May 26, 2004

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has officially dropped the Mississippi Hotel & Lodging Association from its membership, because the group owes $70,000 in past membership fees and fines. The MH&LA approached the AH&LA management earlier this year with a structured payment plan, which the national association rejected. The MH&LA did not have the full sum to pay as demanded and was dropped. The MH&LA says it intends to meet its financial obligations to the association, but will not seek to rejoin.

Business is on the rise among Northern California meeting planners, due in part to a recovering economy, according to the Northern California Chapter of Meeting Professionals International. In a survey of more than 100 Bay Area planners, 41 percent were scheduling more meetings than before and 26 percent were booking further in advance. "In addition to the encouraging survey results, our chapter is showing signs of a healthy future ahead with member-retention rates at their highest level in several years," said executive director Sabrina Ritchie.