Benchmark Hospitality International has launched a new ‘Benchmark Conference Centers’ program designed to assist meeting planners in selecting suitable properties that are purpose-built for holding meetings.
Each Benchmark Conference Center in the program meets International Association of Conference Centers certification standards and should score a minimum of 94% in customer satisfaction in a third-party audit.
Each ‘conference-ready’ hotel will offer all-inclusive packages with customization options, meeting and conference services, dining, and four diamond lodging.
This will be backed by dedicated sales and conference support teams and a meeting concierge during events.
“The objective of Benchmark Conference Centers is to provide the highest level of meeting experience at the greatest value,” said Benchmark Chairman Burt Cabañas.
The move comes just over a week after the company announced the launch of two new hotel brands – Personal Luxury Resorts & Hotels and Benchmark Resorts & Hotels.
Paramount Hotels & Resorts, the new chain of Paramount-branded hotels, resorts and residences from the Paramount Pictures Corporation, partnered with Preferred Hotel Group to support its entry into the hotel industry. The partnership will begin with an agreement for the first Paramount-branded hotel, DAMAC Towers by Paramount, to enter into membership of Preferred Hotels & Resorts. DAMAC Towers by Paramount is scheduled to open in downtown Dubai in late 2015
“With a strong foothold in key markets across the Middle East and Asia and a proven track record of successfully supporting some of the world’s finest luxury hotels and resorts, Preferred Hotel Group is the ideal partner to support our entry into the luxury hospitality sector,” said Thomas van Vliet, chief executive officer of Paramount Hotels & Resorts.
“As we look to increase our presence in key destinations, we are honored to enter into this relationship with Paramount Hotels & Resorts,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, President of Preferred Hotel Group. “With a shared vision of what defines luxury hospitality and similar goals for strategic growth, we look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship.”
Paramount Hotels & Resorts announced plans for the $1 billion DAMAC Towers by Paramount last month. Located in the heart of the downtown Burj Khalifa area of Dubai, the property will feature four towers. One tower will house the 540-unit Paramount Hotel & Residences with the remaining three towers housing the DAMAC Maison. The four towers that make up DAMAC Towers by Paramount will be brought together by a multi-level plaza that will offer a selection of themed food and beverage concepts, meeting and events facilities, a screening room, wellness and fitness centers, swimming pools, children’s club, retail spaces, and merchandise all featuring the Paramount brand or select partner brands.
A new online hotel booking platform dedicated to group planners has been launched, offering automated, real-time matching of accommodations.
Groupize.com has a network of 30,000 group-friendly hotels worldwide, including 12,000 in North America.
The service provides a simplified interface providing real-time pricing and group deals for planners in just a few clicks.
The system follows a similar model to many hotel booking websites, comparing options based on user preferences for dates, number of rooms and destination.
Groupize CEO Charles de Gaspe Beaubien believes it is the most streamlined way to plan and book hotel rooms for a group, and of particular interest for occasional small group planners who may not have the resources or contacts to negotiate group rates.
The website’s interface enables planners to share information with the group, send pre-arrival requests to the selected hotel and manage payments and the room block.
The service is supported by a US based call center to handle special requests and more complex group bookings.
Groupize had previously specialized in dedicated cloud based group booking platforms for hotel chains and convention centers.
In 2013 the company won the PhoCusWright Award for most innovative travel tech company in the emerging category.
Leading audiovisual provider AVPartners has partnered with American mobile event app developer DoubleDutch to deliver the latest in event technology innovation to Australian shores.
Events supported by AVPartners can now leverage DoubleDutch’s social mobile apps to increase attendee engagement and create a platform for guests and event organisers to communicate with each other.
The exclusive partnership is helping break new ground in Australia by leveraging international MICE trends in digital, social and app technology.
DoubleDutch has built the first ever social mobile event app that allows users to check-in to activities, bookmark favourite events, and network with fellow guests. These features encourage attendees to engage in event content and provide a powerful source of social data for organisers to improve their events in real time. The app is initially available for events at hotels throughout Australia through AVPartners.
AVPartners Founding Partner Gary Hackett said, “The partnership with DoubleDutch is boosting our ability to deliver a highly connected, participatory and dynamic event experience for event delegates. It’s an ideal partnership.”
DoubleDutch CEO and co-founder Lawrence Coburn said, “The days when conferences were solely focused on the in-person experience are long gone. The modern conference delegate is not only technologically savvy and well connected, but they also expect a seamlessly integrated online and offline event experience.”
