The Ottawa Convention Center opened. Built to LEED Silver-certification standards, the center already has more than 90 conventions on the books through 2015. A virtual tour of the facility is available online.
The Ritz-Carlton/Toronto opened with 267 guest rooms and more than 12,000 square feet of event space in the city’s downtown financial district.
Carlson announced plans for a 120-room Radisson Hotel & Conference Center Calgary Airport East, which is scheduled to open in March 2012, two miles from the airport.
HelmsBriscoe, in partnership with VariArts Travel Group, is extending its services to the Chinese market.
The United States and Croatia signed the Open Skies Agreement to allow for an open air travel corridor between the two countries.
Zagreb was honored with the Award for Excellence — Most Promising New Destination from the Travel Tourism Fair & Outbound Travel Mart in Mumbai, India.
The Radisson Blu Resort Split opened after completing an extensive renovation of its 240 guest rooms.
Comfort Inn Hyde Park opened in London with 29 newly refurbished guest rooms.
IndiaThe Oberoi, Gurgaon, opened in New Delhi’s prime business and shopping district. The luxury hotel has 202 guest rooms, a cigar lounge, 24-hour butler service and the city’s first 24-hour spa.
From May 3-8, Shoal Creek will be the site of the Regions Tradition, the first-ever PGA Champions Tour to be played in the state. , the Regions Tradition.
The JW Marriott Camelback Inn in Scottsdale completed a $50 million renovation/expansion project that upgraded technology available in its 20,000-sq. ft. grand ballroom, refreshed its 453 guest rooms and public spaces, and added new restaurants and a courtyard.
A $7 million renovation project has added an outdoor plaza, farm-to-table restaurant, pool and new lobby to the 331-room Wigwam Resort in Phoenix.
The Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa completed renovations of its 517 guest rooms and 110,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Morgans Hotel Group entered into an agreement to sell the Mondrian Los Angeles hotel to an affiliate of Pebblebrook Hotel trust.
A new 377-room hotel tower featuring a Courtyard by Marriott and a Residence Inn by Marriott is scheduled to open adjacent to L.A. Live in March 2014.
The LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes opened in downtown Los Angeles. The Smithsonian-affiliated museum, which features exhibits on Mexican-American art and culture, has special ticket rates for groups of 10 or more.
Complimentary digital, print and iPad versions of the Anaheim Orange County Travel Guide are now available from anaheimoc.org.
The city of San Jose has secured the funds necessary to expand and renovate the San Jose McEnery Convention Center. The $120 million, two-year project will add 125,000 square feet to the facility.
The Westin Denver Downtown was honored by Host Hotels & Resorts for its “tradition of commitment to environmental responsibility.” Green initiatives at the hotel include a compost program, in-room recycling and providing biodegradable wooden key cards to guests.
More than $450 million in new projects are in development in Fort Lauderdale to refresh the oceanfront area along Las Olas Boulevard. Projects range from upgrading beach promenades, and adding parking, parks and plazas to renovating existing properties and opening new hotels.
The historic Royal Palm in Miami’s South Beach is being renovated and reflagged. It is expected to reopen as the James Royal Palm, a residential-style boutique hotel, in late 2012. Amenities will include a full-service spa, more than 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, 179 guest rooms, and 211 studios and suites.
Visit St. Pete/Clearwater has launched an interactive online, 3-D, augmented reality tour at visitstpeteclearwater.com/twotreasures/ar.
Air Berlin is increasing service between Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Düsseldorf (DUS) for the summer travel season. Germany’s second-largest airline will offer four weekly flights to RSW, effective July 25 through Sept. 12, 2011. The new Monday service will complement current flights on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
The Island Inn on Sanibel Island is undergoing a major refurbishment project. The completed $250,000 phase one of the revamp concentrated on redeveloping Traditions on the Beach restaurant, building a new bar and lounge, and adding electronic amenities such as Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs. Phase two will upgrade cottages, furnishings and reception areas this summer.
The Rosen Inn closest to Universal in Orlando, which recently completed renovations, was awarded the AAA Three-Diamond rating.
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park opened a new attraction, Crocodile Crossing, which features a 50-challenge obstacle course and seven zip lines high above the park.
The Casa Marina Hotel and Restaurant in Jacksonville Beach now offers lunch service in its Penthouse Lounge.
