1. AMERICAN OLYMPIC UNIFORMS DUBBED ‘FUGLY’: The opening ceremony at the Winter Olympics in Sochi will be an ugly sweater party for the American contingent, according to reviews of the athletes’ uniforms. Unlike the uniforms for the London Olympics, which were manufactured in China, the Ralph Lauren-designed outfits were made in America. But the reviews of the cardigan, pants, and heavy boots ensembles have not been kind. The New Yorker: “They are as subtle as the crashing cymbals of ‘The Star-Spangled Banner,’ the seeming result of a focus-group mandate for stars, stripes, Olympic rings, some brand symbols, and the year 2014 to all be represented. Well, check!” http://nyr.kr/1fboZIH
2. THE CHALLENGES OF SUPER BOWL PARTIES IN NEW YORK: Staging Super Bowl parties in New York has presented brands more difficulties as well as opportunities to stand out. Ad Age: “Organizers of perennials like DirecTV's Celebrity Beach Bowl and the Maxim Super Bowl Party say they started their preparations at least six months earlier than usual, partly to deal with logistical challenges unique to the city. But placing the biggest marketing event of the year in the media and advertising capital has also raised the bar for performance—while offering the chance of a windfall in publicity and sponsorship dollars.” http://bit.ly/1d0yntD
3. LAS VEGAS RAMPS UP PUSH FOR G.O.P. CONVENTION: The well-organized push for Las Vegas to host the 2016 Republican National Convention, led by megadonor and casino owner Sheldon Adelson, is hitting a snag because of the city’s indulgent image. Would it send the wrong message to voters, or be an ideal location? A five-person panel debates the topic in the New York Times, including Republican strategist Ana Navarro, who says: “Las Vegas is loud, tacky, excessive, bright and fun. It wouldn't kill the Republican Party to show America that we are capable of having a little fun. Are Republicans so tightly wound that we can't go to Las Vegas because it's too risqué? Good God, I hope not. Plenty of religious folks attend a Republican Convention. They can pray for the rest of us and maybe save a few souls.” http://nyti.ms/1bmaRaM
* LOCAL NEWS *
BOSTON: Professional Convention Management Association's Convening Leaders 2014 set an attendance record with 4,072 attendees at the event last week.
The Boston Globe Travel Show will take place at the Seaport World Trade Center February 7-9.
CHICAGO: Popcorn Asylum is now open in Chicago. Available for events, the treats are made with real butter and without corn syrup; flavors include maple, spiced pecan, and PB&J.
HONOLULU: Alvin Wong has been appointed director of sales and marketing for the 546-room Wailea Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Maui and the 555-room Waikoloa Beach Marriott Resort & Spa on Hawaii Island.
LAS VEGAS: Examiner: “Las Vegas is expecting the X Train, Club X Train, a twenty passenger rail car designed for luxury service in 2014. This will be the first party train for select routes.” http://exm.nr/1f9meHJ
LOS ANGELES: Elle editor in chief Robbie Myers hosted the mag's annual Women in Television celebration presented by Hearts on Fire diamonds and Olay at the Sunset Tower Hotel in West Hollywood on Wednesday.
Loews Hollywood Hotel announced the appointment of Mark Leighton Ching as executive chef to oversee its food and beverage programs.
Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA: Billboard: “The Red Bull Guest House, the energy drink’s hotel takeover/nightclub/immersive brand experience, will again take up residence on South Beach during the week that includes Ultra Music Festival.” http://bit.ly/1mP4QLY
FemCity Fort Lauderdale is hosting a networking lunch Friday at Brio Tuscan Grille titled “How to Build Your Brand Through Live Events.” Erin Branham, founder of Apartment 2 Events, will present.
NEW YORK: The ownership group of Art Miami today has acquired the Downtown Fair, which will debut May 8-11 during Frieze Week in New York at the 69th Regiment Armory.
Tony Award Productions announced today that White Cherry Entertainment will serve as the production team for the annual theater awards for three more years.
Local event listings from Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork
ORLANDO: Blue Martini will move from the Mall at Millenia to a larger space at Pointe Orlando at the end of this year. Two new venues, RA Sushi and Minus5 Ice Bar, will open this spring at the Pointe, a dining, shopping, and entertainment complex on International Drive.
TAMPA: Cort Trade Show & Event Furnishings announced the hire of Deborah Novak as a district account executive. She will be based in Tampa.
TORONTO: The Dragon Ball, a fund-raiser for the Yee Hong Community Wellness Foundation, will take place on Saturday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
El Caballito, billing itself as downtown's first tequila bar, will open February 5 at 220 King Street West. The tequila bar will seat as many as 120 people and will have private tasting rooms available for booking. This summer the bar will open El, a 1,800-square-foot patio, expanding the space by 100 seats with a bar and a make-your-own taco station. Los Colibris, the upstairs restaurant space, will open later in the year, offering upscale Mexican dining with 150 seats and two private dining rooms.
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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.
BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from BizBash.com.
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