The latest plan to expand the Jacob K.
Javits Convention Center in New York City calls for adding no more
than 100,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, at the cost
of $1.6 billion, according to the Empire State Development Corp.
The new proposal outlines an expansion significantly smaller in
scale than what had been discussed previously. The state also plans
to sell land owned by the Javits Center in order to raise $800
million for other economic development projects, including the
possible extension of the No. 7 subway line from Times Square to
11th Avenue, closer to the center. Another project being considered
is a convention hotel, to be built between 38th and 39th streets,
instead of between 35th and 36th streets, as previously
Las Vegas Sands last week celebrated
the grand opening of its 50-story, 3,000-suite Palazzo
Hotel-Resort-Casino, adjacent to the Venetian and the Sands Expo
and Convention Center. The new property contains 450,000 square
feet of meeting space, bringing the total amount of meeting space
in the combined Palazzo, Venetian and Sands Expo complex to 2.25
million square feet. The Canyon Ranch SpaClub now spans 134,000
square feet. The luxury property includes 450,000 square feet of
retail, dining and entertainment space on two levels. The Shoppes
at the Palazzo feature an 80,000-square-foot Barneys New York, and
dining options will include Wolfgang Puck's CUT and Mario Batali's
CarneVino, in addition to a dozen more fine-dining venues. A
1,800-seat theater will be home to the Broadway hit "Jersey Boys"
beginning this spring.
France's culture minister has proposed
taxing luxury hotel guests two euros (US$3) to fund restoration
work for hundreds of aging historic buildings. According to the
BBC, the minister said the proposed tax could generate some 50
million euros (US$75 million) a year for restoration work; the BBC
also reported that France's hotel industry is opposed to the
proposed tax. The estimated annual cost of restoring French
monuments is about US$600 million.
The Convention Industry Council Task
Force on Sustainability & Responsibility convened for the first
time last week in Seattle at the Professional Convention Management
Association's annual meeting. The group identified three priorities
it would tackle: Compile green meeting practices, develop education
on industry sustainability and identify tools to measure
sustainability. Other topics discussed included social
responsibility, regulatory impact, research and certification. The
task force was chaired by Bruce MacMillan, president and CEO of
Meeting Professionals International.
San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders announced
that he wants the San Diego Convention Center to expand. "Our
world-class convention center has been one of our best investments
ever," Sanders said in his "state of the city" address on Jan. 10.
"As we plan for the future, if we're to remain competitive with
other convention cities who work constantly to take away our
business, we'll need to grow in the next 10 years," he added.
Steven Johnson, vice president of public affairs for the convention
center, said center officials would like to see the facility double
in size to one million square feet of exhibit space, with a
proportionate increase in meeting space. The last expansion at the
center opened in 2001.
The 128-suite Rosewood Mayakoba opened
on a 1,600-acre stretch of the Riviera Maya, 30 minutes south of
Cancun, Mexico. The seaside resort, which covers a number of small
islands and is surrounded by a mangrove jungle, overlooks a Greg
Norman-designed golf course to which guests have access. Each room
has its own dock, and a teakwood, thatched-roof boat transports
guests between rooms, the spa and the restaurant.