November 28, 2018: How Airport Hotels Are Disproving Their Dull Reputation, Major League Baseball Names MGM First Gambling Partner, Citi Open Tennis Tournament Will Likely Stay in Washington Under New Management

By Ian Zelaya November 28, 2018, 9:12 AM EST

1. HOW AIRPORT HOTELS ARE DISPROVING THEIR DULL REPUTATION: Until recently, airport hotels were known for simply providing lodging for travelers. But now, many properties have upgraded their amenities, design, and culinary offerings to provide more glamorous atmospheres to attract travelers for longer stays. The New York Times: "'The old stereotype used to be that airport hotels were dumpy or staid,' said Reneta McCarthy, a senior lecturer at the School of Hotel Administration at Cornell University. 'That’s no longer the case, and you see many more interesting and vibrant properties, most notably from companies who want to reinvigorate their brands.' Ms. McCarthy recently stayed at The Westin Denver International Airport, one such hotel. 'It was such a happening spot with an airy lobby and had a unique design sensibility,' she said. 'I would definitely go back and recommend it to others.' The hotel is in a building designed by the architecture firm Gensler and is LEED platinum certified. Its design is meant to resemble the wings of a bird; the building has a curved shape that swoops down in the middle, revealing views of the adjacent terminal, while the glass curtain walls reflect the sky. The Westin commissioned three artists to create the large-scale works in and around the property. One of them is Patrick Marold, a local artist, whose sculpture 'Shadow Array,' is made with 236 beetle-kill spruce logs from Southern Colorado and is situated outside. ... Elsewhere, Moxy Hotels, Marriott International’s design-driven hospitality brand, has several airport locations including at Vienna Airport in Austria, Frankfurt Airport in Germany, and Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom. While each property has its own decor and amenities, all Moxys offer a free welcome cocktail, 24-hour grab-and-go food and beverage outlets, and buzzing lobbies that showcase local art and double as hangout spaces. They each also feature photo booth elevators where guests are encouraged to take selfies (which they can then post on Instagram, of course, providing free advertising for the hotel)."

2. MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL NAMES MGM FIRST GAMBLING PARTNER: Major League Baseball has named MGM Resorts International its first official sports-gambling partner in a multi-year marketing agreement. Advertising Age: “The deal is similar to ones the Las Vegas-based casino company has already inked with the National Basketball Association and the National Hockey League, giving MGM the right to use baseball's logo and trademarks in states that have legalized sports gambling. That leaves the National Football League—the most popular sport among U.S. bettors—as the only major U.S. league without a sports-gambling partnership. 'There's been a huge change in public opinion and the legal framework surrounding sports gaming—it has created an opportunity for all sports and baseball in particular,' M.L.B. commissioner Rob Manfred said at a press conference in New York. 'We have to take advantage of every opportunity to drive engagement with our fans.' Though terms of the deal weren't announced, these partnerships are a very tiny piece of a major league's marketing revenue. The N.B.A.'s deal with MGM, for example, was worth $8.3 million per year. Under the baseball agreement, MGM will have access to official M.L.B. data and statistics, information it can use to expand its offerings for customers across the U.S. That part of the deal isn't exclusive, meaning that M.L.B. can—and likely will—sign similar partnerships in the future."

3. CITI OPEN TENNIS TOURNAMENT WILL LIKELY STAY IN WASHINGTON UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT: The Citi Open tennis tournament, which has taken place in Washington for the last 50 years, will likely stay in the D.C. area as the event's management is currently being handed to Washington-based venture capitalist Mark Ein. Washington Post: “As part of a complex agreement, Ein, who owns the Washington Kastles and a majority stake in World TeamTennis, would get an option to buy the event within five years, according to people familiar with the parameters of the talks but not authorized to speak publicly because the agreement is not final. The pending agreement comes at a pivotal moment for the tournament, which marked its 50th anniversary this summer yet was in the final year of its title sponsorship with Citi, the global banker, that is key to its solvency. It is also coming off a calamitous, rain-drenched edition in August that resulted in a six-figure financial loss. The agreement to secure its future is highly unusual amid the profit-driven climate of global sports. It was brokered between Ein and the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, which owns the ATP sanction agreement that conveys the right to stage the event on the top men’s tennis tour. It is the story of a civic-minded entrepreneur and nonprofit foundation seeking to ensure that a staple of Washington’s late-summer sports calendar remains in town and continues the charitable purpose that has been at its core since its founding in 1969."


I.A.C.C. has named Nancy Lindemer of Destination Hotels its president of the Americas chapter, effective January 1. Lindemer, who has more than 26 years of experience in the meeting and event industry, will serve through 2021. She succeeds current I.A.C.C. Americas president Sean Anderson of Sodexo Conferencing, who was elected vice president for the upcoming term. 


COAST TO COAST:  Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has appointed Clemens Hoerth area vice president of operations. 

CHICAGO:  BCD Meetings & Events has appointed Rhonda Brewer vice president of North America sales meetings management. 

LAS VEGAS:  Mott 32, a Hong Kong-based Chinese restaurant, will open its first U.S. location at the Palazzo at the Venetian Resort Las Vegas on December 28. 

LOS ANGELES:  Aubrey Plaza will host Film Independent’s 2019 Independent Spirit Awards, which will broadcast live on IFC on February 23. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Casacor Miami, a landscaping, architecture, and interior design exhibition, will take place November 30-December 16 at Brickell City Centre. 

NEW YORK:  The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust will host the annual Steinberg Playwright Awards, honoring Suzan-Lori Parks, December 3 at Lincoln Center Theater. 

The National Board of Review Awards Gala will take place January 8 at Cipriani 42nd Street. The organization announced its honorees on Tuesday, which include Green Book as best film, and Bradley Cooper as best director and Lady Gaga as best actress for A Star Is Born

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Summit Hospitality Management Group has signed a contract with Hospitality Ventures Management Group to helm operations at Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach and Delta Hotel Daytona Beach Oceanfront. 

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE:  Commit Agency, a brand strategy and consumer experience agency, is the agency of record for six new clients:  Ballet Arizona, MedAvail Technologies, the Paddy ‘O family of brands, Padis Jewelers, MyDUISolution, and Shasta Pools & Spas.

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO:  Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi has appointed Lutz Arnhold managing director. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  To celebrate the Christmas tree lighting, the St. Regis Washington, D.C. will host a holiday pop-up bar this evening. A highlight of the pop-up will be a gingerbread replica of the hotel created by the hotel’s pastry team with 1,000 gingerbread sticks. The pop-up will accept donations for Toys for Tots.  

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

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