Monthly Archives: June 2011

Austin Plans To Add New Convention Hotel

A San Diego firm that develops and manages high-profile hotel and convention center properties plans to build a $350 million hotel with 1,035 rooms in the Waller Creek area just east of the Austin Convention Center.

The hotel would be built on land that is now a parking lot at the northeast corner of Red River and Cesar Chavez streets.

The Austin project would include 115,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space, along with two restaurants and retail space.

Another convention hotel project also is being planned, a 1,003-room Marriott Marquis that White Lodging Services Corp wants to start construction on in about nine months. The hotel would be on Congress Avenue between Second and Third streets, and the city is considering waiving up to $4.3 million in development fees.

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Violence in Mexico Causes Princess Cruise Lines To Cancel Calls to Puerto Vallarta & Mazatlan

Princess Cruises canceled calls to Puerto Vallarta on three cruises aboard the Sapphire Princess for security reasons.

The cruises depart Los Angeles on Nov. 19, and Dec. 10 and 31.

The line earlier this year had already canceled calls to Mazatlan, another Pacific destination on Mexican Riviera cruises.

“Our security department continues to monitor the actions taking place in specific areas of Mexico. As the safety and security of our passengers and crew is our highest priority and based on the continued violence in these areas, we’ve made the decision to cancel our calls to Puerto Vallarta and Mazatlan,” a Princess spokeswoman said.

Princess would not elaborate beyond its statement, declining to cite any incidents in Puerto Vallarta that prompted the decision to cancel calls.

The affected Sapphire Princess itineraries will substitute calls in Cabo San Lucas and Ensenada.

Travel & Leisure Report – America's Dirtiest Cities

Bourbon Street Trash

What makes a city dirty?  What criterion is used to suggest that X city is dirtier than Y city?

Of course, visitors gauge “dirty” in a variety of ways: litter, air pollution, even the taste of local tap water.

This year’s American State Litter Scorecard, published by advocacy group the American Society for Public Administration, put both Nevada and Louisiana in the bottom five—echoing the assessment of T+L readers who ranked Las Vegas and New Orleans among America’s dirtiest cities.

Here are your American Dirtiest Cities (think of Ryan Sechrist delivering this to millions of TV viewers)

  1. New Orleans (I love the smell of chlorine bleach that flows in the gutters on Bourbon Street)
  2. Filthadephia (It is pretty filthy)
  3. LA (rightfully so)
  4. Memphis (yes)
  5. NYC – ranked #1 as the most popular tourist destination (I think Chicago and New York should be switched)
  6. Baltimore
  7. Vegas Baby – ranked #2…(I can’t stand those guys who stand on the corner and flip “cards” in your face)
  8. Miami (Esto no puede ser lo que mi amigo)
  9. Hotlanta
  10. Htown (don’t agree)
  11. San Juan PR
  12. SFO – ranked #7…
  13. DFW (don’t agree)
  14. Beantown – ranked #4…(got a bad rap here)
  15. DC – ranked #3…(can’t Michelle do anything about this?)
  16. Sam Anne Tonio – ranked #14…(not true)
  17. Orlando – ranked #12…(what would Mickey say?)
  18. Cheecago – ranked #10…(Should be ranked higher)
  19. KC (who goes to KC besides me?)
  20. Anchorage (there aren’t enough people and trash to go around)

Gaylord Selects Aurora, Colorado For 1,500-Room Hotel

Gaylord Entertainment today said it has selected a site for its planned $800 million, 1,500-room hotel in Aurora.

The project will be constructed on 85 acres near Denver International Airport.

The company’s announcement comes on the heels of a decision last night by the Aurora City Council to approve a massive incentive package for the development.

The project — which is contingent on receiving state funding available under the regional tourism act — is scheduled to break ground in mid- to late-2012 with completion expected in mid-2015.

Travel & Leisure Report – Americas Dirtiest Cities

Bourbon Street Trash

What makes a city dirty?  What criterion is used to suggest that X city is dirtier than Y city?

Of course, visitors gauge “dirty” in a variety of ways: litter, air pollution, even the taste of local tap water.

This year’s American State Litter Scorecard, published by advocacy group the American Society for Public Administration, put both Nevada and Louisiana in the bottom five—echoing the assessment of T+L readers who ranked Las Vegas and New Orleans among America’s dirtiest cities.

Here are your American Dirtiest Cities (envision Ryan Seacrest delivering this to millions of TV viewers)

  1. Nawh Lins (I love the smell of chlorine bleach that flows in the gutters on Bourbon Street)
  2. Filthadelphia (It is pretty filthy)
  3. LA (rightfully so)
  4. Memphis (yes)
  5. NYC – ranked #1 as the most popular tourist destination (I think Chicago and New York should be switched)
  6. Baltimore
  7. Vegas Baby – ranked #2…(I can’t stand those guys who stand on the corner and flip “cards” in your face)
  8. Miami (Esto no puede ser lo que mi amigo)
  9. Hotlanta
  10. Htown (don’t agree)
  11. San Juan PR
  12. SFO – ranked #7…
  13. DFW (maybe Dallas but don’t include Fort Worth into this deal)
  14. Beantown – ranked #4…(got a bad rap here)
  15. DC – ranked #3…(can’t Michelle do anything about this?)
  16. Sam Anne Tonio – ranked #14…(not true)
  17. Orlando – ranked #12…(what would Mickey say?)
  18. Cheecago – ranked #10…(Should be ranked higher)
  19. KC (who goes to KC besides me?)
  20. Anchorage (there aren’t enough people and trash to go around)
Tom Costello is the CEO, Partner & Co-Founder of Groups International, a company that provides marketing, consultative services, and technology solutions to the group and leisure travel markets.  Connect with him on TwitterLinkedIn, and Facebook or contact him by email.