The Online Weekly Community Newspaper of Associations, CVBs, and Hotels

https://www.mpi.org/wec

Top Story

NRA, D.C. Attorney General Settle Lawsuit Concerning Foundation Spending

By Todd McElwee

Settling a lawsuit brought by the D.C. Attorney General’s Office, the National Rifle Association (NRA) has agreed to reform its foundation’s financial practices.

Photos of the Week

Screenshot Screenshot

The U.S. Travel Association’s CEO Roundtable convened April 17 in Washington, D.C. and met at the White House with senior administration officials. Chief executives discussed travel priorities and policies. Shown here (left to right): Omer Acar, Raffles & Orient Express, Accor; Kurt Ekert, Sabre; Matt Goldberg, Tripadvisor; Raymond Joabar, American Express; Ben Erwin, Encore; Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts International; Donnie Scott, IDEMIA; Chris Nassetta, Hilton (U.S. Travel National Chair); Andrew Wexler, Herschend Enterprises; Geoff Freeman, U.S. Travel Association; Caryn Seidman-Becker, CLEAR; Jason Liberty, Royal Caribbean Group; Jason Wynn, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.; Mark Hoplamazian, Hyatt Corporation; Patrick Pacious, Choice Hotels International; Elie Maalouf, IHG Hotels & Resorts; and Janet Dell, Freeman.

CEO Summit Boston - Kyle Klein Photo - CT CEO Summit Boston - Kyle Klein Photo - CT

Destinations International (DI) held its 2024 CEO Summit earlier this month in Boston. Left to right: Fred Dixon, President & CEO, New York City Tourism + Conventions; Don Welsh, President & CEO, DI; Elliott Ferguson, President & CEO, Destination DC; Isabel Hill, Envoy, Sustainable Tourism Global Center; Susan Thompson; Chris Thompson, CDME, President & CEO, Brand USA; Todd Davidson, CEO, Travel Oregon; and Kelly Craighead, President & CEO, Cruise Lines International Association.

5719-GMID2024TeamPhoto-2025 (1) 5719-GMID2024TeamPhoto-2025 (1)

Visit Orlando and Orange County Convention Center staff members celebrate April 11’s Global Meetings Industry Day at the convention center. "Meetings Matter" was the day's theme.

eclipse-2 eclipse-2

Junior Ranger Abby enjoys a previous solar eclipse through eclipse glasses at New Jersey’s Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park. A total solar eclipse is set to cross North America on April 8. Photo by George Garbeck, Graphics Coordinator Department of Communications, Paterson Public Schools, NPS

Key Bridge Key Bridge

The Francis Scott Key Bridge collapsed early on March 26 after a pylon was struck by a container ship known as the Dali, resulting in two confirmed and four presumed deaths. The Army Corps of Engineers plans to lead efforts to remove the wreckage from the Port of Baltimore. Credit: David Adams, Army Corps of Engineers

Screenshot CEO Summit Boston - Kyle Klein Photo - CT 5719-GMID2024TeamPhoto-2025 (1) eclipse-2 Key Bridge

Trending Now

Industry Movers

Brayden O’Brien

Brayden O’Brien has joined Visit Salt Lake (VSL) as a Sr. Financial Analyst. He will analyze VSL’s internal performance and its external impact to ensure the CVB is prudently administering resources. Prior to joining VSL, O’Brien served as financial controller at Particl. He began his career at KPMG in the Bay Area after earning his degree from Utah State University. O’Brien is a licensed CPA in California.

 

Kerry Mitruska

Kerry Mitruska is now the TradeWinds Island Resorts – the Island Grand Resort and RumFish Beach Resort’s Director of Sales & Marketing. The resort is located on the island of St. Pete Beach, Florida. Mitruska was director of sales & marketing for Hammock Beach Golf Resort & Spa in Palm Coast, Florida, where he oversaw sales, marketing, reservations, catering sales, conference services, golf sales, and public relations functions.

 

 

Greg Kennealey

Greg Kennealey has been named CEO of KSL Resorts (KSLR). A former principal and head of hospitality at KSL Capital Partners (KSLCP), Kennealey has served as CEO of Mission Hill Hospitality since its inception in 2021 and will continue on in that capacity. Prior to his 10-year tenure at KSL Capital Partners, Kennealey worked at Strategic Hotels & Resorts, where he oversaw an international portfolio of hotels.

