In Lake Buena Vista, Fla., George Aguel has been promoted to senior vice president/general manager of Disney Vacation Club and Resort/Park Sales and Services. Aguel joined Disney in 1990, where his responsibilities encompassed the operation of Disney Event Productions and the Disney Institute. Aguel also serves as vice chairman for Meeting Professionals International.

Also at Disney, Richard A. Brooks has been appointed incentive sales director for the Walt Disney World Resort. His sales team will be responsible for all Disney incentive offerings in Florida, including resorts, theme parks, recreation, and the Disney Cruise Line. Brooks previously served as director of sales and marketing for The Westin Santa Clara (Calif.).

Marc Szymanik has been named director of sales and marketing at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Buckhead. Szymanik had headed sales efforts for several Atlanta-area hotels, including The Georgian Terrace and Hotel Nikko Atlanta.

Brian Plaska has been named national sales manager at Charleston Place, Charleston, S.C. He will work with corporate and association clients in the Midwest. Plaska was previously in sales management with the South Seas Resort on Captiva Island, Fla.

The Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa has named Jill Flynn director of sales and Kerry Clark sales manager. The new hotel and spa opened in June in Waterford, Conn. Flynn, with 20 years' experience in the hospitality industry, was most recently general manager of Centennial Inn Suites in Farmington, Conn. Clark brings more than eight years' experience in hotel sales to her new post, including positions with Marriott in Denver.

Mary S. Verity has been appointed director of sales for Steamboat Grand Resort Hotel & Conference Center, Steamboat Springs, Colo. Verity had been director of national sales for Englewood, Colo.-based Sceptre Hospitality Resources, a hotel technology company.

Brian Dye has been named director of sales and marketing for St. Regis Monarch Beach, which is scheduled to open in July in Dana Point, Calif. Dye joins the St. Regis from Hawaii, where, for nearly seven years, he was director of sales and marketing with Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island. Also joining the St. Regis Monarch Beach is Stan Hershenow, director of incentive sales. Hershenow was most recently with La Quinta Resort & Club in Palm Springs, Calif.

Carol Sullivan has been named director of sales at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, which is scheduled to open in April 2002 in La Jolla, Calif. Sullivan had been director of sales for Bahia Resort Hotel, San Diego.

Dayna Zeitlin has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the Omni San Francisco Hotel, which opens in December in the city's financial district. Zeitlin joins the Omni from Bass Hotels and Resorts, where she was director of sales and marketing for Crowne Plaza Cabana Palo Alto.

Nicholas P. Scriabine has been named director of group sales at Pan Pacific San Francisco. He was most recently associate director of sales at The Claremont Resort & Spa in Berkeley, Calif.

Steven R. Sampson has been appointed director of sales and marketing at The Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua, on the Island of Maui in Hawaii. Prior to his move to Maui, Sampson served as director of sales and marketing for Carefree Resorts at The Boulders in Carefree, Ariz.

G'Nell Abracosa has been promoted to director of group sales at Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles. Abracosa joined the hotel in 1999 as national sales manager. Also at the hotel, Tona Trujillo was promoted from national sales manager to senior national sales manager.

At the Doubletree Hotel San Jose, Calif., John E. Koon has been named as the new director of sales and marketing. Most recently, he was with the Kimpton Group in San Francisco.

Brad Rahinsky has been appointed director of sales and marketing at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. Most recently, Rahinsky was director of sales and marketing for Georgia's Chateau Élan Resort and Spa.

Craig S. Caron has been appointed director of sales and marketing at The House of Blues Hotel, A Loews Hotel, in Chicago. Caron most recently served as director of sales and marketing at Chicago's Radisson Hotel & Suites.

Roberta Sumner has been named senior account manager, responsible for leading the newly established West Coast office of The TCI Cos., a meeting and event management firm based in Washington, D.C. The new office will be based in San Diego.


