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US: A New Educational Platform for Event Profs, Kimpton Opens a New Hotel in Denver, The National Cherry Blossom Festival Returns to D.C. and More

NATIONAL: MeetingPlay and Aventri have joined forces to create Meetinglay + Aventri (MPA) University, an event education platform designed to be a hub for planners and producers alike. A free, six-week-long course, titled “The Hybrid Master Class,” is kicking off on Feb. 24 and will feature bite-sized webinars from industry experts. Event professionals knowledgeable in technology trends, content creation and actionable marketing will also offer their expertise throughout the course.

DENVER: Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants announced plans to open its first boutique hotel in Denver’s up-and-coming Tech Center in early 2024. The 190-room development would be Kimpton’s third Denver property. Designed by KGD Architecture with interiors by KARAMANN, the team plans to build a ground-floor restaurant and outfit a 19th-floor rooftop with a bar and lounge that can double as an indoor-outdoor music venue with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains.

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: The Association of Pickleball Professionals (APP) tournament is returning to PicklePlex at Florida Southwestern State College in Punta Gorda Feb. 23-27. The APP–also known as the Punta Gorda Open–will take place at this location for the next three years. More than 1 million people livestreamed the 2021 edition of the tournament, which generated over $1 million in economic impact. This year’s event will feature 600 of the top amateur and professional pickleball players from around the country competing for $40,000 in total prize money.

SEATTLE: After more than two years, the Fairmont Olympic Hotel is set to complete its $25 million renovations in April with the opening of The George, a modern brasserie with a menu featuring seafood, dry meats and artisan cheeses. The renovation also transformed the hotel's grand lobby and event spaces, plus added the Olympic Bar, an art installation and an intimate bar dubbed the Founders Club.

WASHINGTON, DC: The National Cherry Blossom Festival is returning to D.C. March 20 to April 17 in partnership with select Hilton properties. Participating Hilton hotels will offer special Cherry Blossom packages, including complimentary cocktails, food and beverage credits, and many more perks, gifts and discounts. The festival includes four weeks of programming that celebrates traditional and contemporary arts and culture, natural beauty and community spirit.

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