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April 11 to 14 saw Cvent, the largest provider of technology for planning and executing meetings and events, host more than 2,000 planner customers at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas for its annual Cvent Connect event. Another 10,000 customers and other meeting-industry members participated virtually. This was the second time Cvent Connect was held in a hybrid format, and just eight months after the first iteration. During a wrap-up series of interviews for the online audience on the last day, various members of the planning staff spoke to virtual-program emcee Courtney Stanley about their work.
David Heizer, team lead, professional services for Cvent, noted that “we learned a lot from last year’s event and since that time, too. For that first hybrid, we didn’t have a playbook, but this time we could take things from last year’s playbook and build on them.”
Specifically, “you have a lot of momentum out of the gate when it’s the second show with the same team. Just knowing the event’s audience and flow, being familiar with how everyone works, having the documentation—all of that was a big help for us coming back after just eight months.” Another big help: A full debriefing of the entire team after the 2021 event. “That’s what you want to do in order to optimize the things that worked, and keep everything getting better.”
To properly serve the virtual audience, Heizer advised planners to “test early and test often. Somebody told me that plan A is always a decoy, and that tends to be true. For most of our streaming stages, we had anywhere from three to seven backup plans so that if a given scenario happened, we knew exactly how to pivot.”
Cvent’s production partner for the event was Encore, and Rob Stout, the firm’s vice president of production operations, said that a hybrid event “boils down to this: It’s one event but two experiences. The people who are in person have the advantage of taking in the whole environment, while those watching on a screen are getting more of a broadcast dynamic, and you have to plan for that difference. There’s a little more staff talent that’s needed—the broadcast requires more of a technical toolkit to really make the experience for remote attendees engaging, like a sporting event. I think that kind of investment is key, and it’s worth it in order to get a high degree of remote-attendee engagement. It’s not the same show for each audience.”
Kayla Sommers, CMP, senior meetings and events planner for Cvent and production lead for Connect, said that the team worked especially hard on making the opening entertainment segment a great hybrid experience. “The focus was not just on the people watching the performance on the stage in front of them; we really tried to choose something that would come across through the camera to all those desktops incredibly well.”
For other planners to do this, Sommers suggested that they “ask more questions of your suppliers than you ever have before. If you don’t know what exists out there, you don’t know what you could potentially do for your event. If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.”
CventConnectStanleyGiusti.pngPaulina Giusti (in photo, wearing black), senior meetings and events manager for Cvent who oversaw the planning team with Sommers, added that “now’s the time” to stretch what you do with your events, perhaps even “take some risks. We’re all making our way back into in-person events, and I think this is the opportunity to give something a go that you’ve never done before. We did a lot of that with this year’s programming, including creating a lot more networking opportunities. And we’re ready to take some more chances with some other programs we’ve got coming up,” including Cvent Connect Europe taking place October 4 to 6.
In his keynote on day one, Cvent founder and CEO Reggie Aggarwal emphasized that hybrid events will continue long after the Covid pandemic ends. As for the efforts that corporate, association, and third-party planners made to get up to speed technologically during the pandemic, “I want to thank all of you for your grit and your determination for adapting and embracing digitization so that our industry can move forward,” he said. “Just remember, technology is here to stay. It’s accelerating and it is now pervasive across the entire event lifecycle, and you’ve got to embrace it as a core competency.”
TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas, one of the nation’s premier hospitality management firms, announced today it was selected to manage the Kimpton Overland Airport Hotel located at Two Porsche Drive, Atlanta, GA. The 214-room, full-service property boasts 7,000 square feet of meeting space, a full-service restaurant, and a rooftop bar overlooking the Porsche Experience Center Atlanta and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
“After an extensive search and interview process, an Operator candidate stood out among the final group of premier Hospitality Operators ACRON considered,” said Greg Wilson, CEO, ACRON (USA). “We are pleased to have TPG Hotels, Resorts and Marinas as our new Management Company for the Kimpton Overland. We look forward to the direction and resulting success we are confident will take place as a result of our mutual collaboration.”
