CHANGING FACES Carolyn Dow was elected president of the Society of& Travel Executives by its board of directors and assumed the office January 1. Dow, a member of SITE since 1897, heads sales and efforts for the Scottish Convention Bureau in Edinburgh.
The Washington, D.C. - based International Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus has selected Michael Gehrisch as its new president and CEO. Gehrisch, who will replace Ed Nielsen as the organization's top executive on February 1, was previously vice president of hotel sales for WorldRes.com.
Jeffrey W. Poole has been appointed national sales director at Rosen Hotels & Resorts, based in Washington, D.C. He'll be responsible for corporate accounts in the Washington, D.C., metro area. Poole was formerly national director of sales for Omni Hotels.
At the Don CeSar Beach Resort & Spa in St. Petersburg Beach, Fla., Michael Chagnon has been named director of hotel sales. He will oversee sales and marketing for the Don CeSar and its sister property, The Beach House Suite by The Don CeSar. Chagnon was most recently director of hotel sales at Marriott North in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Rachel A. McKenna has joined The Registry Resort in Naples, Fla., as a national accounts manager. She is responsible for corporate groups from New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. McKenna was a member of the sales team at LaPlaya Beach Resort in Naples for eight years prior to her appointment.
Wendy Nuckols has been named corporate sales manager at Phoenix's Pointe South Mountain Resort. Nuckols had been corporate sales manager at the Legacy Golf Resort in Phoenix.
At the Elliott hotel, which is scheduled to open in the spring in Seattle as a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, Audrey Fan has been named director of group sales. Fan had been senior convention sales manager at the East King County CVB. Joe LaBreche, formerly an associate with Price water house Cooper's Hospitality and Leisure Practice in New York, will take on the role of director of corporate sales; and Mary Molloy will act as corporate sales manager. Molloy, who was born in Galway, Ireland, previously held the same title for The Warwick Hotel in Seattle. Also at the Elliott, Jodi Forslund has been named senior director of sales. She had been with Sheraton Seattle as director of corporate sales.
Lilian Wagner has joined The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, as director of sales and marketing. She was formerly with the Park Hyatt hotel in San Francisco, where she held the same position.
* GOINGPLACES KSL Recreation Corp., owners and operators of such deluxe destination resorts as La Quinta Resort & Club and PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., and Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa on Maui, has purchased The Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa in Phoenix from Florida-based Boca Resorts Inc., which had owned the resort since 1998. The 730-room resort has 64,000 square feet of dedicated meeting space and a 22,000-square-foot spa.
The Mandarin Oriental, Miami, has opened in Brickell Key, a 44-acre island minutes from Miami's financial district. The 329-room waterfront hotel offers 15,000 square feet of meeting space. The Spa at Mandarin Oriental is set to open early this year.
The Fairmont Miramar Hotel in Santa Monica, Calif., has completed phase one of a $14 million refurbishment. Phase one included all 176 rooms in the Ocean Tower building; phase two will include all 96 rooms in the Pacific Palisades building and 32 garden and poolside bungalows. Fairmont took over management of the hotel from Sheraton this past fall. The 302-room hotel opened in 1921 and offers 20,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Hyatt Regency Tampa has completely renovated its 521 guest rooms and suites, which now include workstations with ergonomic chairs and convenient power outlets as well as dual-line speaker phones with data ports. The hotel's 30,000 square feet of meeting space include the 14,500-square-foot Regency Ballroom and 21 breakout rooms all on one floor.
* BEYONDBORDERS Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts recently announced three new management agreements in China. The 460-room Shangri-La Hotel Dingshan in Nanjing will open early this year with a 12,912-square-foot ballroom; the 264-room Shangri-La Hotel Zhongshan in southern China, opening late this year, will be 90 minutes by ferry from Hong Kong; and the 280-room Shangri-La Hotel Zhengzhou, in the Henan province, will open in early 2002.
Dolce International has acquired Norton Manor Training and Conference Centre in Hampshire, England, from Fanfare Hotels. The center is 45 minutes from Heathrow Airport and just over an hour from London. It offers 64 guest rooms, 16 meeting rooms, and the historic Manor House, the property's centerpiece. A $4.6 million renovation of the property is planned for this year, along with an expansion to 100 rooms expected by January 2002.
The new Congress Salzburg conference center will open in Salzburg, Vienna, in late spring. The center can accommodate banquets of up to 1,350 guests and will offer state-of-the-art presentation equipment, including an advanced system for simultaneous interpretation.
Finding adequate meeting space and sleeping rooms under the same roof is often a challenge overseas. So the recent expansion of the Hilton London Metropole Hotel and Conference Centre is a boon. Now the largest convention hotel in the U.K, the Metropole offers 44,000 square feet of column-free meeting space in 44 meeting rooms. Two ballrooms, the Monarch Suite and King Suite, can each accommodate 1,900 theater-style. The Monarch has removable carpet tiles, making it suitable for exhibits, and computerized pin-spot lighting. The Palace Suite, in the original building, accommodates another 1,300.
The Metropole has 1,062 guest rooms, of which up to 800 can be blocked for groups. All rooms in the new West Wing have Category 5 cabling linking them to the meeting rooms. When the Hilton London Paddington, just six blocks away, opens in spring, its 350 guest rooms will be available to handle Metropole overflow.
Metropole guests can whiz from nearby Paddington Station to Heathrow Airport via the 15-minute Heathrow Express train. Book your meeting through Hilton Meetings and attendees receive a discount on Heathrow Express tickets.
In Dublin, the incentive-quality Conrad International - Conrad is Hilton's international five-star brand - has 191 guest rooms. The ballroom, divisible into three sections, accommodates 370 theater- style, and there are three smaller meeting rooms plus a boardroom seating 12. ISDN lines and satellite links are available for video conferencing. Although elegant and upscale - there are Waterford crystal chandeliers in the meeting rooms - the Conrad is not at all stuffy. Its pub, Alfie Byrne's, really rocks.