Flavored Nation, a new live experience that highlights the most iconic food from each of all 50 states, will be hosted at St. Louis' Dome at America's Center from Oct. 27-29. GateHouse Media, along with Richard Gore, will work together to produce this event for food-lovers across the nation. After conducting extensive research to identify each state's most iconic food, 12,000 attendees will be able to taste the 50 dishes all at one event.
Kindred Resorts & Hotels has revealed a number of new activities that span across North America. Some of these additions include romantic getaways, culinary adventures, wellness corporate retreats, and more.
Grand Hotel, located in Mackinac Island, Michigan will reopen on May 4 after completing its renovation. Renovations include three new suites, with interior design by Dorothy Draper & Company, and changes to the world’s longest porch at 660-feet. It will be open the first weekend in May through the end of October.
IMEX America, an expo for the travel, meetings and events industry, took place in Las Vegas on Oct. 10–12. There, Hilton announced and launched their new initiative, WowMakers, which will help recognize the hardworking professionals in the hospitality industry.
The program is intended to celebrate the 100,000-plus professionals in the industry by sharing their stories and helping them connect with others in the business—giving them the recognition they deserve.
According to recently published figures, IMEX America 2016 has officially broken multiple records. The event, which was held Oct. 18–20, had an attendance increase of 14 percent from last year.
There was a 6 percent increase in the attendance of hosted buyers, making up 3,216 from 60 countries. About 10,000 buyers attended group appointments and prescheduled appointments were upwards of 60,000—far more than the numbers gathered in 2015.
Bowlmor AMF will reopen Brunswick Zone XL Lone Tree as Bowlero, which will debut in Colorado this October.
The renovated Bowlero Lone Tree will have 60,000 square feet of space, with 48 lanes of bowling, an interactive arcade, two new bars and a laser tag arena. The space will also have an updated A/V system, with video walls and a state-of-the-art sound system.
Bowlero will provide a unique take on the bowling, and the overall entertainment experience. The arcade alone will feature 60 games, like Pac Man Smash, Star Wars Battle Pod, Mega Stacker and many more.
In the southwest section of Colorado, two great towns located along picturesque rivers and U.S. Highway 160 are only 60 miles apart. I had the chance to visit Durango and Pagosa Springs for meetings, exploring and high school soccer games in mid-October, when the trees were still displaying their fabulous fall wardrobes and the temperatures were perfect. These are certainly year-round destinations, with ski resorts nearby and tons of other recreation options and attractions as well as distinct meeting and event spaces.
There are several recent renovations and new hotels being introduced in Colorado. Here is just a sampling inspired by attending the Under the Big Top event held at Hotel Boulderado in downtown Boulder on Sept. 28 to showcase the completed first phase if the historic hotel’s renovation, which included 114 of the 160 guest rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting and event space, and the outdoor plaza.
Meeting Professionals International, the official sponsor of Smart Monday, has added five new programs to the inaugural day of IMEX America.
Paws for a Break
MPI is teaming up with Love Dog Adventures—a Las Vegas animal-assisted therapy program. Designed as a stress-reducing activity, several dogs will be present during Smart Monday for attendees to cuddle with. These puppy sessions are quickly becoming a hot new trend and have been featured in a number of World Education Congresses. Puppy Cuddling is sponsored by Visit Norfolk.
Richard Aaron, CSEP Emeritus, MFA, and member of the International Live Events AssociationI will be inducted into the Convention Industry Council Hall of Leaders at IMEX America, Oct. 18–20, in Las Vegas.
“Richard, for more than 40 years, has never once stopped offering up inspiration to every segment of our industry,” says Jodi Collen, CSEP, immediate past president, ILEA. “He is very deserving of the CIC Hall of Leaders Award, and we are proud to have him affiliated with ILEA.”
A recently conducted survey by IMEX concluded that wellbeing is a top priority for meeting professionals. IMEX will offer a series of wellbeing initiatives at IMEX America this year to recognize the wellbeing for meeting professionals.