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August 31, 2016: Drama Behind the Quest to Replace Trump Hotel Restaurants, Snapchat Introduces On-Demand Templates for Custom Geofilters, Instagram Launches Tennis Art Campaign for U.S. Open

1. DRAMA BEHIND THE QUEST TO REPLACE TRUMP HOTEL RESTAURANTS: After chefs José Andrés and Geoffrey Zakarian backed out of contracts to open restaurants at the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C., Donald Trump's staffers have been desperately trying to find replacements for both venues. D.C. real estate brokerage and design firm Streetsense, which was tasked to find venue tenants for the hotel, also contemplated its work relationship with the presidential candidate because of his frequent controversial remarks. Washingtonian: "Political controversy wasn’t the biggest obstacle in finding replacement tenants, though. Timing was. The Trumps were adamant that the restaurants would open on the same date as the hotel (now Sept. 12). For many restaurateurs, that didn’t leave enough time to negotiate a deal and finish the buildout. After all, the Zakarian and Andrés leases each took nearly two years to finalize. The Trumps, not Streetsense, brought in BLT Prime, the steakhouse that will ultimately replace Andrés’ restaurant in the center of the Old Post Office building. BLT has restaurants in Trump hotels in Miami and Honolulu, so a relationship already existed. The Trump hotel ultimately locked down BLT Prime with a management deal rather than a lease, which was not the hoteliers’ preference. In a management deal, the hotel builds and owns the restaurant and then pays an outside party to manage it. That means the hotel’s revenue rises and falls with the success of the restaurant, rather than simply receiving a flat rent. Both Zakarian and Andrés had leases and were planning to spend several million dollars each on their buildouts. But with limited time before opening, the Trumps conceded a management deal to BLT Prime. Not having a restaurant in the lobby was not really an option. When it came to replacing Zakarian’s restaurant in the northwest corner of the building, however, they steadfastly insisted only on a lease. … In the end, the would-be restaurant will become a large conference room. The Trumps figured the buildout wouldn’t take as long or be as expensive as a restaurant. It doesn’t look likely that the Trumps will convert the space into a restaurant in the future either. While they’re not ruling anything out, they’re not keen on the noise and disruption that might cause. Ivanka Trump says in her deposition there’s been discussion about using the patio of the northwest corner for a seasonal outdoor bar and seating area that the hotel would run. If that happens, it wouldn’t be until next year."

2. SNAPCHAT INTRODUCES ON-DEMAND TEMPLATES FOR CUSTOM GEOFILTERS: Snapchat just made it easier for users to create custom geofilters for events. The social app has launched an on-demand template service for customizing personal filters on its website. VentureBeat: "For those that just want something quick and more “do-it-yourself,” this eliminates the need to use image editing software such as Photoshop to create a geofilter around events. No matter whether it’s a birthday, wedding, festival, party, graduation, or any other cause for celebration, Snapchat wants users to be expressive in their stories, something filters play a part in. But not everyone wants to spend time working on the right design for their event—they just want to have something to make it special. With Snapchat’s filter templates, users simply choose their theme, select the design, customize the text and colors, and that’s it. Launched in February, on-demand geofilters emerged as a way for users to tweak their stories to make them a bit personal. To date, Snapchatters have viewed snaps with geofilters more than 1 billion times a day. Typically, users designed geofilters to meet the size and guidelines on its website, mapped the area to specify where the filter would be applied, and set its duration. Geofilters start at $5, with the price depending on size and time period."

3. INSTAGRAM LAUNCHES TENNIS ART CAMPAIGN FOR U.S. OPEN: Instagram has partnered with Andrés Bella, an employee of creative digital agency Organic, to launch a new art campaign for the U.S. Open. Bella was tapped after his tennis-inspired art caught the attention of the photo-sharing platform. Adweek: “Ahead of the U.S. Open, Instagram began searching for tennis art in an effort to expand its sports community base and came across Bella's work. From there, it reached out to Bella and asked if he would be interested in showing some of his stuff, and creating some new pieces, for the tournament. ‘Initially we were going to be doing some portraits, but logistically it was not going to work out, so the U.S. Open reached out and asked about hashtags in a similar style that we do the portraits in,’ Bella said. Three of the pieces being shown throughout the tournament will feature official tournament hashtags in the portrait style—including #NYisOpen, #usopen, #winning—while the other two are abstract pieces that Bella created in 2014 and 2015. Bella will be at the U.S. Open in Queens, New York, throughout the first week of tournament, which kicked off on Monday, representing his artwork alongside Instagram.


ATLANTA:  Sheraton Atlanta has named Kemi Adeyinka director of international weddings and social events.

AUSTIN:  The 23rd annual Austin Film Festival will take place October 13-20, and the festival's Writers Conference will take place October 13-16. Festival events will include the Film & Food Fundraising Party at the Driskill Hotel on October 12, the Austin Film Commission Opening Night Reception at Fiesta Gardens on October 13, and the 14th annual Pitch Finale Party presented by Virtual Pitch Fest at Speakeasy on October 15.