The Kimpton Overland is a modern, compact, full-service hotel located adjacent to the world’s busiest airport, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), and the North American headquarters of the world-renowned automaker, Porsche Cars North America, Inc. (PCNA). Developed in conjunction with PCNA’s corporate campus and Experience Center, the hotel enjoys not only the same design aesthetic as the famed car company’s headquarters but also a formal and exclusive business relationship.
“The Kimpton Overland Airport Hotel is an exceptional asset with built-in demand drivers including excellent proximity to the world’s busiest airport,” said Robert Leven, Chief Investment Officer of TPG Hotels, Resorts, and Marinas. “We see tremendous revenue growth opportunity for this asset as business and leisure travel begin to stabilize. The addition of this property to our third-party managed assets is part of our strategy to seek additional growth opportunities throughout the United States.”
ACRON CEO AG Peter Bender commented, “Especially after the recent acquisition of Marshall Hotels & Resorts by TPG, we are convinced we can further expand the successful cooperation with the Porsche Experience Center and Kimpton Hotels & Restaurant Group to offer an unforgettable guest experience and to meet the high standards of all partners involved. ACRON is very much looking forward to working with TPG and to continue the success story of the Kimpton Overland Hotel.”
Originally opened in 2017, and then converted to a Kimpton in 2019 following a $1.25 million renovation, the hotel features 214 elegant yet comfortable guestrooms, inclusive of 28 suites, more than 7,000 square feet of meeting space, and two inspiring restaurants, including the one-of-a-kind Rooftop at the Overland, which occupies the Kimpton’s eighth-floor and features unparalleled views overlooking the Porsche Experience Center’s 1.6-mile Driver Development Track and the takeoffs and landings on ATL’s nearby runways.
About TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas
TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas is an operator of hospitality assets across all chain scales. The firm’s historical resume includes nearly 300 branded, independent, boutique hotels and marinas comprising more than 43,000 guestrooms in 37 states. TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas is a vertically integrated organization actively engaged in hotel and marina operations, development, acquisitions, and asset repositionings across the country. For more information, please visit www.tpghotelsandresorts.com.
Columbia Hospitality Management is the name to rely on for expert hotel property management. Above all else, we work hard to achieve better results through personal attention. Backed by decades of experience, our skilled hotel management team can improve your hotel’s bottom line and value. Our team will commit to increasing your hotel’s revenues and reducing its expenses, while keeping it in excellent condition. In addition to successfully managing existing hotels, we are experienced at managing hotel openings, renovations, and repositioning hotels.
Our team of hotel experts will first determine your investment goals. We will then develop detailed plans and budgets, and, when approved, execute them. Our area manager and our headquarters’ staff will ensure you and your hotel receive plenty of attention. We’ll ensure that your hotel’s on-site staff is attentive and attuned to guests’ satisfaction. We are used to satisfying owners, while pleasing guests and meeting franchisor quality standards. And, you will benefit from accurate, timely, and meaningful reports—to keep you well-informed of our work and your hotel’s progress. In short, we are confident in our ability to improve your hotel’s bottom line and value.
Are you looking to take advantage of South Dakota hunting this year? You’re not alone! In fact, 25% of South Dakota residents are hunters and many more annually flock to the Mount Rushmore State during hunting season. Where is the best pheasant hunting in South Dakota? We’ve compiled four unique places you should consider visiting!
South Dakota Pheasant Hunting
There’s a lot to experience when you visit Black Hills, South Dakota. Not only is there a plethora of pheasant hunting, but you can see some of our nation’s most famous attractions, including Mount Rushmore!
Looking for a quirky, cowboy western addition to your trip? We recommend adding in a special stop in Wall Drug. Just trust us.
From mid-October through December, Pierre is a must-see spot for pheasant hunting in South Dakota. Add this vibrant town to the list if you’re looking to enjoy a guided experience (although, there’s plenty of opportunity for self-guided excursions, too.) Time to enjoy what the locals refer to as “pheasant fever.”
