by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | November 01, 2007

West Palm Beach, Fla., county officials estimate that the lack of a headquarters hotel for the Palm Beach County Convention Center will cost the county roughly $1 million annually in lost revenue through 2011. The city is awaiting the county’s decision on a proposed Westin property to solve the problem.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. has launched Meaningful Meetings. Groups booking 10 or more nights at any of the chain’s properties in the United States, Canada or the Caribbean can donate 5 percent of total room revenue to a charity of their choice. Another 5 percent will be donated to the Community Footprints Fund, sponsored by the hotel company.

Emirates airlines will launch thrice-weekly nonstop service between Houston and Dubai in the United Arab Emirates beginning Dec. 3, which will ramp up to daily service on Feb. 1, 2008.

The State of Tennessee banned smoking in public spaces effective Oct. 1, with few exceptions. First-time offenders will be fined $50; fines rise to $500 for the third offense in a year.