by Cheryl-Anne Sturken and Lisa Grimaldi | June 01, 2004

The city of chicago’s planned $14 billion expansion for O’Hare International Airport has run up against opposition from public officials who favor building a new airport in the city’s southern suburbs. A competing proposal calls for a privately financed airport, to be named for Abraham Lincoln, which would open in 2009.

Diners Club North America and MasterCard International have announced they will pursue an alliance to strengthen their global acceptance. Diners Club cards issued in North America will carry the MasterCard brand and will be accepted by all of the same merchants who accept MasterCard. The deal is expected to boost Diners Club merchant acceptance from 8.3 million to 30 million worldwide.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. is looking to hoist its flag in Las Vegas. Simon Cooper, president of the luxury chain, was in Vegas in late April on a scouting trip and said the chain’s clients are clamoring for a Ritz property on the Strip. Cooper did not divulge any other details, except to say it would be a midsize hotel.

Steve Bova, CAE, has been named executive director of ICPA, formerly known as the Insurance Conference Planners Association. The move comes after ICPA’s board switched management from its Vancouver, B.C.-based staff to Chicago-based association management giant SmithBucklin.

Bravo Productions, a Long Beach, Calif.-based event-planning firm, has opened additional offices in Olympia, Wash.; Trinidad, Colo., and Las Vegas.

The 512-room Hilton Arc de Triomphe in Paris opened May 10. The property, which has eight meeting rooms, a ballroom and a spa, was originally scheduled to open in April, but was postponed after the hotel was flooded a week before the opening.

The Radisson SAS Birdland Resort & Spa in Bad Bük, Hungary, has opened with 208 guest rooms, an 18-hole golf course, five meeting rooms and a large spa.

Travel Planners of Scandinavia, based in Bergen, Norway, has joined Euromic, a consortium of 24 destination management companies based in Paris.