Located in the northeast corner of the state, Watertown boasts thousands of acres of public land for self-guided South Dakota pheasant hunting. Take advantage of goose and duck hunting, and explore the charming downtown that offers excellent dining, museums, and art galleries. This is a great place to bring the whole family!
Huron “The Heart of Ringeck Nation” South Dakota is a small town situated between Milbank and Sioux Falls. Pheasant hunting is a huge draw for the town (they even have a massive pheasant statue) and it’s a celebrated sport. With their Ringbeck Festival and Bird Dog Challenge coming up in November and a massive pheasant population, this is one of the best places for pheasant hunting with like-minded folks.
Best Airports to Fly Into for South Dakota Pheasant Hunting
Flying into South Dakota for hunting? You’re going to want to fly into either the Sioux Falls Regional Airport or the Rapid City Regional Airport. That’ll give you convenient access to the most exciting pheasant hunting spots this state has to offer.
Don’t Forget the Paperwork
In order to hunt in South Dakota, you’ll need your South Dakota hunting license. You can get yours here on the South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks website!
Hotels in South Dakota
Whether you’re driving east from Wyoming, west from Minnesota, or South from North Dakota, you’re going to need a good night’s rest before a big day of hunting. Our hospitable team at GrandStay Hotels has beds waiting for you (and any dogs you plan to bring along!)
Check out our amenities – including a hearty, complimentary GRAND START® Breakfast – and go ahead and book your stay. With locations in Milbank, Rapid City, and Tea-Sioux Falls, we’ve got this year’s South Dakota pheasant hunting trip covered. We can’t wait to see you.
TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas, one of the nation’s premier hospitality management firms, announced today that Tim Muir joined the company as Chief Development Officer. As a seasoned industry veteran, Muir will be responsible for expanding the company’s property portfolio through third-party management relationships and management company acquisitions. Muir brings a strong track record within the hospitality industry of driving growth through franchising, investment, and management platforms.
“As CDO, I look forward to expanding our portfolio and working with this exceptional entrepreneurial hospitality team to continue to define the gold standard for management services in the hospitality industry,” said Tim Muir, Chief Development Officer, TPG Hotels & Resorts. “I’m confident in our strategy along with the integrity of our team and sophisticated platform to perform at the highest levels of our industry.”
TPG is a national operator of hospitality assets across the entire chain scale, from focused-service hotels and lifestyle resort properties to upscale boutique, independent, and nautically-based hospitality assets. With a robust infrastructure of industry professionals with extensive experience in all aspects of hotel operations, development, and ownership, TPG delivers exceptional experiences to their guests and above-market performance to their investment partners, which is how they have grown over four decades to become one of the largest hospitality management firms.
Prior to joining TPG, Muir was actively involved in all facets of hospitality franchising, sales, and development. He most recently served as the Chief Sales Officer for Focus Brands, where his team sold 2000 franchises and opened 1200 new locations. Throughout his 35-year hospitality career, he has held senior leadership positions with Choice, Wyndham, US Franchise Systems, and Holiday Inn Worldwide (now IHG). Muir is a graduate of the University of Nevada – Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality, and also studied at the Ecole Hotelier Hotel & Culinary school in Lausanne, Switzerland. He currently serves on the board of directors of the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration at the UNLV Hotel School.
“Tim Muir is one of the most accomplished development executives in our industry,” said Robert Leven, Chief Investment Officer of Procaccianti Companies. “With Tim on board, we intend to dramatically accelerate the growth of our platform through both individual third-party contracts and acquisitions of existing management companies.”
About TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas
TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas is an operator of hospitality assets across all chain scales. The firm’s historical resume is approaching 200 branded, independent, and boutique hotels comprising more than 32,000 guestrooms in 32 states. TPG Hotels, Resorts & Marinas is a vertically integrated organization actively engaged in hotel operations, development, acquisitions, and asset repositioning across the country. For more information, please visit www.tpghotelsandresorts.com.
