NOV 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 8 Florida New Executive Chef CAPE CORAL — The Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village recently appointed Christiana "Criss" Menassa as executive chef. Bringing more than 30 years of experience in the culinary world, Menassa will oversee all of the hotel's culinary operations, including the property's two dining venues, Marker 92 Waterfront Bar & Bistro and The Nauti Mermaid Dockside Bar & Grill. She will also revamp group catering menus. "We're excited to see how Chef Menassa's creativity and talent – stemming from her rich and diverse culinary background – can continue to honor the vibrant and unique flavors of Florida," said Michael Tighe, general manager of the resort. "Her commitment to quality and local flavors will provide the guests and visitors with the best that Florida has to offer." Menassa has held positions in properties around Florida, the Caribbean and South Carolina, including the Sanibel Harbour Marriott, The Wild Dunes Resort and Sundial Beach Resort & Spa. Digitally Driven Brand Initiatives FORT LAUDERDALE — In early October, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau president and CEO Stacy Ritter announced the expansion of the destination's global digital and social presence. The 2018 Tourism Marketing Plan includes more targeted use of technology for customer development and marketing measurement. "Our theme this year is Big Data," said Ritter. "We'll use technology to take the guesswork out of advertising, better target our customers and have real-time assessment of how our messaging influenced a decision to visit, length of stay, and if and when a visitor returns. This adds up to a more effective and efficient use of our marketing dollars." New bureau marketing initiatives include an increased media spend of $5 million, 25 percent more than last year, with at least 60 percent of the total media budget in the digital space, including multilingual digital visitor collateral. To overcome negative perceptions of the recent hurricane impact on South Florida, despite minimal damage to Broward County/Greater Fort Lauderdale, Ritter pledged an early spend of $1 million to defend the winter high season and increase the destination's presence in key feeder markets in the Northeast, Midwest, Texas and California on social media channels, radio and television. Georgia F&B Offerings at Solís Two Porsche Drive ATLANTA — Solís Two Porsche Drive, a hotel opening this month adjacent to the Porsche Cars North America Atlanta campus in Hapeville, Ga., will offer two dynamic food and beverage destinations: Apron, a full-service across the Tranformed Dolphin Resort Unveiled LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — At a special ceremony on Sept. 28, the transformed Dolphin Resort lobby at The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort was unveiled and Phins, the new centrally located lobby bar officially opened. The event marked the completion of the largest transformation in the resort's history: a $140 million, three-year project which also included a redesign of all 2,267 guest rooms and renovation of all meeting space. As part of the project, Lake View, a 2,800-square-foot meeting and event space, was added, offering scenic outdoor views of the resort's private lake. Additionally, the resort's 332,000 square feet of meet- ing space has been updated in appearance and with new technology, including electronic reader boards and the latest in high-density Wi-Fi, offering high-speed, uninterrupted internet to groups as large as 15,000 people. Designed by ICRAVE, the new Dolphin Resort lobby has a contemporary look with a new geometric ceiling, enhanced lighting and more than double the amount of guest seating than before. A grand chan- delier stretches 20 feet from the ceiling with crystals suspended above the Dolphin fountain. Fuel, a new dining venue in the Dolphin lobby, offers quick service and grab-and-go food and drink options while Phins has seating up to 150 guests and serves up the resort's own craft brew, Phins & Feathers Pale Ale, wine on tap and creative cocktails. Coming soon are new private poolside cabanas furnished with lounge seating, tables, fans, refrigera- tors and television for rental. Each cabana will include full food and beverage service. n Menassa

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