In Toronto, the Professional Convention
Management Association on Sunday kicked off its first "zero waste"
annual meeting at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. According to
organizers, all paper products and promotional materials from
meeting rooms will be recycled, all leftover food from F&B
service will be donated to a local food bank or composted, and all
bottles and cans will be sorted and recycled. Other materials such
as badge holders will be thrown away but might be recycled at
A new Westin resort will be built in Avon, Colo., just
west of Vail. The complex will consist of the 235-room Westin
Riverfront Resort & Spa, a full-service hotel, and the 113-unit
Westin Riverfront Mountain Villas, a vacation-ownership property.
To open in time for the 2008-'09 ski season, the hotel will have
4,700 square feet of meeting space; a retail plaza; and a
high-speed, eight-person gondola to carry skiers to the Beaver
Creek ski area. The first phase of the villa project is expected to
open soon after the hotel.
At the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York
City, a number of promotions have been announced to fill the shoes
of retired general manager Myles McGrane. Tony Bracco, the former
assistant general manager, is the new general manager. Doreen
Guerin, formerly a sales manager, has been promoted to vice
president of sales and marketing. Jack Wayman, a specialist in
convention center cleaning, was named assistant vice president for
environmental and customer services.
New York's Hotel Pennsylvania, the 1,700-room property
across from Penn Station, is going to close in order to be
converted into an office building almost the size of the Empire
State Building, news outlets reported last week. Building owner
Vornado Realty Trust would not comment, but a report by brokers
Grubb & Ellis Co. said the revamped structure would be open by
The Outrigger Waikiki Beach Walk, a $535 million
retail, entertainment and hotel development on Oahu, opened to
visitors last week. Covering nearly eight acres of central Waikiki,
the complex eventually will include five hotels: the newly opened
421-room Embassy Suites Waikiki Beach Walk and the 195-unit Wyndham
Vacation Ownership Resort-Waikiki Beach Walk, a timeshare property;
the 800-room Outrigger Reef on the Beach, currently undergoing a
$100 million upgrade; the 264-room Ohana Islander Waikiki, which is
slated for a makeover this year; and the new 460-unit Trump
International Hotel & Tower-Waikiki Beach Walk, a condominium
hotel scheduled for completion in 2009.
Beginning Feb. 12, Gaylord Hotels will become
smoke-free, joining Westin Hotels and Resorts and Marriott
International. The new policy affects Gaylord's three existing
properties -- the Gaylord Opryland in Nashville; Gaylord Palms in
Kissimmee, Fla.; and Gaylord Texan on Lake Grapevine near Dallas --
as well as the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in
Prince George's County, Md., which will open in 2008. In a symbolic
gesture, the hotel company began auctioning 10,577 ashtrays from
its properties on eBay. All proceeds will go to the American Lung
Association. The auction can be viewed at www.gaylordhotelskicksbutt.com.
Columbia Sussex Corp. now officially owns Las Vegas'
1,875-room Tropicana Casino & Resort, after gaining final
approval from Nevada gaming regulators. The new owners also have
permission for a $2 billion project for the site that will increase
its offerings to 10,224 rooms and a 500,000-square-foot conference
center. Some or all of the proposed four hotel towers might be
separately branded, and ground might be broken as early as this
Royal Caribbean International is banning trans fats
from its fleet of 20 ships. By March 1, trans-fat-free frying oil
will replace oils currently used in food preparation. Additionally,
a selection of trans-fat-free options have been introduced to Royal
Caribbean's menus. According to spokesperson for the cruise line,
Royal Caribbean will work with its food suppliers to eliminate all
trans-fat items by year's end.