- Now in Your Own Backyard
Pheasant Run Sports New Look
Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, Ill., 45 minutes west of Chicago, underwent a $14 million renovation last year and is redoing its lobby this winter. Completion is expected by February. The 473-room resort has 100,000 square feet of meeting space, a spa, and an 18-hole championship golf course; plus the historic town of St. Charles, full of boutique shopping.
Karen Wiley, vice president of sales, says she is bullish about the Pheasant Run's business, because she thinks financial services and insurance companies throughout the Chicago region will look in their own backyards when planning meetings, incentives, and events. “We're a perfect drive-to resort destination.”
The resort has a promotion, devised before 9/11, to generate bookings before the end of the year: if you book a minimum of 75 rooms by December 31, you will receive a $500 prepaid credit card, or $1,200 for up to 150 rooms, good for personal use or to apply toward your meeting. The meeting does not have to be held in 2001, just booked.
For a full meeting planner's guide or for more information, visit www.pheasantrun.com.
- From London to Scotland
What's New in the U.K.
Groups that haven't been to London since January 1, 2000, should plan to fly the eye — The London Eye. It's that gigantic, slow-moving Ferris wheel scanning the Thames, which gives a bird's-eye view of London's famous landmarks. You can either enjoy a private capsule or an exclusive flight from a choice of three flight times, or take over the wheel for an entire evening (for groups of up to 550). A VIP lounge is available for up to 60 during regular opening hours.
In 2002, Her Majesty The Queen's Golden Jubilee, will be celebrated in June, marking the 50th anniversary of the queen's accession to the throne. Many activities and events will lead up to the Jubilee, and some palaces and other venues not typically open to the public will be welcoming groups.
- The All-Inclusive Advantage
Palace Resorts Rewards Program
Palace Resorts (www.palaceresorts.com), which operates seven all-inclusive resorts in Cancun and the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, has launched Palace Rewards travel incentive program. It includes round-trip airfare for two, VIP room amenities, and spa and shopping discounts. The program offers incentive planners a way to motivate and reward employees, while allowing them to budget incentive costs closely, thanks to the all-inclusive package. Palace Rewards packets include a reward card with a toll-free number for redeeming the trip, an instructional video on how to redeem, a congratulatory letter, and a brochure featuring information on each Palace Resort.
- Reward Yourself
A mini CD/digicard called Reward Yourself has been launched by the Monaco Government Tourist Office, designed for planners to give to their executives or qualifiers to whet their appetites for a Monaco incentive. It's available in large quantities from the MGTO.
The MGTO is also doing U.S. dollar guarantees for incentive programs at a variety of hotels through 2003. The Société des Bains de Mer is building a new, 350-room hotel in Monaco, scheduled to open in 2004, adding to its current supply of 2,200 first-class and deluxe hotel rooms.
For more information, visit www.monaco-tourism.com.
- Paradise for Less
Bermuda Hotels Offer Value-Added Meeting Packages
Now meeting planners can save a bundle on meeting or incentive programs of at least 15 guest rooms and three nights held between November 1 and April 30 in any of four luxury Bermuda resorts. The Elbow Beach Resort, Fairmont Hamilton Princess, Fairmont Southhampton Princess, and Sonesta Beach resort are giving a $50 credit per guest room, which can be applied to expenses on the master account or be posted to individual accounts. Additionally, you'll get one complimentary room for every 25 booked as well a two-room upgrade to suite category.
Hotel enhancements include free unlimited Internet access to business travelers with laptops at Elbow Beach Resort; a $2.4 million upgrade of guest rooms and public areas at the Sonesta Beach Resort; a $17 million renovation of the lobby, Entrée Gold floor, and six meeting rooms at the Fairmont Southampton Princess; and a $14.5 renovation that includes a new Entrée Gold wing and meeting space enhancement at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess. For more information, go to www.bermudatourism.com.
- More Than Ready
Mexico City Welcomes Corporate Groups
Ruth Sokol, promotion/sales director for the Mexico City Convention and Visitors Bureau, formed just two years ago, says, “Over the next year, three new convention centers and two major hotels will be opening in Mexico City, including a five-star, 500-room Sheraton Hotel & Convention Center, opening across from Alameda Park.” In addition, Mexico City has a new tourism police force, part law enforcers, part ambassadors, and Mexico City International Airport has significantly increased security to meet FAA requirements.
For a new interactive CD with vital information about convention facilities, hotels, area attractions, shopping, and restaurants, visit www.cvbmexicocity.gob.mx.
- Safaris and Golf
The Kenya Tourist Board is reinvigorating its efforts to attract meetings and incentive business to the African country. Jennifer Opondo, regional manager of the Kenya Tourist Board, said group business has been picking up over the past two years, especially from Europe. Now the focus is on boosting group and incentive travel from the U.S. You can't get much more exotic than golf safaris, which combines the country's mainstay wildlife-viewing attraction with golf expeditions to some of the country's 38 golf courses. Opondo said new sales offices have been set up in the U.S. that are focused on group business, and that a new Website, magicalkenya.com, will be up and operating — complete with clicks geared to meeting planners — by the end of the year.
For more information, visit www.kenyatourism.com.
Radisson Cable Beach Refocuses
The Radisson Cable Beach Resort in Nassau, Bahamas, is refocusing on the meetings and incentives market. Vice President of Sales Brian Cassidy says that the beachfront resort, originally built as a meetings hotel, wants to boost group business to 30 percent from its present 10 to 15 percent.
The 700-room resort, which recently completed a $20 million renovation, offers 25,000 square feet of indoor meeting space, including a 12,500 square-foot ballroom, pre-function areas, and five breakout rooms. The property has also begun offering both European Plan and all-inclusive group packages, as well as expanded services geared toward meeting planners. This summer. the Radisson Cable Beach Resort Golf Course was redesigned: Free, unlimited greens fees are part of the all-inclusive package. For more information, go to www.radisson-cablebeach.com. for Meetings