AVPartners is working closely with their partner venues across the country to deliver a highly tailored, localised and cutting edge app offering for their clients. They have already launched the app at Novotel Twin Waters Resort and will roll out the app to their remaining partner venues throughout the year.
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New activities help inspire business travelers to make the most of their time on the road
Renaissance Hotels (www.renhotels.com) announced today that it will significantly expand its line-up of entertainment offerings this year with a variety of exciting partnerships and activations designed especially for the next generation business traveler. The news is part of Renaissance Hotels’ continued commitment to offering a variety of different experiences within all of its hotels that help make every business trip an opportunity to discover.
Launching this spring and continuing all year long, Renaissance Hotels will team up with world renowned AEG, a leading entertainment and sports company, to create signature events, unique multi-media programming and exclusive access for its hotel guests. To officially kick-off the partnership this March, Renaissance Hotels will host a concert by the band Grouplove at a yet to be revealed hotel location.
Two additional partnerships unveiled today include a newly established affiliation with one of the most well recognized names in the music industry, Universal Music Group, and a relationship with Creative Artists Agency (CAA), the world’s leading entertainment and sports agency. These fresh relationships build Renaissance Hotels’ ongoing promise to inspire hotel guests and locals with unparalleled access to music, art, design and culinary experiences at each of its 155 hotels around the world.
“Today’s sophisticated traveler spends more time than ever on the road. And in the modern age where we’re constantly connected, our guests see business travel as an opportunity to discover and share memorable experiences,” said Dan Vinh, vice president of global marketing for Renaissance Hotels. “This year’s program is all about access that encourages discovery. We want to make it easy for guests to make the most of their time whether they’re looking for emerging music, the arts or indigenous culinary or mixology adventures. This year is especially designed to help guests connect to their passions or unearth new ones in a meaningful way.”
All-Access at Renaissance Hotels
Renaissance Hotels and AEG will join forces this year to bring the best of live entertainment and personalized access to hotel guests around the world through a variety of unique activities and platforms:
Local Festival Discoveries
Also this year, expect to discover Renaissance Hotels at a number of high profile music and entertainment festivals including upcoming SXSW Music Film Interactive in Austin, Texas and DC Jazz Music Festival in Washington, D.C. among others.
In Austin, Renaissance hotels is partnering with Universal Music Group at SXSW Music Film Interactive to host their emerging artists showcase. On March 13th and 14th, festival goers and hotel guests can discover the best emerging talent attending this year’s event at the Palm Door on Sixth, while at the same time experiencing a vibe that only a city like Austin can offer. Up to ten artists are scheduled to perform each day during the showcase, including The 1975, Little Dragon, American Authors, The Kooks and Aloe Blacc.
In June, the Renaissance Dupont Circle Hotel, The Mayflower Renaissance Hotel and the Renaissance Washington D.C. Downtown Hotel will act as the official hotel sponsor of the 2014 DC Jazz Festival. The renowned festival, known for its high level of both local and national talent, will offer guests the opportunity to experience the latest and greatest in jazz music and entertainment – at the festival as well as intimate performance sets inside all three Renaissance Hotels in DC.
For more information on where to find Renaissance Hotels at this year’s most exciting festivals, please visit www.renhotels.com/events
Events at Renaissance Hotels
Renaissance Hotels is teaming up with CAA to launch a special event roster with Renaissance Hotels, including an exclusive branded music series featuring select emerging and established musicians from the agency’s roster. The artists will call more than 25 Renaissance Hotels home while on tour throughout the year in the U.S. During their stay, the artists will treat guests and locals to a series of unique experiences, ranging from live acoustic performances to after-show meet-and-greets. In addition, participating artists will be featured on themed Renaissance Hotels materials and videos throughout the properties. For a full schedule of featured artist events, please visit www.renhotels.com/events.
How do I get tickets?
Book your stay and check out the full line up of performances and promotions planned throughout the year at all 155 Renaissance Hotels including local art, culinary, film and more by visiting www.renhotels.com/events or www.facebook.com/renhotels
Not traveling? You can still participate by entering our sweepstakes:
As Grouplove makes time to discover the very best of their destination while on tour, they’ll be sharing some of their favorite hidden gems while inviting Renaissance guests and fans to do the same. The band, along with Renaissance Hotels, will hand select the best discoveries and offer winners the opportunity to attend Grouplove’s exclusive March performance, including the chance to spend time with the band. On February 25th, Grouplove released their new “I’m With You” documentary and concert album, shot by acclaimed filmmaker Sam Erickson. The documentary is a compelling exploration into Grouplove’s history by tracing their unique story, including engaging interviews with the band members and live performance footage and is available via iTunes and amazon.com. For entrée into the Renaissance Hotels sweepstakes, please visit www.facebook.com/renhotels.
