AFTER MONTHS OF NEGOTIATIONS
, Sonesta signed a
management pact with Dezer Properties, Miami Beach, and Donald
Trump for the 398-room Trump Int'l Sonesta Beach Resort, Sunny
Isles. The property could open as early as mid-October, according
to a Dezer official. However, at this time, only reservations for
stays Dec. 1 and later will be accepted by Sonesta and that will
begin in late May, Call (800) SONESTA. Peak winter rates will
average about $300 per night; off-peak, $180. All units will be
placed into a rental pool; the hotel will have 21,000 square feet
of meeting space capable of handling up to 350 people. Unrelated to
the Trump project are three other hotels that Dezer owns and
operates -- the Thunderbird and Monaco, both in Sunny Isles and the
Dezerland Beach Hotel & Spa, Miami Beach.
MEANWHILE, the new Sonesta Hotel & Suites
Coconut Grove extended its offer of 15% commission to include all
travel booked for May 1 to Sept.15. The original offer was for May
and June. The 22-story hotel has 300 rooms plus one- and
two-bedroom suites. For information, call (800) SONESTA or check
the Web site at www.sonesta.com.
AS FOR THE 115-room Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove,
which was to have opened last spring, and then in midsummer -- the
hotel was obliged to postpone the event once more because of
construction delays. The property will be opening in late August,
but reservations will not be accepted for dates earlier than Sept.
2. Rack rates will begin at $250, but reduced introductory rates
are planned, a spokesman said. For information call (800)
IN OTHER RITZ-CARLTON news, Michael Carsch was
named general manager of the 402-room Ritz-Carlton, Key Biscayne,
which opened last July. He came from the Ritz-Carlton, Tysons
Corner in McLean, Va., where he held a similar post.
PAN AM affiliate Boston-Maine Airways
inaugurated service between Orlando/Sanford and Naples, using
19-seat J-31 turbo-prop planes. Two flights, one nonstop and one
direct, operate daily except on Tuesdays. Flights depart
Orlando/Sanford at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. while departures from Naples
are at 8:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Dave Fink, Pan Am's president, said
that additional intra-Florida service is under consideration. The
ability to offer U.K. tour operators that fly groups into
Orlando/Sanford the opportunity to insert two-center vacations
(Orlando and Naples), is a plus for the new service, Fink said. For
information, call (800) FLYPANAM or check the Web site www.flypanam.com.
FOR DUFFER BUFFS: A 192-page soft-cover book,
52 Great Florida Golf Getaways, is off the press. It was designed,
according to author Ed Schmidt Jr., as a source of information for
all types of golfers as well as travel agents, meeting planners and
others interested in the state's top resorts and golf courses. It
also has data on resort meeting space and there is a list of useful
Web sites. Also, suggestions are provided for finding alternative
activities at the resort or in the area for nongolfing spouses and
children. The cover price is $14.95. For information, contact
Pineapple Press, (800) 746-3275 or check the Web site www.pineapplepress.com.
AN EXPANSION of the Best Western Pink Shell
Beach Resort, Fort Myers Beach, calls for construction to begin
this fall on 90 one- and two-bedroom villas in a complex called
White Sand Villas. The completion date is not yet available. Last
November, the property completed a major renovation of the existing
300 Sanibel View Villas studio units. The Best Western, owned by
Boykin Lodging and operated by MeriStar Resorts, is one of the
participating properties in MeriStar's Shell Island Rewards agent
incentive offering commissions of up to 15%. For information, call
(866) 47-SHELL or check the Web site, www.shellislandrewards.com.
THE ADAM'S MARK Florida Mall, Orlando, will add
15,000 square feet of meetings space in 2003, bringing its total to
35,000 square feet. The property has 510 rooms.
THE SOUTHEAST TOURISM SOCIETY, Atlanta,
selected two Florida events among the top 20 in the Southeast USA
for May. Both will be held May 3 to 5:
• The Pensacola Crawfish Creole Festival takes place in Bartram
Park. It will include steamed crawfish, spicy chicken and other
foods plus Louisiana entertainment. For information, call (850)
433-6542 or check the Web site www.fiestaoffiveflags.org.
• The Isle of Eight Flags Shrimp Festival will be held in
Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island. Fine arts and crafts, antiques,
music (jazz, rock, folk, country, big band), and food events will
be among activities. For information, call (866) 4-AMELIA or go to
the Web site www.shrimpfestival.com.
RESORTQUEST INT'L and its local operating
company in Pensacola, Fla., Abbott Resorts, were tapped to manage
Portofino, an upscale Mediterranean-style condo resort and spa on
Santa Rosa Island near Pensacola. Owned by Island Resorts
Development, the Portofino complex over the next three years will
be opening 765 two- and three-bedroom luxury vacation rental condos
and a 20,000-square-foot spa and fitness center. The first 21-story
tower of 153 units will open this December.
SEAWORLD ORLANDO will be expanding its dining
services with the opening in early June of the 260-seat Dine With
Shamu buffet overlooking Shamu Stadium. The tab will be $28 for
adults defined as ages 10 and older, and $16 for children ages 3 to
9. Park trainers supply commentary while the restaurant provides
the food. Opening in August will be the 240-seat Sharks Underwater
Grill inside the Terrors of the Deep shark complex. For individual
and group reservations for Dine With Shamu, call (407) 351-3600;
for Sharks Underwater Grill (table service), only group
reservations are required, (800) 327-2424.
QE2 CEREMONY: Greater Fort Lauderdale
Convention & Visitors Bureau president Nicki E. Grossman
officially welcomed Cunard's Queen Elizabeth 2 to Port Everglades,
its Florida home base, after the liner's 2002 World Cruise. The
festivities included the loading of a 2,000-pound "whistle" on the
QE2 for transport to the sister ship, the Queen Mary 2, which is
under construction in France. The whistle is the same one that
helped guide the legendary Queen Mary through fog-shrouded waters
for more than 30 years.