October 31, 2018: Cartoon Network Will Open Its First Hotel in 2019, Michelle Obama's Book Tour Adds Oprah and Reese Witherspoon, Shaun White Apologizes to Special Olympics for Offensive Costume

By Ian Zelaya October 31, 2018, 9:40 AM EDT

1. CARTOON NETWORK WILL OPEN ITS FIRST HOTEL IN 2019: Cartoon Network is slated to open its first hotel next summer. The interactive, family-friendly Cartoon Network Hotel & Resort will be located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Adweek: “Cartoon Network has teamed up with Palace Entertainment for its first hotel. That company owns and operates more than 20 amusement parks, water parks, and family entertainment centers in the U.S. and Australia, including family amusement park Dutch Wonderland, which is located near the new hotel. ‘It’s critical that we continue to engage with our fans beyond the linear experience,’ said Erik Resnick, S.V.P. business development and commercial strategy for Cartoon Network. ‘The hotel will extend the brand in an authentic and relatable atmosphere. Fans today want to interact with our characters wherever they are; and what better way than on vacation.’ The nine-acre Cartoon Network Hotel & Resort includes 165 hotel rooms and suites, all of which have interchangeable show theming that’s customizable around kids’ preferences. It will feature characters from popular Cartoon Network shows like Adventure Time, We Bare Bears, and The Powerpuff Girls. … The resort will feature experiential offerings that will appeal to both casual and die-hard Cartoon Network fans, Resnick said. Outdoor activities include a large pool, a water play zone, and an outdoor amphitheater with an oversized movie screen. There are also off-season attractions like an indoor pool, a game room, and a kids’ play area.”

2. MICHELLE OBAMA'S BOOK TOUR ADDS OPRAH, REESE WITHERSPOON, AND MORE: Michelle Obama’s national book tour to promote her new memoir Becoming just got a lot more star studded. The former first lady announced Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Tracee Ellis Ross, Valerie Jarrett, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Phoebe Robinson as some of the celebrities and public figures that will be making appearances. Washington Post: “Some of the women are members of Obama’s friend squad, including Winfrey (who will help her pal kick off the tour in Chicago on November 13) and Jarrett, who is slated to appear at the D.C. stop on November 17 and in Dallas on December 17. ‘We have some stories, don’t we @ValerieJarrett?’ Obama tweeted in response to Jarrett’s tweet sharing the news. ‘Looking forward to talking with someone who’s had my back since before Barack and I were married!’ But it seems Robinson isn’t among the former first lady’s famously close friend group—at least not yet. ‘OMG! Exciting news! I’ll be joining one of my newest & dearest friends (#SpeakItIntoExistence), @michelleobama in Philly on 11/29 & Detroit on 12/11 for her #Becoming book tour,’ the co-host of the 2 Dope Queens podcast wrote. ‘I can’t wait to talk about her extraordinary story that has so many powerful lessons for all of us.’ … As for the other women scheduled to be part of the tour, Ross will appear at the November 15 stop in Los Angeles; Alexander will be at two New York events, on November 25 and December 1; Witherspoon in Denver on December 13; Norris will join the appearances in Boston on November 24 and San Jose on December 14; and Parker will take the stage in Brooklyn on December 19.”

3. SHAUN WHITE APOLOGIZES TO SPECIAL OLYMPICS FOR OFFENSIVE COSTUME: Olympic snowboarder Shaun White apologized to the Special Olympics after getting criticized for wearing an offensive Halloween costume based on a character from the film Tropic Thunder. CBS Sports: “The 32-year-old White elected to dress up as Simple Jack, a special needs character from the 2008 film Tropic Thunder. In the context of the movie, the Simple Jack character serves as an over-the-top, intentionally offensive vehicle to mock Hollywood's tendency to use the stories of disabled people for the purpose of creating emotional films that often garner Oscar buzz. After the release of Tropic Thunder a decade ago, the Simple Jack storyline and scenes stirred up controversy. Some thought that it helped to enable the stereotypes that it was intending to mock. With that in mind, and without the very specific context attached to the character, it should come as no surprise that White's decision to dress as Simple Jack for Halloween was met immediately with a healthy amount of backlash. The Special Olympics were among the many to call him out. ... 'I owe everyone in the Special Olympics community an apology for my poor choice of Halloween costume the other night,' White wrote on Instagram. 'It was a last minute decision. It was the wrong one. The Special Olympics were right to call me out on it. The do great work supporting so many tremendous athletes and I am sorry for being insensitive. Lesson learned.'”


COAST TO COAST:  Starr Restaurants Catering Group has rebranded as Constellation Culinary Group. Simon Powles remains as founder and chief executive officer. Its parent company is Eilor North America, which acquired the company in 2015. The private company oversees event catering at cultural venues such as Carnegie Hall in New York, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Perez Art Museum in Miami.

Embassy Suites by Hilton has announced three new general manage hires: Michael Kauffeld has been named general manager of Embassy Suites by Hilton Indianapolis Downtown; Christopher Akoury has been named general manager of Embassy Suites by Hilton Parsippany; and Rebecca Kirisits has been named general manager of Embassy Suites by Hilton Secaucus Meadowlands. 

AUSTIN:  The fourth annual Culturati Summit will take place January 27-28. The invite-only conference for C.E.O.s, entrepreneurs, and C-Suite leaders will feature speakers including Candi Castleberry Singleton, vice president of intersectionality, culture, and diversity at Twitter; Tim League, founder and C.E.O. of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema; and Mayerland Harris, group vice president of human resources at H-E-B. 

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Books & Books, Miami Book Fair and the Adrienne Arscht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County will host An Evening With Bill Clinton & James Patterson on December 1 at the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. Clinton and Patterson will discuss their novel, The President is Missing

LOS ANGELES:  U.C.L.A. Mattel Children’s Hospital's 19th annual Party on the Pier will take place on November 18 on the Santa Monica Pier.  

Willie Nelson will be honored by the Recording Academy's Producers and Engineers Wing at its annual Grammys celebration on February 6. The event will take place at the Village Studios. 

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

NEW ORLEANS:  The New Orleans Jazz Museum’s inaugural Improvisations Gala fund-raiser will take place December 8. 

NEW YORK:  Moxy NYC Downtown hotel has opened in the Financial District. The 298-room property has a 5,000-square-foot third-floor space, which will be available for co-working and events. 

The Williamsburg Hotel’s Brooklyn Bread Lab will host a series of bread baking classes for kids beginning November 24. The classes will be led by the hotel’s executive pastry chef Leah Morrow. 

Long Island Bulldog Rescue’s Bash for the Bullldogs fund-raising event will take place December 7 at the Rosenthal Pavilion at N.Y.U. Kimmel Center. 

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

TORONTO:  Furniture Bank’s Chair Affair fund-raising gala will take place Friday at Casalife in Etobicoke. 

Bloor Street Entertains, a gala that supports the Canadian Foundation for AIDS Research, will take place November 28. The gala’s cocktail receptions and dinners will take place at venues including 50 Scollard and Holt Renfrew, while the after-party will take place at Four Seasons Hotel Toronto.  

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Windows Catering Company has introduced new gluten-free menu items, including a chocolate quinoa bowl, chicken souvlaki, a grilled salmon wrap, and macaroons.

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us:

JOB BOARD: Post a job or find a job:

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

BizBash Daily is the must-read digest of event industry news from

Feed the Sheet:


Advertise with BizBash:


Sign up for the BizBash Daily - stay current with the event industry.
Your email inquiry will be sent to 3 venue