Las Vegas' Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino broke ground on a three-level, 1.8 million-square-foot convention center complex that will be an addition to the 3,300-room resort. Expected to open in summer 2002, the complex will include more than 1 million square feet of exhibit space, a 100,000-square-foot pillarless ballroom, a 50,000-square-foot ballroom, and more than 100,000 square feet of divisible breakout meeting space. The facility, adjacent to Mandalay Bay's 190,000-square-foot conference center, will have voice, data, and fiber-optic transmission capabilities; a business center; and three separate loading docks that can house 36 tractor-trailers. Mandalay Bay's sister properties — the Luxor, the Four Seasons, and Excalibur — will work in partnership to offer clients a tiered room-rate schedule.

Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Hotels is adding 10,000 square feet of meeting space. The new space, slated for fall completion, includes a junior ballroom with 4,000 square feet of indoor function space and 6,000 square feet of exterior space. With a combined 2,267 rooms, the properties have more than 250,000 square feet of indoor function space as well as additional outdoor venues.

Montana's Big Sky Resort, a Boyne USA property, has announced a $400 million expansion and enhancement to the resort and mountain village. It will add more than 100 shops and restaurants, a spa, and additional conference facilities, as well as 1,800 acres of terrain expansion. The resort features 40,000 square feet of function space at Yellowstone Conference Center at Big Sky, as well as 300 lodge rooms and suites. Available recreation includes golf, tennis, fishing, horseback riding, river rafting, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, gondola rides, and Yellowstone National Park.

The Regent Boston at Battery Wharf Hotel and Residences will open in spring 2003. The four-building complex will include a 185-room luxury hotel and be at the edge of Boston Harbor, within walking distance of the city's central business district and many historic landmarks, such as the Freedom Trail, Old North Church, and Faneuil Hall. A water-taxi stop will provide on-demand, nonstop direct service to Logan International Airport.

Crowne Plaza Atlanta-Buckhead broke ground on a 6,300-square-foot ballroom expansion. The $15 million renovation will encompass a new facade and refurbishment of the lobby, public areas, and 290 guest rooms and suites. The new ballroom will be divisible by three and offer T1 lines. It will seat up to 280 people theater-style or 500 for a reception. On completion, the property will offer more than 8,900 square feet of function space, including a pre-function area of 2,196 square feet and four meeting rooms totaling 2,532 square feet.

The Whitehall Hotel, closed for 10 years, has been transformed into the Crowne Plaza Houston Downtown, a Bass Hotels & Resorts property. Newly branded, it has reopened after a $25 million renovation. Part of the Cullen Center redevelopment, the reborn Crowne Plaza has 259 rooms, professional conference and catering staffs, and 11,000 square feet of flexible meetings space, including a grand ballroom, a junior ballroom, and pre-function space.

Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando, a Loews Hotel, will become the third on-site property at Universal Orlando, Fla., in 2002. Set on 53 acres, the luxury resort will offer 1,000 guest rooms and suites, a South Pacific-style ambience, and almost 80,000 square feet of meeting and function space that will include a 41,503-square-foot ballroom that will seat up to 4,600 people. In addition, the resort will offer two group registration desks, meeting planner offices, and 25,000 square feet of outdoor function areas. Restaurants, a business center, pool, fitness center, and children's activity center will also be on-site. Guests will enjoy “no line, no wait” access to most Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure rides, shows, and attractions.

The Hacienda at Hotel Santa Fe in Santa Fe, N.M., will open in September. The property features 35 rooms and suites and offers fireplaces, 10-foot ceilings, hardwood floors, and desert views. Each room has additional luxury amenities as well as personal butler service. The Hacienda offers more than 4,676 square feet of meeting space, including three breakout rooms and a library, and can accommodate groups of up to 150 people.

With the addition of Paradisus Riviera Cancun, Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts will have 11 properties in Mexico. The Paradisus, an all-inclusive beach resort 20 minutes south of Cancun's international airport, will offer 500 rooms, sporting and spa facilities, six restaurants, and a 9,000-square-foot ballroom that will hold 950 people and be divisible by four. In other Sol Meliá news, Meliá Mexico Reforma in Mexico City has completed an $8 million renovation that includes refurbishment of guest rooms and suites and the addition of 34 guest rooms and five meeting rooms. The property now offers 448 rooms and 38,346 square feet of meeting space.