MIAMI'S ORANGE BOWL Parade, a New Year's Eve
fixture for 62 years, is history. The Orange Bowl Committee voted
to discontinue it because of waning local financial support as well
as reduced resident and tourist attendance. A replacement event is
FOUR SEASONS HOTELS, Toronto, may construct a
400-room or larger upscale hotel in Disney's community of
Celebration, according to published reports. A Four Seasons
spokeswoman confirmed that the company would like to have a hotel
in the Orlando area, but has not made any decision yet to build
one. If the property is built, it would be Celebration's second
hotel. On Nov. 30, 1999 Grand Theme Hotels opened the 115-room
COMMISSIONABLE FAMILY packages are components
of an Orlando-Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau
cooperative consumer ad effort launched with Visit Florida. The ad
themes are "Family Spring Break" and "Summer Time, Family Time."
Television, newspaper, Internet and direct-mail are being used in
air-origin cities in the northeast and Chicago plus southeast drive
markets. Information on packages and rate deals is posted on the
Web site www.orlandoinfo.com.
20% PAY is extended by Pelican Cove Resort,
Islamorada, on stays of three nights or longer completed by April
30. For details, call (800) 445-4690.
THE 2005 SUPER BOWL already is here for cruise
ship event management company Landry & Kling of Coral Gables,
Fla. The company was retained by the Jacksonville Super Bowl Host
Committee to contract with cruise lines to provide the equivalent
of at least 8,000 more rooms to handle fans attending the event.
The nights are Feb. 3 to 7; the game is set for Feb. 6. The
committee believes that eight to 10 ships will be needed -- all
berthed within walking distance of Alltel Stadium. Landry &
Kling handled dockside ship housing for the 1992 Olympic Games held
in Barcelona, Spain.
ALL TOLD, Greater Jacksonville, encompassing
Amelia Island, Jacksonville, Jacksonville Beach, Ponte Vedra Beach,
St. Augustine and St. Augustine Beach, has about 25,000 rooms.
Meanwhile, by Super Bowl time, the 73,000-seat Alltel Stadium is to
be expanded by another 10,000 seats, some of them in luxury
•Delta Connection, Delta, and Delta Express are set to expand
flights from New York to Florida. On March 18, Delta Connection
will inaugurate service with three daily flights from New York
(LaGuardia) to Jacksonville. On May 4, Saturday roundtrip service
will be increased by Delta with one additional LaGuardia flight to
Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and two more to West Palm Beach. Also
to begin are Delta Express' two additional flights from New York
(Kennedy) to Fort Lauderdale, and one more between Kennedy and
Orlando and Kennedy and Tampa.
•US Airways Express this month added one roundtrip flight between
Washington (National) and Jacksonville.
•Pan Am affiliate Boston-Maine Airways on April 28 plans to start
intrastate service between Orlando-Sanford and Naples and
Orlando-Sanford and St. Petersburg.
•Despite the challenges of 2001, the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood
International Airport set a passenger traffic record, handling more
than 16.4 million, a 3.5% gain compared with 2000. This was
possible because of the 13.2% increase in traffic that was racked
up during the first eight months of 2001 vs. 2000.
A 15% COMMISSION for agents -- and two adult
tickets to a Universal Orlando theme park for clients -- are
incentive giveaways when five-night and longer Vacation Home
package stays are booked in a ResortQuest International private
home in the Orlando area. The stays must be completed by Aug. 31. A
three-bedroom home -- with private pool -- can be rented from $110
per night. For more information, call (800) 527-2262 or visit www.ResortQuest.com.
THE 4 MILLION American Express cardholders
enrolled in the company's Membership Rewards program will be
eligible to earn double points for patronizing participating
hotels, attractions, retail outlets and restaurants in the Orlando
area between May 1 and June 30. The offer will be promoted as a
joint effort of American Express and the Orlando-Orange County
Convention and Visitors Bureau.
DAYTONA BEACH is likely to rebound fastest of
all Florida tourist destinations from the effects of Sept. 11, the
mild northeast winter and lagging leisure and international travel,
according to Ernst & Young Hospitality Services Group in Miami.
In its 2002 Florida Lodging Forecast, the advisory concern expected
Daytona Beach to return to normal by June or July, in part, because
its bike and race car fans can be counted on to fill hotel rooms.
Steady corporate demand, the report said, should put Tampa, Fort
Lauderdale and Jacksonville next in line for recovery. The firm
said, however, that higher room rates and normal tourist traffic
might not return to Orlando or Miami until next year.
NONETHELESS, occupancy of 93.3% was posted in
January by the 254-room Ramada Miami Beach Resort vs. 94.2% in
January 2001. The 2002 occupancy was 14 percentage points higher
than the average for Greater Miami hotels that month, according to
a hotel official, citing a Smith Travel Research report. The hotel
official attributed the post-Sept. 11 rebound largely to increased
domestic traffic, citing more guests using Amtrak, attractive rates
(about 15% less than usual winter levels) and the slow return of
international guests from Latin America and Europe.
THE SECOND WAVE of ads focused on Walt Disney
World's 100 Years of Magic Celebration is coming soon. Plans
include a tie-in with McDonald's and new campaigns with Smucker's,
Hasbro and Coca-Cola. Agents can order collateral materials to
accompany the promotions through their Disney sales managers or
through the Web site www.disneytravelagents.com.
TOPPING OUT ceremonies were held in Orlando for
the Grande Lakes Resort complex, which will include a 584-room
Ritz-Carlton hotel, a Ritz-Carlton Spa, a 1,000-room JW Marriott
and an 18-hole, Greg Norman-designed golf course. More than 100,000
square feet of meetings space will be available after both hotels
open in summer 2003. Thayer Lodging Group is the hotels' owner;
Marriott will run them.
HONORED: Steve Smith, gay market sales manager
for the Monroe County Tourist Development Council (responsible for
the Florida Keys), received the Gay and Lesbian Global Leadership
Award last week during the Third International Conference on Gay
and Lesbian Tourism in Hollywood, Calif.
SET TO OPEN: The 422-unit Royal Palm Crowne
Plaza Resort Miami Beach was set to hold a soft opening this month,
pending local governmental approvals. Its opening had been
postponed several times.