Steven Heyer, CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, has resigned. In a company statement, Stephen Quazzo,
chairman of the hotel chain's governance and nominating committee,
said, "While the board appreciates the good work Steve Heyer has
done to position Starwood for the future, issues with regard to his
management style have led us to lose confidence in his leadership."
Chairman Bruce Duncan will serve as interim chief executive while
the board conducts a search for a replacement. Heyer became
Starwood's CEO in October 2004.
Robert Hodge, director of the Austin
Convention Center, was fired this week for violating city policy,
according to city manager Toby Futrell. Her statement indicated the
action had nothing to do with an investigation into financial
improprieties that currently is being conducted by the Travis
County district attorney's office. Assistant director Hymie
Gonzales has been named acting director, and a national search for
a permanent replacement will begin immediately. While the direction
of the district attorney's investigation has not been made public,
according to three unnamed sources in an Austin
American-Statesman article, the D.A.'s office became involved
following allegations that Hodge was guilty of financial
The Greenbrier Resort, which closed
Jan. 2 for a top-down $50 million renovation, reopened April 2. All
of the resort's 721 guest rooms were completely redone; a new
restaurant, Hemisphere, is scheduled to open this summer. The
property offers 85,000 square feet of meeting space.
JetBlue has launched CompanyBlue
Meetings, its first corporate meetings product. The program, which
is applicable to corporate meetings of at least 15 flyers to the
same destination whose travel is arranged by "designated corporate
meeting planners with a single company billing source," offers
discounts, benefits and restrictions similar to the meetings
programs of its competitors. The CompanyBlue Meetings program can
be accessed online at www.jetblue.com/companybluemeetings or by calling the
dedicated toll-free number 1-888-JETBLUE.
The Netherlands Antilles, which
includes the islands of Curaçao, St. Maarten, Bonaire, Saba and St.
Eustatius, signed the U.S. Tax Information Exchange Agreement,
making the cost of conventions, business meetings and seminars on
those islands a tax-deductable business expense for U.S. taxpayers.
Other countries in the region that have signed the TIEA include
Barbuda, The Bahamas, Barbados, the British Virgin Islands, the
Cayman Islands, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, St.
Lucia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
The 1,572-room Hilton Anaheim (Calif.)
Hotel, adjacent to the Anaheim Convention Center, has been
purchased by Makar Properties and will undergo a major renovation
of all guest rooms, meeting rooms and public spaces. The hotel,
which has 107,000 square feet of meeting space, will continue to
operate as a Hilton. A spokesperson for the new owners said a
timeline for renovations has not yet been determined.
A W hotel is being constructed in
downtown Manhattan, just south of where the World Trade Center
towers used to stand. To open in 2008, the W New York-Downtown
Hotel & Residences will feature 217 guest rooms and 222