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December 20, 2017: #MeToo Creator to Release Times Square Ball on New Year’s Eve, TripAdvisor's New Sexual Assault Warning System Has Yet to Show Progress, Salt Lake City Aims for 2030 Winter Olympics Bid


1. #METOO CREATOR TO RELEASE TIMES SQUARE BALL ON NEW YEAR€'S EVE: Tarana Burke, the social activist who launched the #MeToo movement, is slated to release the ball at the Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration. AmNewYork: “Burke will take part in the ceremony seen around the globe by pushing the Waterford crystal button that starts the iconic ball drop, signaling the countdown to 2018. Burke has spent more than a decade working with victims of sexual abuse, starting Just Be Inc. and the Me Too Movement. The #MeToo hashtag went viral after actress Alyssa Milano started using it in response to the scores of women who said they were sexually harassed and abused by movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and others in the entertainment industry. ‘New Year’s is a time when we look at the most significant cultural and political moments of the last year, when we look for inspiration by honoring and giving a global platform to those who have made a difference,’ said Tim Tompkins, president of the Times Square Alliance. ‘Tarana Burke’s courage and foresight have changed the world this year, and, we hope, forever.’ Last year, more than 2 million people helped ring in the new year in Times Square." http://bit.ly/2knjMqq

2. TRIPADVISOR'S NEW SEXUAL ASSAULT WARNING SYSTEM HAS YET TO SHOW PROGRESS: Back in November, TripAdvisor announced it would launch a new system in which it would mark pages of venues where users have reported incidents of sexual assault. But since its launch, the hotel review site has only marked four hotels. Fast Company: "For starters, it promised to allow customers to report assaults and other crimes on the site without worrying that the reviews would be deleted. It also unveiled a system that would alert TripAdvisor visitors about health and safety issues reported at hotels and resorts by placing a warning badge on the pages of those establishments. But a month and a half after announcing the system, we’ve learned it’s still very much a work in progress. In fact, only four hotels have received the warning badges so far, according to TripAdvisor. That’s four hotels out of the millions reviewed on its site–and three of those resorts are within the same Playa del Carmen region of Mexico. If TripAdvisor’s 455 million users were hoping they could rely solely on its badge system to warn them about potential risks at certain hotels, that’s probably not true. In actuality, TripAdvisor doesn’t want its users to exclusively rely on its badges. It would rather its users pore through consumer reviews to find the complaints on their own. 'Thousands of those firsthand experiences–examples of health, safety, and discrimination issues–are written about within posts that are currently live on our site in review or forum content,' TripAdvisor spokesperson Tara Lieberman wrote in an email to Fast Company. Relying on users to read pages of reviews to hunt for assault reports seems contrary to TripAdvisor’s initial announcement, when it said it planned to use 'credible media reports' to determine whether or not a hotel merited a badge. On the contrary: A cursory dive on Google unearthed many cases of hotel rapes or assaults involving hotel staff that were reported by credible media outlets in recent months." http://bit.ly/2oSYDsF

3. SALT LAKE CITY AIMS FOR 2030 WINTER OLYMPICS BID: Salt Lake City is expected to make a bid to host the 2030 Winter Olympics, as officials say the Utah capital already has the infrastructure to host a low-cost event. Reuters: "Fraser Bullock, co-chair of the city’s Olympic exploratory committee, told the Fox 13 television station the city could host the event at a cost of $1.5 billion to $1.6 billion, which would cover upgrades to venues used when the Games were held there in 2002. That would be about $400 million less than it would cost cities that needed to build venues from scratch, he said. 'We have the venues built,' said Bullock, who was chief operating officer of the 2002 Olympics. 'We can economize in many ways to make that budget work.' United States Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun said earlier this month there were 'significant challenges' associated with U.S. cities bidding for the 2026 Winter Games since it would come two years before Los Angeles hosts the Summer Games. 'We’re leaning more in the 2030 direction,' he said. Reno-Tahoe, Denver and Salt Lake City had shown the most interest in hosting a Winter Games, he added." http://reut.rs/2B7hKAO

* LOCAL NEWS *

LAS VEGAS:  Lady Gaga has announced a two-year residency at the Park Theater at Park MGM, which will begin in December 2018. Press release: http://prn.to/2CFvJ13

LOS ANGELES:  The Music Center downtown will transform its plaza with a $30 million renovation. The updated space, which does not yet have an opening date, will offer an outdoor event venue with a capacity of 5,000 people. 

The 10th edition of DineLA will run January 12-26. More than 300 restaurants are slated to participate in the prix fixe dining event, which is presented by Discover Los Angeles and sponsored by American Express and American Airlines. 

For information on upcoming events in Los Angeles, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/losangeles

MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA:  The 20th edition of Ultra Music Festival will take place March 23-25 at Bayfront Park. Headliners will include Armin van Buuren, David Guetta, DJ Snake, and Tiesto. 

NEW YORK:  The YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting education for the fashion arts and business, will host its 81st annual Fashion Scholarship Fund National Merit Scholarship Awards Dinner on January 9 at Marriott Marquis. 

The 15th edition of design event Brooklyn Designs will take place May 12-13 at the Brooklyn Museum. 

For information on upcoming events in New York, visit Masterplanner: http://www.masterplanneronline.com/newyork

TORONTO:  The annual Canada Blooms and National Home Show will take place March 9-18 at the Enercare Centre. 

YOUR NEWS: What are you doing? Tell us: [email protected]

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

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

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