album recordings for performing artists.
The Residence Inn Chapel Hill is scheduled to open this month with 108 guest rooms and 800 square feet of meeting space.
Scheduled to break ground in Chapel Hill this month is a 22-room expansion of the Courtyard by Marriott near the Friday Center.
The Residence Inn Fayetteville Cross Creek is scheduled to open this month with 92 rooms and event space.
The 71-room Fairfield Inn & Suites Wilson is scheduled to open in January.
Kiawah Island was named one of “the best in the world” in Condé Nast Traveler magazine’s 2006 Readers’ Choice Awards, ranking No. 2 on the North America Islands list.
The Woodlands Resort & Inn and The Dining Room at Woodlands received the Mobil Travel Guide Five-Star Award for the fourth consecutive year. The Summerville resort has 18 guest rooms, a guest cottage, a day spa, red-clay tennis courts, meeting facilities and golf privileges at nearby courses. The dining room serves new American cuisine with a Lowcountry influence for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The 88-room Residence Inn Spartanburg is scheduled to open in January.
The Four Points by Sheraton Knoxville Cumberland House Hotel opened in the Fort Sanders Historic District by the convention center and the University of Tennessee. The property has 130 guest rooms and five meeting rooms.
The Courtyard Knoxville Airport Alcoa is scheduled to open next month with 95 rooms and 1,301 square feet of meeting space.
DiamondRock is scheduled to acquire the 492-room Renaissance Austin Hotel before the end of the year. The property, located in the Arboretum development along Research Boulevard, has 60,000 square feet of meeting and exhibition space. Planned renovations will add 14 rooms to the property.
The Residence Inn DFW Airport North/Grapevine is scheduled to open next month with 133 rooms and 1,272 square feet of meeting space.
The Settles Hotel Development Company (SHDC) will purchase the historic Settles Hotel from the City of Big Spring. The property is one of the most famous historic buildings in West Texas. Opened in 1930, it hosted celebrities such as Elvis Presley, Lawrence Welk and President Herbert Hoover before closing its doors in the 1980s. SHDC plans to restore the property using the original architectural plans, nominate it for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places, and convert the property to a mixed-use commercial and residential complex with a full-service restaurant and conference center.
The Holiday Inn Houston Hobby Airport, formerly the Ramada Plaza Hobby Airport/Houston, reopened after completing a multi-million dollar renovation. Amenities include 194 rooms, 3,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, on-site dining and 24-hour transportation to and from the airport.
San Antonio’s Pearl Brewery is undergoing a transformation to convert the 22-acre historic complex into a mixed-use development. Attractions include the center for Foods of the Americas, a culinary school; Pearl Stable, an event space for up to 500 people; and the AVEDA Institute San Antonio.
San Antonio’s McNay Art Museum is undergoing a $50.8 million expansion, scheduled for completion in 2008.
In January, the Texas Legislature will vote on whether or not to allow development of up to 12 casinos in Texas’ big cities and on islands along its Gulf Coast. If passed by both houses, voters will weigh in on the measure by ballot in November 2007.
The Westin Le Paradis St. Lucia Beach & Golf Resort received two Bentley International Property Awards, “Best Caribbean Golf Development” and “Best International Golf Development.”
The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa is expected to open Dec. 13 with 317 guest rooms and suites, multiple oceanfront dining options, a full-service spa, a casino, 10,000 square feet of outdoor meeting space, three boardrooms and a 10,000-sq. ft. ballroom.
The Westin Aruba Resort is scheduled to open on Dec. 20 with 481 guest rooms, six meeting rooms and meeting space for up to 1,000 people.
Spirit Airlines is reviving service to Providenciales and Grand Turk in the Turks and Caicos Islands beginning Dec. 8 from several U.S. airports, including Atlanta, New York/LaGuardia, Myrtle Beach, Tampa and Chicago/O’Hare.