The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is adding hybrid buses to its fleet.
The Shores Resort & Spa in Daytona Beach increased its recreational offerings. Guests now may enjoy Bocce ball, shuffleboard, horseshoes, yoga, beach walks and other activities at no extra charge.
The AT&T Dolphin Tales exhibit opened at the Georgia Aquarium, featuring dancing dolphins and live actors accompanied by a 61-piece orchestra.
The Elysian Hotel Chicago has partnered with Lexus to offer a fleet of luxury vehicles for guests to use for short jaunts, free of charge.
The Renaissance New Orleans Pere Marquette Hotel added a new party room, The Nook, to its Bar UnCommon venue. The Nook accommodates groups of 10 to 12 people. Amenities include mixology demonstrations featuring locally distilled Old New Orleans Rum.
The Minneapolis Marriott Southwest upgraded its fitness center by adding several new Inspire treadmills, bikes and elliptical trainers.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened a pool area featuring three different outdoor environments for guests, including an all-day DJ “dayclub” and a spa-themed oasis.
The co-owners of The Improv at Harrah’s Las Vegas signed a five-year extension to keep the comedy club in place through at least 2015.
Ravella at Lake Las Vegas now offers hotel guests access to the Golf Club at SouthShores’ Jack Nicklaus Signature Course.
The 669-room Yotel is scheduled to open in June. Advertising itself as having “everything you might find in a luxury hotel in under 200 square feet,” the brand already has two properties in London and one in Amsterdam.
The 33-room Vanderbilt Grace opened in Newport. This summer, the hotel will open a new fine dining restaurant, Muse by Jonathan Cartwright.
The Hilton Garden Inn/Columbia-Northeast opened with 110 guest rooms and 3,500 square feet of space.
Travaasa Austin, an “experiential” hotel, opened on the former Crossings Resort campus. The 70-room hotel has a wellness spa, organic and locally sourced cuisine, and 6,700 square feet of flexible indoor space.
A new online tool for meeting planners is available from the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau website. The booking tool is designed for planners booking 25 rooms or less and is accessible at dallasmeetings.com.
In Houston, the Embassy Suites/Hotel Downtown opened adjacent to Discovery Green and the George R. Brown Convention Center. The 262-suite hotel has 6,000 square feet of event space and has applied for LEED certification.
Westin Houston Memorial City opened with 267 guest rooms and suites, and more than 30,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space. Other amenities include a rooftop infinity pool with panoramic views of the Houston skyline.
The Westin Oaks/Houston completed a multimillion-dollar renovation of its 406 guest rooms, public areas and 23,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Houston Ballet’s $47 million Center for Dance opened downtown with a 200-seat dance lab and sustainable features throughout.
The mixed-use West Ave development in Houston has opened at the intersection of the Upper Kirby and River Oaks districts. In addition to 190,000 square feet of retail space, the complex has restaurants such as Eddie V’s, Ava Kitchen and Pondicheri, and one of the only U.S. Shu Uemura Art of Hair Sanctuary Salons, Azur West.
New bars have opened in downtown Houston’s Bayou Place entertainment complex: the Western-themed PBR Houston, the beach-themed Shark Bar and the upscale sports bar Lucie’s Liquors. Whiskey bar Chapel Spirits will open this month.
In March 2012, Asia Society Texas Center’s $48.4 million, 38,000-sq. ft. headquarters is expected to open. The building, designed by architect Yoshio Taniguchi, will have a three-room classroom and conference suite, an art gallery, a theater and three gardens. Taniguchi also designed the Museum of Modern Art expansion in New York in 2004.
A new stadium for the Houston Dynamo is expected to open in May 2012. It will be the first soccer-specific stadium in Major League Soccer to be located in a city’s downtown district.
Le May — America’s Car Museum is scheduled to open May 19, 2012, in Tacoma. The 165,000-sq. ft. museum will include a massive show field to host everything from vintage car events to rock concerts and drive-in movies. Other group amenities will include a banquet center and cafe, an educational center/library and galleries of rotating exhibits.
The Holiday Inn/Pewaukee-Milwaukee West (formerly the Radisson Hotel Pewaukee) has completed a renovation and rebranding project that upgraded its 118 guest rooms and meeting and banquet spaces.