Chef Yalcin Arslan

Chef Yalcin Arslan has been promoted to Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, St. Louis. He’ll oversee all culinary aspects of the property. Arslan has more than 18 years of experience including as Chef de Partie of the Enigma restaurant at the Palazzo Versace Dubai Hotel. For the past eight years, Arslan focused his career within Marriott International, holding culinary leadership roles at The Ritz-Carlton, Almaty in Kazakhstan.

Association NEWS

Around Associations

PCMA Southwest & Pacific Chapter Hosting Las Vegas Spring Fling… On May 21, the PCMA Southwest & Pacific Chapter will hold its Las Vegas Spring Fling with a GoCar tour.

“Spring has sprung so let’s get outside in the Arts District to experience Vegas differently,” the chapter said. “You’ll get a taste of the unique GoCar sightseeing experience, which allows you to drive your own three wheeled electric vehicle while following a GPS-guided route that takes you to all the top attractions and landmarks in the area. When you aren’t off exploring, enjoy the sounds of Justin Centeno while networking and enjoying light bites and beverages.”

PCMA members pay $55 with non-members paying $65. Find more information at southwest.pcma.org.

 

Hotel NEWS

Checking Inn

Hyatt Hotels Corporation broke ground on the new Caption by Hyatt Chattanooga in Tennessee on April 10.

The 123-room Caption by Hyatt hotel is set to open in early 2026 and is being developed by 3H Group under a franchise agreement, according to the hotel giant. The Caption hotel brand from Hyatt is a select-service property “and is poised to grow in several more key markets this year,” Hyatt said.

“The Chattanooga hotel is the ideal location for the brand, set in a dense residential area with high foot traffic where the property can create a welcoming meeting place for the community,” said Jim Tierney, Senior Vice President of Development at Hyatt.

IHG Hotels & Resorts announced on April 9 plans to build a new travel planner powered by Google Cloud artificial intelligence.
The partnership will create an option within IHG’s One Rewards mobil app that makes travel recommendations using generative AI-powered suggestions. IHG said it expects to launch the new feature “in the second half of 2024.”

“Working with Google Cloud as an AI innovation partner, we’re making trip planning easier and more interactive for prospective travelers. Our customized travel planner will use GenAI to help people discover destinations among our more than 6,000 IHG hotels across 19 brands in over 100 countries,” said Jolie Fleming, Chief Product and Technology Officer at IHG.

Using IHG’s Travel Planner, guests can receive recommendations based on broad or detailed requests, ranging from “Give me four late-night dinner options near the InterContinental London Park Lane” or “Does the Kimpton Shinjuku Hotel in Tokyo allow pets?” to “What jazz shows are happening near the Holiday Inn Express Manhattan Times Square South the weekend of October 12?”

 

Convention Bureau/Center NEWS

CVB Update

VISIT FLORIDA announced on April 10 it has been awarded a three-year grant of $10.5 million from Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc., to create an innovative regional marketing campaign focused on promoting the region’s outdoor and adventure experiences to drive tourism growth and economic development across Northwest Florida. This is the first Triumph awarded project that benefits all eight counties that were impacted by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

The project, developed in close collaboration with the Northwest Florida Tourism Council and supported by the Board of County Commissioners in all eight counties, aims to expand what the region is known for, extend seasonality, and take the region into new markets. By promoting the many world-class adventure experiences in Northwest Florida, the campaign will better position the region as a year-round destination.

“We are honored to have been awarded this funding, which will allow VISIT FLORIDA to work hand in hand with our partners in Northwest Florida to showcase its unique appeal,” said Dana Young, VISIT FLORIDA President & CEO. “We are grateful to the Triumph Board for their support of this program and look forward to helping create a lasting impact in the region.”

Log in to read the current issue. Not a subscriber? Click here.

Need an older issue? Click here

(c) 2024 USAE Inc.

 PO Box 15009

 Chevy Chase, MD 20825

 

703.898.3528

info@usaenews.com