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Hotel Happenings
HILTON AMERICAS-HOUSTON RANKED NUMBER ONE IN HOUSTON-AREA
From its beginnings in December 2001, with what is reported to have been the largest concrete foundation mats ever poured in Houston, Hilton Americas-Houston has remained as number one. In a single weekend that December, beginning at 3 a.m. on a Saturday morning, a constant stream of more than 100 cement trucks and eight stationary concrete pumpers delivered loads to the then-job-site. By late Sunday evening of that same weekend, 12,000 cubic ft. of concrete weighing 1.2 million pounds had been poured - enough to pave a 19-mile sidewalk from downtown Houston to Bush Intercontinental Airport. From those unique record-breaking beginnings came the start of a unique record-holding hotel.

Hilton Americas-Houston offers 91,500 sq. ft. of meeting and banquet space, including the 40,000-sq. ft. Grand Ballroom. This ballroom, divisible into 12 separate rooms, accommodates 3,000 guests banquet-style or 3,500 guests theater-style, and when fully opened is roughly one-and-a-half football fields long and more than half a football field wide. The Ballroom of the Americas, offering 26,000 additional sq. ft. divisible into six independent meeting rooms, has a capacity for 2,300 guests, theater-style. With ceiling heights of 23 ft. in the Ballroom of the Americas and 28 ft. in the Grand Ballroom, the expansive area offers a vast column-free space for both meetings and exhibits. The ballrooms, along with 30 meeting rooms, allow the Hilton Americas-Houston the ability to accommodate most any group. Also available to guests and meeting attendees is the 10,000-sq. ft. pre-function space, flanked by expansive panoramic windows overlooking Houston's refreshing urban 12 acre green-space park, Discovery Green.

With so many record breaking statistics, plus the added distinction of being the very first Green Seal certified property in the entire state of Texas, Hilton Americas-Houston continues to be Number One in Houston!

MILLENNIUM BROADWAY HOTEL PERFECT MANHATTAN MEETING PLACE

As the Millennium Broadway Hotel is the only and largest IACC-accredited hotel in Manhattan, meetings are more than just a corporate gathering, they're an experience. From the setting, to the food & beverage, attention is paid to the smallest of details, boasting comfort, convenience and customization.

Michael Lotwich, the director of Conference Center for the Millennium Broadway Hotel is responsible for the overall operation and maintenance of both the Conference Center with its 43 flexible meetings rooms and over 110,000 sq. ft. of conference space and the hotel's historic Hudson Theatre. Built in 1903, and since renovated, the Hudson Theatre is the optimal location for memorable meetings, product launches, weddings, concerts and other cosmopolitan events.

With nearly 30 years of experience, Lotwich can provide tips and insight that will allow people to maximize on both personal and corporate gains from a meeting as well as comment on recent trends in regards meetings and incentives.

The property is located in the heart of New York City's Times Square. The Millennium Broadway Hotel boasts 750 guest rooms and suites, with access to Broadway theaters, Fifth Avenue shopping, midtown business and fine dining at the hotel's elegant Restaurant Charlotte, ideal for pre or post-Broadway show dining. The Millennium Broadway Hotel offers newly renovated meeting space and is the only hotel in New York with an on-site meeting facility approved by the International Association of Conference Centers (IACC).

MEETING PLANNERS TAKE NOTE: HERE COMES OMNI! Luxury Hotel Brand Announces Innovative, Value-Driven Programs for Meeting Planners

Beginning in May, all Omni Hotels unveiled two new meetings initiatives. Designed to meet the ever-changing demands in the meetings marketplace, the programs are being implemented to relieve some of the strain and uncertainty planners are facing today. On top of Omni's already innovative ZERO Attrition program announced earlier this year, the brand is now launching a system wide RapidResponse program which guarantees a swift reaction to all incoming inquiries as well as a standard policy to always include a ReSELL Clause in its meeting contracts.

To ensure all in-bound leads are answered within two business hours, Omni Hotels has instituted its RapidResponse program brand-wide. This effort will apply to all leads: phone, e-mail, electronic inquiries and through third-party organizations. After the initial contact, Omni will then follow-up with a formal response - such as a proposal or contract - no later than the end of the next business day. If Omni does not provide an initial response within two business hours, the inquiring customer will be entitled to request a five percent discount off the master account.

The new ReSELL Clause offers a standard rooms resell clause in each group contract without any special request from the meeting planner. With this clause, groups are entitled to a refund for any paid cancellation or attrition charges if Omni resells some portion of the unused guest rooms. For every room resold, the brand will provide the meeting planner a credit for the rate at which the room was resold. "It is imperative that we stay 'tuned in' to what our customers need and let them know we have their best interest in mind," said Tom Faust, VP of sales for Omni Hotels. "Omni has always taken great pride in its innovative meeting solutions and is continually seeking ways to enhance the way we do business."

CROWNE PLAZA OPENS OUTSIDE PHILADELPHIA $4 Million Conversion Hotel Marks Crowne Plaza's Fifth Opening In Philadelphia Market

IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) [LON: IHG, NYSE:IHG (ADRs)], the world's largest hotel group by number of rooms, recently announced that the Crowne Plaza Philadelphia-Bucks County has opened, following $4 million in renovations to guestrooms and public spaces.

The Crowne Plaza is conveniently located just off the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 95 and state Route 1. Guests will be just minutes from local businesses, including General Electric, Verizon, International SOS and Catalent Pharma Solutions. Nearby leisure attractions include historic Philadelphia, New Hope, Peddler's Village, Philadelphia Park Casino and Racetrack, and Sesame Place theme park.

The six-story Crowne Plaza Philadelphia-Bucks County offers 214 guest rooms. Guests have access to a variety of amenities including complimentary wireless high speed Internet access, fitness center, 24-hour business center, indoor swimming pool and complimentary shuttle to businesses within a five-mile radius. The hotel's restaurant, Brady's, serves relaxed American cuisine for breakfast, lunch and dinner, including a sports bar with more 30 beers on tap.

Also consistent with the Crowne Plaza brand, the hotel offers a comprehensive meetings program to ensure a seamless planning process and exceptional meeting experience consisting of three key components: a Two Hour Response Guarantee, Crowne Meetings Director and a Daily Meetings Debrief. The hotel has nine meeting rooms with 5,500 square feet of flexible, upscale meeting space.
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