In the mountains of Mescalero, N.M., Inn of the Mountain Gods — after an expansion and renovation — offers 273 rooms and suites, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, the 38,000-square-foot Casino Apache, and an 18-hole championship golf course. Among its recreational offerings: big-game hunting; skeet shooting; horseback riding; fishing; and skiing at Ski Apache, the southernmost ski area in the U.S.
Golf Digest rates the 18-hole Inn of the Mountain Gods Championship Golf Course among the top 40 casino golf courses in the country. Designed by Ted Robinson, the course is nestled among tall pines and features views of Sierra Blanca Peak along with its fast-breaking greens that make for challenging play.
The Mescalero Apache Reservation is also home to Mescalero Big Game Hunting, including trophy elk hunting. The tribe's current elk herd numbers more than 4,200 head.
Locations: Waterparks & Gaming
Kalahari Waterpark Resort
The News: Kalahari is expanding its waterpark. Specs: The expansion will make it the largest indoor waterpark in the U.S. — under one roof — at 173,000 square feet.
Time Frame: Completion of the expanded waterpark is scheduled for December 2007.
Great Wolf Lodge
Mason, Ohio, and Grapevine, Texas
News: A new meeting facility, Great Wolf Conference Center, has opened in Mason, Ohio; and a new Great Wolf Lodge is being built in Grapevine, Texas.
Specs: Like the other Great Wolf properties, the Mason Great Wolf has excellent water facilities, and the Mason property now has a conference center with 40,000 square feet of meeting space, including three ballrooms.
The Grapevine property will be a 400-plus all-suite resort, with an 80,000-square-foot indoor waterpark, and 10,000 square feet of meeting and banquet space.
Time Frame: The Mason conference center is up and running; the Grapevine facility is expected to open by year's end.
The News: A $1 billion expansion will include a new hotel tower and a major increase in meeting and convention facilities.
Specs: The expansion will bring the resort's total net meeting space to 300,000 square feet. It will feature a new 263,000-square-foot convention center — connected to the existing meeting space in the Palace Tower — with two ballrooms, each expandable to 52,000 square feet. A new 665-room tower will increase Caesars' room/suite offering to 4,013.
Time Frame: Slated for completion in early 2009
The News: MGM Mirage's $7 billion vertical city in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip is accepting reservations for meetings and conventions.
Specs: The 60-story, 4,000-room resort-casino will have about 300,000 square feet of meeting space, including four ballrooms. Two 400-room, nongaming hotels are part of the project.
Time Frame: Opens in late 2009
The Venetian Macao
The News: What's billed as “the world's biggest casino” has opened in Macau, 37 miles southwest of Hong Kong.
Specs: All 3,000 guest suites are more than 750 square feet in area. There is an 1,800-seat conference center, a 15,000-seat stadium, and about a million square feet of meeting and exhibit space. The gaming area has 1,150 gaming tables and enough space for 7,000 slot machines. The development, with space for 350 shops, is twice the size of the Las Vegas original.
Time Frame: Opened August 28, 2007
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
The News: Mandalay Bay has added climate-controlled poolside gaming.
Specs: Set on 11 acres, Mandalay Bay Beach has undergone a $30 million expansion. A three-story, glass-fronted casino offers access. The open-air Beach Bar & Grill is on the first level; the second floor features beachside gaming; and at the top are the five Villas Soleil, ranging from 250 to 500 square feet.
Time Frame: Opened earlier this year
The News: The 34-story hotel tower has undergone a $14 million refurbishment, and a $740 million expansion is under way.
Specs: All 1,200 guest rooms and suites were upgraded; Project Horizon, a $740 million expansion, was begun this summer and will include a 1,000-room hotel, 115,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and a new 64,000-square-foot casino.
MGM Grand Detroit
The News: This $800 million, 400-room hotel will open adjacent to the MGM Grand Detroit Casino.
Specs: 30,000 square feet of event space and a 14,000-square-foot ballroom. Also featured: a Wolfgang Puck Grille
Time Frame: Opens October 2, 2007
Trump International Hotel & Tower Las Vegas
The News: Donald Trump has added a second tower to plans for the Vegas property.
Specs: Tower II will be 64 stories tall, the same as planned for the first tower, and it will include meeting and convention facilities. Tower I will have 1,282 rooms; a business center with meeting facilities; and an outdoor pool.
Time Frame: Tower I is scheduled to open in 2008, and Tower II will break ground after the completion of the first tower.
MGM Grand at Foxwoods
The News: A $700 million hotel and casino expansion is under way at Foxwoods Hotel & Casino.
Specs: It will add 824 guest accommodations to Foxwoods' inventory of 1,400 and will quadruple its meeting space (including a 50,000-square-foot ballroom, and a theater that seats more than 4,000 guests). The project includes a 50,000-square-foot casino and a 21,000-square-foot spa.
Time Frame: On schedule for spring 2008 opening
Ameristar Casino St. Charles
St. Charles, Mo.
The News: A new $14 million conference and meeting center has opened.
Specs: The 55,000-square-foot conference center has 19,000 square feet of meeting space including a 10,000-square-foot ballroom. It is part of a $240 million expansion, which includes a 400-suite hotel.
Time Frame: Opened in September 2007
Tulalip Resort & Spa
The News: A new hotel is under construction.
Specs: The hotel will have 370 guest rooms and 30,000 square feet of meeting space.
Time Frame: Opening early to mid- 2008
Rosen Hotels & Resorts in Orlando has named Jill Sanders Northeast corporate sales representative. She'll handle the pharmaceutical and insurance markets worldwide as well as in Canada and the Northeast United States.
As part of a sales partnership between the Fort Worth (Texas) Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Assn., Ann Garvey was hired to focus on East Coast pharmaceutical business.
Dawn Koszyk was named sales manager to oversee booking for corporate groups at Great Wolf Lodge — Traverse City, Mich. She was previously sales coordinator at the property, which opened in 2003.
Benchmark Hospitality International has appointed Scott Mumma director of national sales. Mumma is based in Benchmark's northeast offices, in New Brunswick, N.J.