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June 27, 2017: How Competition From Airbnb Is Leading to Hotel Design Changes, Trump Event Planner Defends Her New Role as Housing Official, Milwaukee Music Festival Plans to Expand Brand After 50-Year Anniversary

1. HOW COMPETITION FROM AIRBNB IS LEADING TO HOTEL DESIGN CHANGES: More hotel brands are redesigning properties to make rooms sleeker and smaller and public spaces bigger in response to competition that includes Airbnb. CNBC: “New designs emphasize common areas both intimate and public at once, evocative of a restaurant dinner or coffee shop meeting. Rooms are shrinking, but lobbies are growing, providing ample seating and tables—and even cabanas, for those who want more privacy. Modern hotels are ‘creating home away from home for road warriors,’ said Guy Langford, U.S. leader of the travel, hospitality and leisure practice at consulting firm Deloitte. ‘Some of the boutique brands, in some of the hotel lobby and common areas, they feel like they're in someone's living room.’ It's ‘the concept of having an experience,’ Langford said. Yotel, a British chain that began with compact, 75-square-foot ‘cabins’ attached to London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports in 2007, was an early entrant into the space. The properties' compact designs were inspired by a trip to Japan by Yotel CEO Simon Woodroffe. … Industry incumbents are starting to pick up on the trend. In May, Hilton introduced its Tru brand with the opening of its first location at Oklahoma City Airport. For its part, Best Western is planning a one-two punch, rolling out both the upper-scale Vib and budget-friendly Glo brands. Technology at this new breed of hotel is both pervasive and personal, with an emphasis on using your own devices rather than a provided (and oftentimes outdated and clunky) in-house device.”

2. TRUMP EVENT PLANNER DEFENDS HER NEW ROLE AS HOUSING OFFICIAL: Lynne Patton, Donald Trump’s longtime event planner, was officially appointed on Monday to oversee federal housing in New York—a position for which many think she’s unqualified. The New York Times: “After The Daily News reported two weeks ago that Ms. Patton, a longtime Trump family associate who worked on the president’s campaign and helped plan his son Eric’s wedding, would be tapped for the role, housing advocates and elected officials criticized the appointment. Most said Ms. Patton was not qualified for the job: She had no housing experience before she became the department’s senior adviser and director of public engagement for the housing secretary, Ben Carson, several months ago. Representative Grace Meng, Democrat of New York, even wrote a letter to the president demanding Ms. Patton’s immediate removal. But on Monday, Ms. Patton will begin her job in her new office in Manhattan. ‘The misdirected discontent with my boss has prevented people from seeing the obvious fact that I am, more than anyone, best suited to serve as this liaison because, after all, I have a direct line to both the secretary and the president of the United States,’ she said. ‘I’m not going to hesitate to use them, either, to fortify or defend the housing needs and affordable housing concerns of Region II.’ … While some see her appointment as a symbol of nepotism, Ms. Patton sees it as giving residents of New York and New Jersey an advocate with unprecedented access to those in charge. While critics see her background as lacking, she sees herself as a representation of the president’s promise to shake things up and incorporate private-sector ideals into the government. And while many have cast her as an unqualified wedding planner, she sees the label as a result of a rumor. She was not Eric Trump’s wedding planner, she said, but only helped plan some details for free as a friend. She said a woman named Jennifer Zabinski had planned the wedding."

3. MILWAUKEE MUSIC FESTIVAL PLANS TO EXPAND BRAND AFTER 50-YEAR ANNIVERSARY: Milwaukee music festival Summerfest began in 1968 as an Oktoberfest-style community event, and festival organizers plan to keep expanding the brand ahead of its 50th anniversary this year. Billboard: "In its first year, Summerfest was 'an unprecedented series of events that required years of planning,' according to president and CEO Don Smiley, and it took place at 35 different locations in an effort to bring local residents to new areas of he city. Two years later, Summerfest found a permanent home at its current site in downtown Milwaukee, right off Lake Michigan. This year, Summerfest will celebrate its 50th anniversary -- 'How many other festivals can have that legacy of 50 years in a row? That’s absolutely crazy,' says Bob Babisch, Summerfest's VP of entertainment -- with an impressive lineup of acts including Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink, Future, Bob Dylan and many more (they already have offers in to play the amphitheater in 2018). Previous headliners include The Grateful Dead, Prince, Pearl Jam and The Rolling Stones, to name a few. Babisch fronts the festival’s booking team and says each year they face the same challenge of filling 11 days and 11 stages (one of which is a 2,300-seat amphitheater and another an 8,000-seat venue) with top-tier talent. One thing they always keep in mind, though, is curating an eclectic lineup, which he says is part of the festival’s charm, and points to this year’s opening day as proof with artists from various genres, from Flume to The Moody Blues. 'We try to run the gamut with as many different styles of music as we can get,' he adds." Over the past decade, specifically, Smiley says the festival has invested more than $100 million into Henry Maier Festival Park, and by 2020, the grounds will be 80 percent updated. But Summerfest is doing more to pique interest than just renovating its grounds. 'We’re always looking to the future of the festival and are always trying to get younger people interested in staying with [us], because we figure if they come and have a good time, they’ll be here 30-40 years from now.' One way in which the festival plans to appeal to a younger demographic this year is with a special Fourth of July lineup with acts like The Chainsmokers, Alessia Cara, Miike Snow and others.


ATLANTA:  Garth Brooks will headline the first concert at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on October 12. 

CHICAGO:  Experimental theatrical events company Cabinet of Curiosity Events will host its debut project, Surprise! Death Is Not The End: An Evening of Puppetry, Song and Celebration, September 7-10 at Links Hall. 

LOS ANGELES:  Los Angeles: Valerie Jarrett, former senior advisor for the Obama Administration, and Ariel Emanuel, co-C.E.O. of WME-IMG, will be honored at the Los Angeles L.G.B.T. Center's 48th Anniversary Gala Vanguard Awards. The event will be held on September 23 at the Beverly Hilton; American Airlines is the title sponsor. 

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

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Fox Sports Florida, the regional television home of the Marlins, will host an on-air charity auction on Wednesday, in which fans can bid on packages that include tickets to the baseball team’s games, meet-and-greets with the players, passes for free admission to area attractions, and more. Proceeds from the auction benefit the education initiatives of the Marlins Foundation.

NEW ORLEANS:  This year’s Bastille Day Fête will take place July 14 at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The event is presented by the Alliance Française of New Orleans, the Consulate General of France in Louisiana, the French-American Chamber of Commerce—Gulf Coast Chapter, the New Orleans Museum of Art, and the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation. 

NEW YORK:  Play NYC, a new video game convention from Playcrafting, will take place August 19-20 at Terminal 5. 

The 13th annual New York Latino Film Festival, presented by HBO, will take place October 11-15.

Lighthouse Guild, a nonprofit vision and healthcare organization, will host its annual LightYears gala on November 20 at Mandarin Oriental. 

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

SAN DIEGO:  Entertainment Weekly will host its official Comic-Con 2017 party at Float at the Hard Rock Hotel on July 22. The event will feature activations from sponsors HBO and Peet’s Coffee, and entertainment from DJ Michelle Pesce.

TORONTO:  The 35th edition of Shakespeare in High Park will run June 29-September 3, with performances of King Lear on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and performances of Twelfth Night on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. 

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Country music singer Kenny Rogers received a special award from the Smithsonian Museum during The Nation We Build Together gala opening June 21 at its National Museum of American History. The Nation We Build, a presentation of four exhibitions and interactive experiences surrounding fundamental American stories, opens Wednesday. 

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With contributions from Claire Hoffman in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, Rayna Katz, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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