ABOUT RENAISSANCE HOTELS
Renaissance Hotels represents a diverse collection of 155 hotels in 35 countries worldwide. Each property is unique, offering passionate travelers a one-of-kind experience. Within every hotel, guests are greeted by an exceptional array of amenities and an inspiring world of local discoveries. For travelers looking to experience something wonderfully new, innovative and locally driven programs are offered worldwide, including Navigator and the brand’s the industry leading entertainment platform LIVE at Renaissance. Live Life To Discover. To discover more visit www.renhotels.com . Friend us on Facebook www.facebook.com/RenaissanceHotels Follow us on Twitter www.twitter.com/RenHotels
Meetings are now going mobile at Marriott hotels with the launch of apps for Caribbean and Mexico resorts.
Part of the hotel firm’s ‘Future of Meetings’ project, the apps offer real-time requests and adjustments, such as customizing event layout, coffee refills, or adjusting room temperatures.
Once a request is made by the planner, it is immediately logged with the event manager and the respective section to carry out the request.
The relevant app is sent to the planner three days before the meeting with customized settings specific to the event taking place, when the planner will be able to make any real-time requests.
The app is free and available for desktop, iOS and android devices.
The JW Event Concierge version of the app is for meetings at JW Marriott hotels and is called R.E.N. Meetings Expert for events at Renaissance hotels.
The apps are being rolled out at seven properties in Mexico and the Caribbean, including the Grand Cayman Marriott Beach Resort, Marriott Puerto Vallarta Resort & Spa, and the Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.
Other Caribbean, US and international hotels in the Marriott portfolio will have access to the service later this year.
Hilton Worldwide signed a management agreement with Inmobiliaria Cidras SA de CV for the 227-room DoubleTree by Hilton hotel in Veracruz, Mexico. The Novomar Hotel is slated to reopen as the DoubleTree by Hilton Veracruz during the first half of next year.
The renovation will include updated rooms boasting Sweet Dreams by DoubleTree Sleep Experience beds, Crabtree & Evelyn Citron bath and body products, 37-inch HDTV flat screen televisions, in-room tea and coffee offerings and work desks with data ports, MP3-compatible clock radios and Wi-Fi.
The property will include a 24-hour state-of-the-art fitness center, one restaurant, two bars and 27,700 feet of meetings space.
Las Vegas – March is a big month at Boyd Gaming! Across the Las Vegas Valley, Boyd Gaming properties will be celebrating March Madness, Mardi Gras and St. Patrick’s Day with special events and great promotions throughout the month.
THE ORLEANS HOTEL & CASINO
4500 West Tropicana Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89103
On Tuesday, March 4, celebrate Mardi Gras at The Orleans, where “The Good Times Roll”! On the hour from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m., Mardi Gras girls will parade through the casino, handing out beads and T-shirts to guests, and stopping at the Party Pit for a photo opportunity after each parade ends. And earn just 20 slot points (or buy-in for $20 in the Party Pit), and you’ll receive a free Hurricane Cocktail drink in a souvenir cup. All-day point multipliers will be offered as well, with 11x points on reels and 7x points on video poker.
On St. Patrick’s Day (Monday, March 17), experience the Luck of the Irish at Brendan’s Irish Pub when Machine Gun Kelly’s and Killian’s Angels perform starting at 4 p.m. Enjoy $3 Jameson, Amsterdam Vodka and Camarena Tequila shots at the bar while you hang out with the Jameson Girls! And throughout The Orleans, players can take home a free bottle of Jameson Irish Whisky after earning 300 points – just swipe at a B Connected Kiosk, then present your voucher at the B Connected club between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. on March 17.
March Hoopla hits The Orleans from March 20 – 23, when guests can check out all-day basketball action on over 200 flat-screen TVs throughout the casino. Snack on a $1.50 Vienna Beef hot dog, or enjoy a $2 well drink at any casino bar. Special viewing parties will be held each day in the Mardi Gras Ballroom, Brendan’s Irish Pub and Bourbon Street Lounge. Doors open at 9 a.m. each day and entrance is free.
