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March 10, 2016: How Cleveland and Philly Will Use Political Conventions as Tourism Spotlights, U.S. Grand Prix Aims for Attendance Record With Taylor Swift Concert, New Hotels Planned for Coachella Crowd

1. HOW CLEVELAND AND PHILLY WILL USE POLITICAL CONVENTIONS AS TOURISM SPOTLIGHTS: Around 50,000 politicos and media will flock to Cleveland for the Republican National Convention and Philadelphia for the Democratic National Convention this summer, and the cities' tourism bureaus plan to use the events to prove they can be known for more than just the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and cheesesteaks. Both cities plan to highlight their booming foodie and arts scenes. AdvertisingAge: "Philadelphia, the fifth-largest city in the U.S. with more than 1.5 million people, faces the daunting prospect of going second—and being decidedly less raucous and more predictable—with legions of tired politicos and media, estimated to account for 20,000 of the overall visitors, coming off the RNC the week before. ...Anna Adams-Sarthou, communications director for the Philadelphia DNC host committee, said that means showcasing Philadelphia as much more than cheesesteaks and history. It's working with Visit Philadelphia to highlight neighborhoods, the food scene, world-class museums and the burgeoning tech culture, all of which have changed dramatically since 2000, when the city hosted the RNC."

2. U.S. GRAND PRIX AIMS FOR ATTENDANCE RECORD WITH TAYLOR SWIFT CONCERT: Circuit of the Americas plans the mark the fifth anniversary of its Formula One United States Grand Prix—which takes place October 21-23 in Austin, Texas—with a Taylor Swift concert after the qualifying session. Forbes: "'The top performer in the world right now is Taylor Swift and she will perform on the Saturday before the race the following day,' says COTA chairman Bobby Epstein. 'It will be a one-off show. Her only show in 2016. We think we can bring in 100,000 new people and put on the biggest show.' It is understood that Taylor Swift’s fee will be one of the highest-ever paid to an individual performer and signing her is not just a triumph for Austin but also the city of San Antonio which is just 74 miles away. Spectators will be checking into its hotels as those in Austin will soon hit capacity boosted by two of the biggest entertainment properties in the world."

3. NEW HOTELS PLANNED FOR COACHELLA CROWD: Indio, California, which is home to the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival, hopes to increase its festival appeal to tourists with a new 120-room Marriott-owned Fairfield Inn and Suites, along with another national chain hotel that has made a commitment according to City of Indio housing and development director Mariano Aguirre. The Desert Sun: “In recent years, Indio has worked to aggressively cultivate hotels in the city, providing the hundreds of thousands of people attending Stagecoach Country Music Festival and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival with a place to stay and avoiding the tax leakage that happens when they travel to other cities for lodging. Mayor Glenn Miller said he hopes staff members for the festivals will also be able to use the increase in hotel space, expanding the peak time by several weeks pre- and post-festivals.”


COAST TO COAST:  The Bacon and Beer Classic, produced by Cannonball Productions, will take place in Denver April 16 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High, in New York April 22-23 at Citi Field, and in Seattle May 7 at Safeco Field. The event will feature bacon-infused dishes, beer tastings, temporary bacon tattoos, games, and more.

AUSTIN:  The International Special Events Society's ISES Live 2016 will take place August 11-13 at JW Marriott Austin.

CHICAGO:  The Joffrey Ballet will host its spring gala on April 15. The evening will include a special one-hour performance at the Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University; afterward, a dinner-dance takes place at the Hilton Chicago.

LOS ANGELES:  Orange Is the New Black actress Ruby Rose will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award at the 27th annual Glaad Media Awards. Caityln Jenner, Amber Heard, and Patricia Arquette are slated to attend the ceremony, which will take place April 2 at the Beverly Hilton.

Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, which is slated to open in 2017, has announced a culinary partnership with New York restaurateur Jean-Georges.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

NEW YORK:  The 10th annual Spirit of ABNY Awards will take place May 2 in the Rainbow Room at 30 Rockefeller Plaza.

Brian Wilson will headline this year's Northside Festival, which will take place June 9-12 at McCarren Park. Gothamist:

NYC & Company announced the city is expected to welcome 59.7 million visitors this year, which would make 2016 the seventh consecutive year for record-breaking tourism.

Local event listings from the new Masterplanner:

SAN DIEGO:  Smashing Pumpkins drummer and record producer Jimmy Chamberlin has been named entertainment advisor of AlliedPRA. The partnership will support the National Coalition for Literacy and other literary programs.

SAN FRANCISCO:  The San Francisco Brewers Guild will host its “Meet the Brewers” night at Black Sands Brewery on March 16; it will also launch its new free hop-on/hop-off beer shuttle.

TORONTO:  Toronto Botanical Garden will create a thematic garden and a pop-up shop at Canada Blooms March 11-20. The activation will include a botanical bar with flights of local honey, shots of wild rose, and other daily specialties.

WASHINGTON, D.C.:  Sofitel has named Alexandra Byrne as general manager of Sofitel Washington DC Lafayette Square. She was promoted from her role as the luxury property’s director of sales and marketing.

Dionne D. Williams has been named executive director of group sales at the National Conference Center, responsible for leading the association and corporate sales team.

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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, Anna Sekula, and Ian Zelaya in New York.

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