TO ENCOURAGE AGENTS to book during the
post-terrorism period, 20% commission policies were implemented by
the Sonesta Beach Resort, Key Biscayne, on all room and package
sales made through Dec. 15 for stays over any dates, and by five
Grand Theme Hotels on room sales involving stays through Jan. 13.
The Grand Theme members are the Celebration Hotel in Celebration;
the Doubletree Castle, Sheraton Studio City, and Westin Grand
Bohemian, all in Orlando; and the Casa Monica in St. Augustine.
MELBOURNE INT'L AIRPORT, which just lost
Continental service from Newark and Spirit Airlines service from
LaGuardia, will be looking for replacement carriers to the New York
area later this fall, Jim Johnson, airport director, said.
Melbourne is left with Atlanta service provided by Delta MD-80s as
well as regional jet service provided by Atlantic Southeast
Airlines. Weekend flights to Cincinnati also are operated by
Comair, while Bahamas charter service is run by Vintage Air.
AIRTRAN WILL inaugurate Atlanta-Pensacola
flights (three a day in each direction) on Nov. 7 with Boeing 717s.
However, on Nov. 6, it will terminate Atlanta-Fort Walton Beach
service. Pensacola business interests provided "a risk-free
opportunity for us to enter a new market and provide the benefits
of low-fare competition in an uncertain economy," Ken Healy,
AirTran's vice president of planning, explained.
BECAUSE OF THE recent terrorist attacks, and a
resulting decline in visitors, Walt Disney World is implementing a
temporary hiring freeze and cutting the schedules of most of its
40,000 hourly workers. But the sharpest cuts will impact Disney's
15,000 part-time employees, some of whom are being told not to
report to work until further notice. Full-time employees also might
have their hours cut. The decline in visitors also means shorter
operating hours for the Magic Kingdom on Fridays and Saturdays.
MEANWHILE, Universal Orlando, encompassing two
theme parks, an entertainment district, and two hotels, reduced the
hours of 1,500 part-time employees. Some of them were suspended
until business picks up. At SeaWorld Orlando Adventure Park,
part-time employees' hours also were trimmed and the opening of
some sections of the park were delayed.
IN CULTURAL NEWS, the Museum of Arts and
Sciences, Daytona Beach, on Oct. 9, will open a wing called the
Root Family Museum containing its extensive Americana collection,
much of it focusing on Coca-Cola. Also, through Nov. 15, the
Orlando Museum of Art is exhibiting more than 85 works of Anna Mary
Robertson (Grandma Moses).
FANTASY FEST, Key West's 10-day masking and
costuming festival that usually celebrates the eccentric and
outrageous, this year also will spotlight freedom and peace, while
raising funds for the Sept. 11 terrorist attack victims. Fantasy
Fest is set for, Oct. 19 to 28 and has the theme: "Secrets of the
THE UPDATED home page of the Orlando-Orange
County Convention & Visitors Bureau's Web site, www.orlandoinfo.com, carries this statement: "By not
letting the recent tragic events deter you from your travel plans,
you are sending a strong message and setting a very positive
example of the strength in America's resolve to ensure the
stability of our country and our precious right to travel