December 22, 2017: Hotel Trends That Could Take Off in 2018, ‘Russia’ to Still Appear on Olympic Athlete Uniforms, Britney Spears to End Vegas Residency With Live 'Dick Clark's Rockin New Year's Eve' Broadcast

By Ian Zelaya December 22, 2017, 8:39 AM EST

1. HOTEL TRENDS THAT COULD TAKE OFF IN 2018: The increase of mandatory resort fees and penalties for booking through third parties are just some trends that hotel industry experts believe could be more prevalent in 2018. Washington Post: “Industry insiders doubt that housekeeping could become an extra fee in 2018. Not only is there an unwritten agreement that housekeeping is part of a room rental, but hotels have noted with dismay the negative reaction to airlines separating checked luggage, which was also a traditional part of the ticket, from base fares. Another area of concern: mandatory resort fees. In 2017, these surcharges rose dramatically, with the average resort fee climbing to almost $21, up 9 percent from December 2016. While these charges aren’t new, experts say that more hotels probably will add them in 2018, including many that don’t offer traditional ‘resort’ amenities such as pools, exercise facilities or concierge service. … Other hospitality veterans say they think that hotels will experiment with a carrot-and-stick approach to fees. For example: Book direct with the hotel and it will waive its cancellation penalty, offer an early check-in or late checkout, or upgrade your room. Book through a third party, and the property could ratchet up the penalties. ‘Hotels can offer the consumer these perks because they are saving 15 to 20 percent in commission,’ says Steve Patterson, president of Philadelphia Reservations & UrHomeInPhilly, a corporate-housing company.”

2. €'RUSSIA€' TO STILL APPEAR ON OLYMPIC ATHLETE UNIFORMS: The International Olympic Committee has announced guidelines for Russian athletes permitted to compete in the Winter Olympics in February. The country was banned from the games for widespread doping, but more than 200 athletes granted an exemption will be allowed to have the phrase “Olympic Athlete from Russia” on uniforms. New York Post: “The International Olympic Committee on Wednesday published guidelines for restrictions around the use of ‘OAR’ on approved uniforms. ‘Russia’ cannot be more prominent than the words ‘Olympic Athlete from.’ The logo proposed by the IOC features the complete phrase around a circle, with Russia upside down. The exact colors of the red, white and blue Russian flag also cannot be used, the IOC said. Darker tones of red and blue will be allowed. A maximum of two colors can be used, and the IOC specifically bars separate items of clothing that create a tricolor effect like the flag. The guidelines also prohibit ‘national identifications design elements.’ The list adds detail to punishments imposed on Russia two weeks ago by the IOC for running a sophisticated doping program at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. With the Russian Olympic Committee now suspended, an IOC panel chaired by former France sports minister Valerie Fourneyron will decide which eligible athletes can be invited to compete in Pyeongchang. Detailed eligibility criteria have yet to be published.”

3. BRITNEY SPEARS TO END VEGAS RESIDENCY WITH LIVE 'DICK CLARK'S ROCKIN NEW YEAR'S EVE' BROADCAST: Pop star Britney Spears will end her Las Vegas residency on December 31 with a performance broadcast live on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2018. Billboard: “Spears will perform from her residency stage in the Axis at Planet Hollywood as part of the broadcast that kicks off at 8 p.m. EST on ABC from New York's Times Square.  Spears' first TV performance of 2018 will include her signature hits 'Toxic' and 'Work Bitch,' marking the first time she's played on the NYE extravaganza since 2002. The 46th anniversary edition of America's largest NYE celebration will include five and a half hours of primetime reports and performances anchored by Seacrest in Times Square while help from comedian/actress Jenny McCarthy. Camila Cabello, Nick Jonas and Sugarland will perform for more than one million fans live in Times Square, while Ciara will host the Los Angeles broadcast, with performances from Kane Brown, BTS, Kelly Clarkson, Fitz & The Tantrums, Shawn Mendes, Charlie Puth, Portugal. The Man, and all-star collaborations featuring Alessia Cara and Zedd, G-Eazy and Halsey, Khalid with Marshmello, Bebe Rexha featuring Florida Georgia Line, and Hailee Steinfeld and Alesso featuring FGL and watt."


CHICAGO:  Michelin-rated restaurant Grace has closed after its founders quit. Chicago Sun-Times:

LOS ANGELES:  Wonder Woman star Gal Gadot will receive the #SeeHer Award at the Critic's Choice Awards gala, which will be held January 11 at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica. 

The 10th annual Media Excellence Awards will be held January 18 at the Laemmle Theater in Beverly Hills.

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale will host a New Year’s Eve Gala Celebration December 31. The event will include dinner, an open bar, a champagne toast, and a kids-only party zone. 

NEW YORK:  NYC & Company, the city’s destination marketing organization, has appointed Watsonj Li to its convention development team as regional director, International M.I.C.E., serving the Asia Pacific, Africa, and Middle East regions. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner:

SAN DIEGO:  JRDN restaurant at the Tower23 hotel will close on January 2 for a month-long renovation, which will install new indoor and outdoor furnishings, a glass-enclosed sushi kitchen, and other enhancements. 

TORONTO:  The third season of Re/Set, a fashion designer event created by production agency the Collections, has announced a new partnership with Toronto Fashion Week. The event, which will showcase 20 designers in a variety of formats, will take place alongside Toronto Fashion Week February 5-7 in Yorkville Village. 

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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