CHICAGO:  The Kimpton Gray Hotel in the Financial District has opened two new event spaces: Boleo, a South American restaurant/bar on the hotel's 15th-floor rooftop and Vol. 39, a bar on the second floor. The 4,000-square-foot Boleo can seat as many as 165 people, including in a private room called Esperanza. Vol. 39 has 1,500 square feet and can seat as many as 65 people.

DALLAS/FORT WORTH:  Hotel Crescent Court has appointed Saun Lightbourne as director of sales and marketing.

GUADALAJARA, MEXICO:  AC Hotel Guadalajara, Jalisco, has opened, making it the first AC-branded hotel in Mexico. The 188-room venue is owned by FibraHotel, and is operated by Marriott International. The hotel has an AC Library, an AC Lounge, and a fitness center on the 12th floor's open-air Sky Deck.

LAS VEGAS:  Motley Brews’ fifth annual Downtown Brew Festival will take place October 22 at the Clark County Amphitheater.

LOS ANGELES:  Ted Chung, Snoop Dogg's manager who co-founded the Merry Jane marijuana brand, will deliver the keynote address at the Cannabis World Congress & Business Exposition, which will be held September 7-9 at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Montel Williams is the event's other keynote speaker.

The L.A. Zoo’s holiday light display will be back this year with more lights, more nights, and other new features. It will run from November 18-January 8.

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Bagatelle Miami Beach and Opera Gallery have teamed up to curate “One Night at the Bagatelle Museum,” a black-tie party on September 8 at Bagatelle Miami Beach that will offer art enthusiasts an exclusive preview of rare and famed masterpieces of the 20th and 21st centuries. “One Night at the Bagatelle Museum” will include artwork from Manolo Valdes, Auguste Rodin, Joan Miro, and Baltasar Lobo.  

The second annual Oktoberfest Beer Festival will take place September 23 at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.

Nisi, a Mediterranean eatery from former Estiatorio Milos operators Joshua Wahler and Andy Tsavos, has opened in Fort Lauderdale. The restaurant is located in the space previously occupied by Thasos.

NEW YORK:  Keep a Child Alive's 13th annual Black Ball, which takes place October 19 at the Manhattan Center's Hammerstein Ballroom, will present Clive Davis with its Humanitarian Award. The event will be headlined by the organization's co-founder Alicia Keys and feature performances by A$AP Rock and Patti Smith.

Mediterranean fast-casual chain Cava Grill opened its first New York outpost on Friday. The restaurant, located in Union Square, has seating capacity for 38 people.

Bespoke Kitchen, a New American restaurant/bar in the West Village, has closed after 15 months in business.

WE TV will televise a reality show called Hustle & Soul, about the owner and staff of soul-food restaurant Pink Tea Cup, located in Brooklyn's Fort Greene neighborhood. The series is expected to premiere in early 2017.

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

ORLANDO/CENTRAL FLORIDA:  Food service and catering supplies distributor Dade Paper will host its 10th annual Innovations Expo on September 9 at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee. The event will have 100 exhibitors.

PHOENIX/SCOTTSDALE:  W Hotels' first-ever Wake Up Call: A W Hotels Music Festival will take place September 30-October 2 at W Scottsdale. The lineup includes Bebe Rexha, De La Soul, and Jess Glynne.

SAN DIEGO:  The International Cat Association Show will take place Saturday and Sunday at the Town & Country Resort. The event is open to the public and will include an award banquet.

SAN FRANCISCO:  San Francisco Comic Con will take place Friday to Sunday at the San Francisco Marriott Marquis. SFStation:

TAMPA:  Residence Inn Tampa Westshore Airport has completed renovations to the hotel amenities, guest rooms, and meeting spaces. The 160-suite hotel has more than 500 square feet of flexible, high-tech meeting/function space.

TORONTO:  John Legend, Mark Duplass, and Toronto International Film Festival Vanguard programmer Colin Geddes will host a free event during the festival that will highlight three AXE Collective aspiring filmmakers. The event takes place September 13 at Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema. blogTO:

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Blackbird Presents and the Jerry Garcia Family have announced Dear Jerry: Let’s Play 2—two concert events paying tribute to the late Grateful Dead singer Jerry Garcia. The first concert—Jerry Uncovered—will explore various songs from Garcia's repertoire, and will take place October 14 at DAR Constitution Hall. The performers will include Alison Krauss and Jamey Johnson, with Warren Haynes and Don Was serving as music directors. The second concert—This Is 30!—will commemorate the 30th anniversary of Garcia’s historic return to the concert stage by recreating a classic Jerry Garcia Band show from October 1986, as well as other Garcia classics. The second show will take place October 15 at George Mason University's EagleBank Arena in Fairfax. Performers will include the Avett Brothers, with Haynes on lead guitar and vocals.

The International Center for Journalists Awards will take place November 14 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. CNN's Wolf Blizter will emcee the event, and honorees will include Charlie Rose and CNN's Clarissa Ward.

District Distilling Company is now open. Executive chef Justin Bittner is overseeing the American menu at the venue, which is a combination of a distillery, restaurant, and bar.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin and Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Carla Hay, Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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