Thomas R. Oliver has been appointed chief executive officer of Holiday Inn Worldwide in Atlanta. He had been chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Audiofax, Inc., also in Atlanta.
Richard Luber has been named executive director for the Austin (TX) Convention and Visitors Bureau. He had served as CEO and president of the Greater Rochester (NY) Visitors Association.
Ulla Buchner-Howard, CMP, has launched UBH International Services, Inc., in New York City, specializing in global event management and consultation. Formerly, she was director of corporate services with Daimler-Benz (Mercedes Benz) in New York.
Jim Kappenhagen has formed Kappenhagen & Associates, Inc., an independent meeting and special event management firm based in Columbus, OH. He had been director of education and meeting planning with the Professional Insurance Agents Association of Ohio, in Columbus.
The Event Network, Inc., in Bethesda, MD, announced two staff additions. Brian Howie has been appointed vice president. Most recently, he served at the Sheraton Washington (DC) as national sales manager. Lee Tracy Norwood is the new director of sales. She had been director of sales and marketing with Washington, Inc., another destination management firm.
Douglas G. Small has been promoted to vice president of sales at the Palm Springs (CA) Desert Resorts Convention and Visitors Bureau. He had been director of sales.
Conference Hotels of Vermont has promoted Shelia R. Cleary to vice president, sales and marketing for the Sheraton Burlington Hotel and Conference Center, and the Ramada Inn and Conference Center. She had been director of sales and marketing for Conference Hotels of Vermont.
Mexican Tourism Marketing, Inc., in Houston, has appointed Roberto Franssen Blanc as director of sales and marketing for the U.S. and Canada. He had been based in Mexico City, serving as director of marketing, and training in operations, at Presidente Inter-Continental Mexico.
Frances Soo has joined the Los Angeles Convention & Visitors Bureau as director of corporate sales. Previously, she was sales manager at Hotel Nikko at Beverly Hills (CA), responsible for corporate accounts.
Richard Harper has been named director of sales and marketing for The Westin Hotel, Santa Clara (CA). He had been director of sales for the Century Plaza Hotel and Tower in Los Angeles.
The Sonesta Key Biscayne (FL) has named Deborah A. Castillo director of marketing. Most recently, she had been director of sales and marketing for the Doral Beach Resort in Miami Beach.
The Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, FL, has named Anne Hamilton sales director for the corporate/ participant sales department. Most recently, she had been director of sales for the Hilton Walt Disney World Village.
Joe Stern has been promoted to director and sales and marketing for the Hyatt Regency Reston (VA). He had been director of sales for the Hyatt Fair Lakes and Hyatt Dulles.
Ana Diaz has been promoted to director of sales and marketing at La Jolla de Mismaloya in Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. She had been sales manager.
Paul Cahill has been appointed associate director of sales at the Loews Miami Beach Hotel. Formerly, he served with the Fountainebleau Hilton Resort and Towers in Miami as senior national sales manager.
Carrie Flynn has joined the Beach House in Half Moon Bay, CA, as director of marketing and sales. She comes from Bay Food magazine, where she was an account executive.
Jeffrey H. French has joined the Four Seasons Resort Nevis as director of marketing. He comes from Marriott's Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resorts, St. Thomas, where he was senior vice president of sales and marketing.
Hyatt Grand Champions Resort in Indian Wells, CA, has promoted Joe Thompson to director of sales and marketing. He had been associate director of sales.
John A. Cardona has been named director of sales and marketing for The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan (Puerto Rico) Hotel & Casino, scheduled to open late this year. Most recently, he was director of sales and marketing for the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans.
UP AND COMING Chicago's historic Silversmith Building is being transformed into the Crowne Plaza Chicago Silversmith. When the hotel opens in December, the ten-story, 1897 structure will offer 143 guest rooms and meeting space for groups of up to 150 persons. An executive boardroom will offer videoconference capabilities, and business support services will be available.
The Waterfront, a six-year-old resort in Huntington Beach, CA, is expanding on a grand scale, making the most of its Pacific coast setting. A new 500-room property, The Waterfront Grand Resort Hotel, and an 80,000-square-foot conference center are breaking ground early in 1998, complementing the 290-room Waterfront Hilton Beach Resort. Completion is set for late 1999. In the second phase of the expansion, the Hilton will add 250 rooms.
In February, the Broward County Commission approved construction of a 500-room, $53 million Crowne Plaza Hotel adjacent to the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Broward County Convention Center. Construction begins in September and is expected to be finished by late 1999.
This month, groups will have a new off-site option in Bermuda when the Bermuda Underwater Exploration Institute opens in Hamilton. The institute is home to interactive displays on underwater technology, and can host groups of up to 225 persons for receptions and 200 for dinner. The auditorium seats 145.
BIGGER AND BETTER Renaissance PineIsle Resort, in Lake Lanier Islands, GA, completed a $5 million renovation at the beginning of March. The facelift encompassed all 250 guest rooms, function space, public space, the 18-hole golf course, and other recreational facilities. In addition, a 2,000-square-foot meeting room was added.
Marriott's Frenchman's Reef and Morning Star Beach Resorts in St. Thomas closed April 1 to begin a $40 million reconstruction. When the properties reopen in December, it will be with redesigned exteriors and interiors and a new floor of suites at Frenchman's Reef, bringing the total there to 405 rooms. Morning Star has 96 units.
The Camberley Gunter Hotel in San Antonio, TX has added seven family suites as part of a $5 million renovation. Each suite has one room with bunk beds, game tables, and a refrigerator.
MEXICO ON THE MOVE Construction has just begun on the $70 million Fiesta Americana Cabo del Sol resort in Baja California Sur, near Los Cabos, Mexico. A 250-room hotel and 50 villas are expected to be open by December 1998, and additional villas will go up over the following three years. The complex will feature 20,000 square feet of meeting space, a full-service spa, an 18-hole golf course, and two tennis courts.
Grand Bay Hotel and Resort de la Navidad opened in February on Mexico's Pacific coast between Puerta Vallarta and Manzanillo in Colima, Mexico. The hotel, one piece of the new 1,200-acre Isla Navidad golf resort and marina complex, offers 191 guest rooms, 27 holes of golf, a 700-slip marina, and 15,500 square feet of meeting space. A 35,000-square-foot spa will open in 1998.
Twelve miles from Cancun's hotel zone, the all-inclusive, 423-room Moon Palace Resort opened in December. The vacation-oriented property features
double-size Jacuzzis in all rooms, two tennis courts, indoor and outdoor pools, and an outdoor amphitheater.
In April's Golf Resort Directory, The Lodge of Four Seasons should have been listed as a Missouri property.