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November 21, 2014: Leno Cancels Gun Show Appearance, San Francisco to Bid for 2024 Olympics, YouTube Music Awards Drop Live Event Format

1. LENO CANCELS GUN SHOW APPEARANCE: Comedian Jay Leno will not participate in next year’s Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show in Las Vegas following pressure from anti-gun groups who urged him to drop out. MSNBC: “‘When it came to his attention that this was actually a pro-gun lobby show, he immediately cancelled his appearance,’ Bruce Bobbins, spokesman for Leno, told MSNBC. The gig was presented to the comedian as a sportsman show, which he assumed focused on hunting, Bobbins added. ‘He found out that it was not what he was originally told it was, and he decided to cancel,’ he said.”

2. SAN FRANCISCO TO BID FOR 2024 OLYMPICS: San Francisco will bid on the 2024 Summer Olympics, competing with Los Angeles, Boston, and Washington, D.C., to become the United States candidate to host the games. Backers estimate the cost of hosting at about $4.5 billion. San Francisco Chronicle: “San Franciscans in recent history have been averse to shelling out public dollars for major sporting events. Last year’s America’s Cup was a boon to certain businesses but cost the city $11.5 million, and Mayor Ed Lee was unwilling to make the financial concessions regatta organizers sought to bring back the event. Olympic bid leaders aren’t touting the Games’ economic benefits, but rather the ability to rally a region around tackling some of its major problems—transportation and housing—while improving San Francisco’s marginalized southeast corner.”

3. YOUTUBE MUSIC AWARDS DROP LIVE EVENT FORMAT: YouTube Music Awards will return for its second year with a new format, dropping the live awards component in favor of an online-only event. Advertising Age: “Instead of putting on an elaborate show wrangling diverse performers in a big space on Manhattan's East River—last year's model—this time, on an unspecified day in March, YouTube will stream a bunch of music videos that YouTube viewers will be able to help create in some way. Vice—which last week announced an upcoming digital music site with Live Nation—will be producing the content, and Kia has signed on to return as the event's sponsor.”

4. NEW YORK BOOKS HOMELESS IN HOTEL AS "GOVERNMENT GROUP": A Queens hotel thought it was hosting a “government group,” and instead the 100-room block was used as temporary housing for homeless people. DNAinfo: “This is a hotel, not a shelter, and we want to keep it this way,” said the general manager of the Radisson Hotel, located near John F. Kennedy Airport. "We have a business to run and a reputation to keep and we intend on keeping it."


COAST TO COAST:  Chicago-based Kapow Events will open offices in Boston and Phoenix on December 1.

BOSTON:  Winstanley Partners, a marketing and creative design firm based in Lenox, has appointed Vanessa Leikvoll to the position of event coordinator.

CARY, NORTH CAROLINA:  The Special Event Company has announced three new hires: executive producer Wes Hardison, business manager Sara Ellis, and program coordinator and executive assistant Kamille Watson.

CHICAGO:  Ralph Dixon is the new pastry chef at the Union League Club of Chicago. Dixon formerly worked with Food for Thought Catering and Wolfgang Puck Catering.

LAS VEGAS:  Holly Madison will host Opportunity Village’s Las Vegas Great Santa Run on December 6.

LOS ANGELES:  The Grammy Museum will debut a new exhibit on Taylor Swift, “The Taylor Swift Experience,” on December 13.

Mr. C Beverly Hills is offering its heated poolside tent for events until February.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  Make Waves, a new nonprofit organization founded by the owner of Sense Beach House, will host an art exhibition featuring work by Gretta Kruesi on December 6 at the boutique hotel. The rooftop event, timed with Art Basel, will benefit Style Saves. Make Waves plans to hold monthly events to raise money for local charities.

NEW YORK:  With winter storms coming, New York meeting and event venues are offering deals to generate business. Tarrytown House Estate & Conference Center, a Destination Hotel, is offering “snowsurance” to winter meetings that are booked to take place between December and March. Whenever three inches of snow or more are forecast within three days of the event, meeting planners can rebook within 30 days with no penalty. The Hyatt Regency Buffalo is offering a "Let It Snow" rate starting at $79 whenever two feet or more of snow are predicted now through February 28.

The eighth annual Big Apple Classic, which celebrates the achievements of historically black colleges and universities, is December 7-8. The event includes a leadership summit, a college fair, a basketball doubleheader at the Barclays Center, a “battle of the bands” halftime show, and a step show.

Marco's, the trattoria-style restaurant in Park Slope from the owners of the popular Franny's restaurant, will close December 13. Owners Francine Stephens and Andrew Feinberg said the concept was not profitable and they are planning something new for the space.

Local event listings from Masterplanner:

ORLANDO:  Hilton Orlando has appointed Dawn Walzak as director of sales.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The seventh annual Biotech Showcase investor conference will take place January 12-14 at Parc 55 Wyndham. The event draws executive-level delegates from public and private investment firms; 1,700 delegates attended last year.

TORONTO:  The Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives will host its second annual Disco Gala at Toronto Reference Library on November 29. The event will include a cocktail reception with a photo booth, dinner from A La Carte Catering, a silent auction, and live entertainment.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  The Shakespeare Theatre Company announced Free Will, an initiative that will distribute 1,000 free tickets to every mainstage production of its 2014-2015 season.

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With contributions from Jenny Berg in Chicago, Alesandra Dubin in Los Angeles, Mitra Sorrells in Orlando, and Beth Kormanik, Michele Laufik, Jill Menze, and Anna Sekula in New York.

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