by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | May 01, 2008

Harrah’s Entertainment has launched a new program that allows attendee expenditures in any restaurant, nightclub or bar in its seven Las Vegas hotels to be applied to the group’s contracted food-and-beverage minimum. Allowable expenses also include room service, the clubhouses at Harrah’s two golf courses and its leased restaurants.

The city of Cleveland has been given the go-ahead by officials to construct a new convention center. The so-called Medical Mart will feature approximately 500,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space and 500,000 square feet of permanent showroom space for the pharmaceutical and medical industries. At press time, no further details had been released.

Best Western International said it plans to open 30 hotels in Japan by 2010, which would make it one of the largest hotel chains in that country.

Spurgeon Richardson, longtime president and CEO of the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, announced he will retire at the end of this year, concluding a 17-year tenure with the bureau.