▪ CHANGING FACES
Concurrent with Millennium Hotels and Resorts' relocation of its management headquarters from Washington, D.C., to New York City, Paul T. Underhill has been given responsibility for U.S. operations, which includes 13 four-star Millennium-branded hotels. As president for Millennium Hotels and Resorts, the Americas, Underhill replaces Robert Morse, who has joined MeriStar Hotels & Resorts as president, hotel operations.
Don Jones has been named director of marketing for The Pierre, a Four Seasons Hotel in New York City. Jones joins the Pierre from Dean & Deluca, where he was vice president of sales for its business-to-business division.
David J. Sargent has been named director of sales and marketing for The Westin New York at Times Square, which is scheduled to open in November. He had been director of sales and marketing for Sheraton Hotels of New York.
Judy de la Rosa has been appointed director of meeting services at the Hilton Short Hills (N.J.). She was formerly director of conference services at the Inter-Continental — The Barclay in New York City.
Keith Battaglia has been hired as director of sales for Benchmark Hospitality's The Chattanoogan in Chattanooga, Tenn. He was formerly director of sales for the World Trade Institute Conference Center in New York City. Also at The Chattanoogan, Traci Parker was appointed sales manager, responsible for sales in the South, Southwest, and Midwest. Parker was formerly sales manager and operations manager for Summit Destination Services and worked at Benchmark Hospitality's Resort at Squaw Creek in Lake Tahoe, Calif.
At JW Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes Resort, Jane M. Chaney, CMP, has been appointed director of marketing. Chaney had been vice president of convention sales and services for the Orlando/Orange County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
At Sonesta Hotel & Suites-Coconut Grove, Miami, which is scheduled to open this spring, Gina Marcello has been named director of sales and marketing. Marcello has been with Sonesta since 1988, and was most recently director of sales for the Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne (Fla.). Succeeding her at the Key Biscayne property is Iris Acosta, former sales manager for the resort.
At The Partridge Inn in Augusta, Ga., Ron Patrick has been named director of sales. He formerly worked in sales and marketing for Bridgestone/Firestone Corp. The 156-room Partridge Inn is the first Georgia hotel selected by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for inclusion in the Historic Hotels of America collection.
Hyatt Regency Lake Las Vegas Resort, Spa and Casino has appointed Christopher Vernicek director of catering and convention services. He recently relocated from Hyatt Regency Greenwich (Conn.), where he held the same position.
Suzanne Mizgala has been named director of sales at Chateau Royal, an all-suite hotel in Montréal. She was formerly with Hotel Omni Mont-Royal, most recently as director of revenue management.
Gregory Malark has joined HelmsBriscoe as senior vice president. He will have responsibility for HelmsBriscoe's Hot Dates Hot Rates and First Option divisions. Malark comes to HB from Delta Squared Consulting, a firm focused on brand building, strategic planning, and e-commerce. HelmsBriscoe, based in Scottsdale, Ariz., bills itself as a “conference resource” firm and offers online site selection, housing, and registration services.
The independent meeting planning firm Conferon, based in Twinsburg, Ohio, has appointed Shelley K. McLoughlin national sales manager for its Boston office, where she will be responsible for the Northeast market. McLoughlin was previously sales director, meeting planning channel, for Passkey.
The Performance Group of Northern California, a full-service meeting and incentive planning company, has named Penelope Dwyer account executive. Dwyer had been director of corporate communications for Advanced Communications Technology, and before that, director of strategic alliances for Voquette and Audiohighway, both Internet media companies. The Performance Group is based in Emeryville, Calif.
Christine Berthet has been named CEO at b-there.com, based in Westport, Conn. Since April 2001, Berthet has held the title of chairman and founder for b-there.com, an online marketing and management system for the meeting, conference,/exhibition, and group travel industries.
▪ GOING PLACES
Scottsdale, Arizona's The Phoenician resort has completed renovations on 474 guest rooms and 107 casitas, which are the first phase of a $25 million refurbishment. Next up are 73 luxury suites and several dining areas. The resort, at the base of Camelback Mountain, includes a full-service spa and 27-hole championship golf course. The 64,000 square feet of meeting space features 21 meeting rooms, five boardrooms, a theater, and a 22,000-square-foot ballroom. www.thephoenician.com
Scheduled to open in January, the 295-room Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples, Fla., will offer a 7,800-square-foot grand ballroom in 14,800 square feet of meeting and conference space, which will include eight additional meeting rooms. The property is surrounded by the Greg Norman — designed, 27-hole Tiburon course and is eight miles from Naples Airport. www.ritzcarlton.com
Massachusetts' Boston Convention & Exhibition Center is slated for a June 2004 opening. The center will total 1.6 million square feet of space and be on 42 acres of a 60-acre site. The center will have 516,000 contiguous square feet of space, with exhibition halls divisible into two or three ballrooms. Along with the 41,000-square-foot grand ballroom, the center will include 86 meeting rooms. Starwood Hotels and Resorts plans to build the center's headquarter hotel. www.mccahome.com
The 186-room Red Lion Hotel Modesto has opened in Modesto, Calif. The former Holiday Inn & Holidome has seven meeting rooms (6,000 square feet of meeting space) and can host groups of up to 450. Red Lion Hotels & Inns are part of Hilton Hotels Corp. www.redlion.com
The Hyatt Regency Miami's $8 million renovation project was scheduled for December 2001 completion. The downtown hotel, with 100,000 square feet of meeting and convention space, has installed T3 lines in each of the hotel's 27 meeting rooms. The hotel has also refurbished its 612 guest rooms and suites. The Hyatt has more than 100,000 square feet of function space, including 27 meeting rooms, a 12,000-square-foot ballroom, and a 444-fixed-seat auditorium. www.miami.hyatt.com
The Virginia Beach (Va.) Convention Center will undergo a $193.5 million expansion that will triple its size. The enlarged 500,000-square-foot center will include a 150,000-square-foot exhibition hall, a 30,000-square-foot ballroom, and a total of 25,000 square feet of meeting rooms. Pre-function space will also increase. Phase one of the project, including 64,000 square feet of exhibition space, will be completed in 2005. By 2006 or 2007, the new center will open. www.VirginiaBeachConventionCenter.com
A Marriott and a Hyatt are scheduled to break ground in Tucson, Ariz., in 2002. The Marriott, close to downtown in the Tucson Mountain foothills, will offer 575 rooms, more than 66,000 square feet of meeting space, three restaurants, and a 20,000-square-foot spa. The Hyatt plans a 500-room, full-service resort northwest of the city. Both properties plan championship golf courses. www.visitTucson.org
The Doubletree Park Terrace Hotel closed to undergo a $12 million renovation. The 219-room property is scheduled to reopen as the Washington Terrace Hotel in April, and will operate as a boutique property.
▪ BEYOND BORDERS
This past fall, Centro de Congressos do Estoril, a state-of-the-art conference and exhibition center, opened in the Portuguese seaside city of Estoril. The new conference complex offers almost 70,000 square feet of exhibition space, a 600-seat auditorium, more than 20 flexible meeting and breakout rooms, videoconferencing and Web connectivity, translation facilities, and more. The complex can accommodate large conferences, exhibits, and events simultaneously. www.mondotels.com