August 17, 2005

The Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau announced Scott Beck has been chosen as the organization's new president and CEO. Beck, who starts his new job on Sept. 15, will oversee all Bureau functions, including convention sales and services, tourism sales and visitor services, administration, and all private-sector services. Beck comes to the CVB from his previous post as general manager of the Salt Lake Marriott - City Center hotel.

The Baltimore City Council on Monday voted 9 to 6 to finance a $305 million convention center hotel. Plans call for a 752-room Hilton to open in 2008 on land currently serving as a parking lot next to the Baltimore Convention Center. A final vote by the city council, considered a formality, will be taken on Sept. 19.

The Convention Industry Council has approved the results from the Housing & Registration Panel of the Accepted Practices Exchange. This panel compiled best practices for collecting, reporting and retrieving housing and registration data. Templates for the event registration form, housing form and rooming list are now available at This brings the total number of completed panels to four; next up are panels on Requests for Proposal, Meeting and Site Profiles, and, finally, Contracts, all to be finished by the end of the year.

The American Society of Association Executives and the Center for Association Leadership have introduced a new logo and brand identity at the organizations' annual meeting in Nashville. The logo, a stylized five-point star, was unveiled with a fresh mission statement: "ASAE & The Center help associations transform society through the power of collaboration." According to ASAE and the Center, this year's annual meeting, held Aug. 13-16, has been the most successful in the group's history, with 2,400 association staff registrants and 807 booths (57 more than last year's gathering in Minneapolis).

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide has sold the 193-room St. Regis Hotel in Washington, D.C., for $47 million to Brickman Associates and the New Valley Corp. The property will remain a St. Regis hotel. A multimillion-dollar renovation is planned.

Indiana and Blue Sky Casino officials broke ground last Tuesday on an 80,000-square-foot casino in French Lick, Ind. The $240 million French Lick Springs Resort and Casino project includes plans to renovate the existing French Lick Springs Resort and the nearby West Baden Springs Resort, which together will offer 680 guest rooms and more than 75,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space. Blue Sky plans to open the casino, the first 200 renovated guest rooms, and the conference and event center by December 2006. In the meantime, the resort will keep 220 rooms and 15,000 square feet of meeting space available for use. The whole project is scheduled to be finished by December 2007.

WSA Management, developer of New York City's boutique Hotel Gansevoort, are gearing up to introduce a Gansevoort chain. Representatives of the company gave M&C initial details on two upcoming properties  Miami's 102-room Gansevoort South, outfitted with the Manhattan model's rooftop swimming pool and a 31,000-square-foot spa, and the 170-room Gansevoort West in Los Angeles, whose rooftop pool's glass bottom will be immediately above one of two restaurants. Gansevoort properties are planned for Las Vegas and London as well.

The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and Treasury Holdings of Dublin, Ireland, have announced they will develop a five-star golf and spa resort a half hour from Dublin. Scheduled to open in 2006, the 203-room resort will be
called the Ritz-Carlton Powerscourt, County Wicklow. The meeting space at the property has yet to be determined.