FOUR OF NINE Renaissance Hotels in Florida formed
a sales and marketing alliance designed to oversee the properties'
business and leisure travel sales. The alliance, called the
Renaissance Hotels Florida, plans to add the remaining five
properties in the future. The group comprises the Eden Roc
Renaissance Resort & Spa in Miami Beach, Renaissance Orlando
Resort at SeaWorld in Orlando, Renaissance Vinoy Resort & Golf
Club in St. Petersburg and Renaissance Miami-Biscayne Bay in Miami.
Randy Griffin, director of marketing for the Eden Roc Renaissance
Resort & Spa, was named the group's area director of sales and
HARD ROCK CAFE INT'L, Orlando, reported that it
secured financing for two previously announced Hard Rock Hotel and
Casino resorts to be developed on Seminole Indian Nation
reservation land in Florida. Both are to break ground soon and open
in 2004. The first project -- in Hollywood- calls for a 750-room
hotel and an 115,000-square-foot casino. The second project -- in
Tampa -- involves a 250-room hotel and a 90,000-square-foot
THE OWNER of the 919-room Hyatt Orlando in
Kissimmee, Fla., filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection,
scuttling plans of the Illinois bank that holds the property's
mortgage to auction the place off in a foreclosure action. Orlando
Hyatt Hotel Associates of Rockville, Md., the owner, said that
Hyatt will continue to manage the property. The hotel remains open,
operating business as usual.
THE OCCUPANCY GAP continues to close each month
in Metropolitan Orlando. Numbers for February came in at 70.6% vs.
75.5% for February 2001. Over the Easter and Spring Break periods,
hotels reported better-than-expected spikes in occupancy while
theme parks reported brisk business, according to the
Orlando-Orange County Convention & Visitors Bureau. If you're
keeping count, in first-quarter 2002, the area added 1,892 hotel
rooms, bringing the total accommodations inventory to 107,975.
MEANWHILE, more than 25 Orlando hotels
introduced summer specials, ideal for families, on the Web at www.orlandoinfo.com. Nightly rates range from $59 for
a suite to $219 at a luxurious resort. Most offers include
value-added items such as breakfast and courtesy theme park
transportation. The Orlando-Orange County CVB determined, however,
that only seven of the participating properties are paying
commissions on these Internet deals. The good guys are: Doubletree
Club Hotel, Embassy Suites I-Drive, Embassy Suites Lake Buena
Vista, Enclave Suites, Florida Supreme Villas, Orlando World Center
Marriott and the Park Inn and Suites Maingate.
THE TRADEWINDS ISLANDS RESORTS complex on St.
Petersburg Beach began rewarding travel agents with a two-night
stay for every three leisure bookings they make directly with the
hotel. Clients must complete stays by Sept. 30. TradeWinds
properties are the Sirata Beach, Sandpiper and Island Grand. For
information, call (800) 345-6461, ext. 2241, or check the Web site
OPENING IN JUNE in Lake Mary is the 304-room
Orlando Marriott-Lake Mary. Located in the Heathrow International
Business Center, it has more than 11,000 square feet of meetings
space. The property is owned by Heathrow Hotel Associates and run
by Pinnacle Hotel Management. For information, call (407)
MIDWEST EXPRESS Airlines on Nov. 1 will
reinstate, ahead of schedule, seasonal nonstop service between
Milwaukee and three Florida cities -- Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers
and Tampa. In addition, the airline will increase its formerly
weekend-only Fort Lauderdale service to daily. Fort Myers service
will be weekend-only through Dec. 17, with daily service beginning
Dec. 18. Tampa service will continue to be offered daily. Midwest
Express currently operates twice-daily nonstops between Milwaukee
and Orlando; a third daily nonstop begins Nov. 1. Schedules,
including a downloadable timetable, and fares are available from
the Web site at www.midwestexpress.com.
THE GREATER MIAMI Convention & Visitors
Bureau and allied interests are making a big splash with both
consumers and agents in New York.
• An Only in Miami Beach scene was created in Times Square on May 7
-including swimsuit-clad models and salsa dancing.
• Greater Miami tourism sales team dinner seminars for invited
agents were set for May 6 to 10, spotlighting the Tropicool
Festival Season, coupled with vacation deals offered by American
Airlines, Travel Impressions and Gogo Worldwide Vacations. The
agent seminars were slated for Baltimore, Philadelphia and
Eatontown, N.J., as well as New York.
THE GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE Convention &
Visitors Bureau apparently sees eye-to-eye with the Association for
Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, which was set to convene in
Fort Lauderdale May 5 to 10. The group's annual meetings in the
city began in 1995 and will continue through 2009, the bureau
reported. The 2002 gathering was expected to draw more than 8,000
attendees who will utilize some 20,000-room nights at more than 40
hotels and spend some $8.5 million while in town.
The Biltmore Hotel, Coral Gables, offers one-, two-, or three-night
Memorial Day Weekend Getaway packages with 10% pay. Included in all
plans are a historical tour of the hotel on Sunday; a Memorial Day
poolside barbecue for two adults; 20% off Sunday brunch; and 20%
off spa treatments. Children age 9 and younger eat dinner free when
accompanied by an adult. Rates for one-night, May 26, are $159 per
room, double; two-nights, May 25 and 26, $298; and three-nights,
May 24 to 26, $417. Children age 9 and younger stay and eat free
when accompanied by an adult. For information, call (800) 727-1926,
or check the Web site at www.biltmorehotel.com.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
• The photography of Ansel Adams, who lived from 1902 to 1984, is
on exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg, from June 22
to Sept. 15. The exhibit is called "Ansel Adams: Nature and Art."
For information, call (727) 896-2667.
• Key West's third annual African-American Heritage Festival is set
for June 28 and 29. Festivities will abound from 6 p.m. to midnight
June 28 and noon to midnight June 29. Activities include reggae,
soul music, steel drum performances, dancing, arts & crafts and
street fair food samplings. For information, call (305)
CA D'ZAN, the Venetian-Gothic mansion of the
late John and Mable Ringling, reopened in Sarasota. Resembling the
Doge's Palace in Venice, the attraction underwent a major
restoration during the past two years. For information, call (941)
359-5700 or check the Web site www.ringling.org.