GOLD COAST HOTEL AND CASINO
4000 West Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, NV 89103
Get in the game with March Hoopla on March 20 – 23 – catch all of the action on plasma TVs throughout the casino or go to the Arizona Ballroom for live betting stations, food and drink specials and prize giveaways! Entrance to the Arizona Ballroom viewing party is free and doors open at 9 a.m. daily.
SUNCOAST HOTEL AND CASINO
9090 Alta Drive, Las Vegas, NV 89145
Get major multipliers in the month of March with 11x reels and 7x video poker all day on Tuesdays, 6x all points on Wednesdays, and 7x video poker on Thursdays from 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.! Before you play, don’t forget to visit a B Connected kiosk to activate your point multiplier!
Hit the Suncoast Showroom on March 20 and 21 for March Hoopla viewing parties! Get $2 Coors and Miller beers and $4 drink specials, plus some special surprises.
The tastes are endless at Coasta Cantina throughout the month of March, when you can get endless Tacos or Enchiladas and bottomless Margaritas on Wednesdays and Thursdays! Only $11.99 for B Connected members.
SAM’S TOWN HOTEL & GAMBLING HALL
5111 Boulder Highway, Las Vegas, NV 89122
Point multipliers are hot at Sam’s Town in March – get 4x all points on Sunday, Monday and Thursday, or get 20x points on all Buffalo penny machines on Mondays!
Finish out the week with Big Spin Hot Seats on Fridays and Saturdays. Three slot and table players will be randomly selected every 30 minutes from 3 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to take a spin on the big wheel for a cash prize ranging from $100 to $1,000. Best of all, you can win more than once!
Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, Willy & Jose’s Cantina will begin offering a refreshing Cucumber-Cilantro Margarita on March 14. Cool cucumber slices, fresh cilantro, silver tequila, triple sec and fresh lime juice make this drink a festively green delight to the tastebuds! This is the first in a series of Margaritas of the Month, and will be available until March 31. A new margarita will debut on April 1!
FREMONT HOTEL AND CASINO
200 Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101
CALIFORNIA HOTEL AND CASINO
12 E Ogden Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89101
MAIN STREET STATION CASINO HOTEL BREWERY
200 N. Main Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Downtown Las Vegas is the place to be for St. Patrick’s Day, when the Fremont, California and Main Street Station will all participate in the St. Patrick’s Day Weekend Fremont Street Experience Pub Crawl, March 14 – 17. Guests with wristbands will be eligible for specials at the casino bars, including $3 Jameson shots! The Triple 7 Restaurant and Brewery at Main Street Station will also offer a $5.95 beer sampler and a free first fill on any Growler purchased at the gift shop. Guests must show wristband to receive these specials.
Get your game on for March Hoopla! At the Fremont, catch viewing parties on March 20 – 23 and at Dave’s Bar at the California on March 18 – 19.
JOKERS WILD CASINO
920 North Boulder Highway, Henderson, NV 89011
Multiple This…! Wheel of Slot Dollars Giveaway comes to Jokers Wild on Saturdays in March. Hot Seat drawings will be held at 4:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., with two winners for each drawing. First, spin for slot dollars – then spin for a chance to multiply your win!
On St. Patrick’s Day, visit the Court Café for traditional Irish fare – Corned Beef & Cabbage with soup and salad bar for only $7.99, from 11 a.m. to close.
140 South Water Street, Henderson, NV 89015
Saturdays are for the Fabulous $50 Slot Dollar Giveaway! From 9 a.m. – 9 p.m., 50 hot seat winners will be randomly selected each Saturday to win $50 in slot dollars.
Get the pot of gold with $5 Rainbow packs during our 1 p.m. bingo sessions Sunday through Thursday! Plus, stop in for your free dauber on St. Patrick’s Day! Additionally, on Wednesdays, guests who earn 300 base points will get a free rainbow Bingo. Guests can earn up to 3 free Rainbows each Wednesday in March.
Mary’s Diner will serve Irish favorite Corned Beef & Cabbage with soup and salad bar for only $7.99 from 11 a.m. – close on St. Patrick’s Day.
About Boyd Gaming
Headquartered in Las Vegas, Boyd Gaming is a leading diversified owner and operator of 22 gaming entertainment properties located in Nevada, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and New Jersey. Additional news and information on Boyd Gaming can be found at www.boydgaming.com
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