February 20, 2008

The 471-room Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel opened Monday. Near the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, the property offers a "modern American" restaurant called 606 Congress, created by chef and restaurateur Michael Schlow. The hotel's more than 21,000 square feet of meeting space includes a 10,700-square-foot ballroom and a 4,400-square-foot junior ballroom. State-of-the-art technology is available throughout the property.

Pinnacle Entertainment's $250 million gaming entertainment complex called Riviere -- which will include a 70,000-square-foot casino and a 100-room hotel, as well as a spa, a gym, a tennis center, a golf course, an equestrian center and more -- has been approved by voters in the Louisiana parish of East Baton Rouge. Pinnacle now will pursue a development agreement for the complex, which will be built in multiple phases on a 550-acre site along the Mississippi River. No groundbreaking or completion dates have been set.

The 430-room Hyatt Regency Mission Bay Spa & Marina, formerly known as the Hyatt Islandia, has unveiled a $65 million transformation. The San Diego property now showcases the signature Red Marlin waterfront restaurant, which offers several group-dining areas, including an open-air terrace and a chef's table. Also part of the revamp is a new poolside deck and lounge with fire pits, 30,000 square feet of remodeled function space and the new Blue Marble Spa, featuring organic products and energy-efficient technology.

Jonathan Tisch is stepping down as chairman of the board of NYC & Co., New York City's convention and visitors bureau, effective immediately. Tisch, chairman and CEO of Loews Hotels, has headed the NYC & Co. board since May 2002, contributing to the city's most successful year in tourism; 46.3 million visitors came to town in 2007. The organization's CEO, George Fertitta, will serve as chairman of the board until a new chairman is named.

Meeting Professionals International will use the changes it implemented to its trade show at the Professional Education Conference-North America this month at its larger trade show during the World Education Congress, to be held Aug. 9-12 in Las Vegas. "We received a lot of positive feedback on the innovations we brought to PEC-NA in Houston and will incorporate these successes at WEC in Las Vegas," said the association's spokesperson. Creating a new look in Houston, MPI eliminated the pipe and drape that normally separates exhibit booths, allowing attendees to see from one side of the show floor to the other. MPI also will continue to implement changes to the conference's educational offerings, inviting members to help create seminar topics and content.