We are excited and PROUD to announce the GrandStay Hotel & Suites in PELLA, IOWA! Welcome to the GrandStay family of hotels – we look forward to welcoming you there! Book today for a great stay and a golf getaway:
Hotel Guest Rooms for Business, Leisure & Extended Stay
Due to safety protocols, GRAND START® Breakfast Offerings and Pool Availability may vary by location. Please see the specific location page or call hotel directly to confirm available amenities. Click here to read a message from GrandStay President, Jon Kennedy.
The GrandStay Hotel & Suites is your home away from home when visiting the Pella area. Conveniently located off Iowa Highway 163 at exit 40, only 45 miles southeast of Des Moines, IA, this beautiful hotel at Bos Landen Golf Club offers an outstanding range of amenities to ensure a pleasant stay, whether it’s for a family vacation, business trip or overnight stopover.
GrandStay® Pella offers a selection of spacious rooms and suites featuring whirlpool tubs perfect for any length of stay. Our pet friendly designated rooms make it easy to bring along the whole family. All guests of the GrandStay Hotel Pella will enjoy our heated indoor pool & whirlpool, fitness center, as well as complimentary Grand Start® Breakfast with a wide choice of hot and cold buffet items. Other amenities include conference rooms, laundry facilities and complimentary high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the property.
The picturesque community of Pella, Iowa offers a variety of year-round family friendly activities, shops, restaurants, and bakeries. Located just minutes from the hotel in the historic downtown area enjoy Vermeer Mill, the Scholte House Museum and Pella Opera House. On your next visit, don’t miss Red Rock Lake and Cordova Park or the Pella Tulip Time Festival.
Businesses located in Pella, Iowa include Pella Corporation, Vermeer Manufacturing, 3M, and Hormel.
Hotel Features & Amenities
Complimentary GRAND START® BreakfastComplimentary GRAND START® Breakfast
Indoor Pool & WhirlpoolIndoor Pool & Whirlpool
Guest LaundryGuest Laundry
Exercise RoomExercise Room
Free Wi-Fi AccessFree Wi-Fi Access
Business CenterBusiness Center
Meeting Room & Event Space AvailableMeeting Room & Event Space Available
Pet Friendly (Fees & Restrictions Apply)Pet Friendly (Fees & Restrictions Apply)
Accessible Rooms/Elevator Accessible. Please see Amenities page for…Accessible Rooms/Elevator Accessible. Please see Amenities page for Accessible Features or call the hotel direct if you have special needs.
2508 Bos Landen Dr.
Pella, IA 50219 Map it
Front Desk: 641.628.4853
Grand Returns Hotel Rewards Program. Members earn points towards hotel stays and prepaid cards. So easy you can earn rewards in your sleep.
We know guest loyalty is nothing to take lightly. That’s why we established the Grand Returns Rewards Program to say thank you for choosing to stay with us. Members earn 10 Grand Returns points for every dollar spent when you stay at one of our GrandStay® Hotels. Points can be used towards hotel stays and prepaid cards*. Make your hotel reservation today at one of our hotels, conveniently located in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oregon and Wisconsin, and start earning points through our Grand Returns hotel loyalty program.
*USD Visa Card is issued by the Bancorp Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from VISA U.S.A. Inc.
Program is electronic, guests enroll online using the brand website, Apple IOS or Android GrandStay application (app) or at the hotel front desk.
Guests must provide email and telephone number to enroll.
Guests may view and manage their account online and at the hotel front desk.
At checkout, guests receive 10 points for every U.S. dollar spent on eligible room rate only (taxes, incidentals, and other charges excluded).
Online Travel Agent (OTA) reservations and special promotions are not qualified for program points.
Best Online Rate Guarantee reservations are not qualified for program points.
Guests may choose a credit applied to their next stay or a prepaid card redeemable at hundreds of retailers.
10,000 points are required for each $40.00 redemption.
Grand Returns membership and redemption are subject to GrandStay terms and conditions.
Get it on Google Play >> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.percoid.punchorello.grandstay
Get it on Apple App Store >> https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/grandstay/id1120532033?mt=8
or log in to www.grandreturns.net
Dear Valued Guest:
In the current environment with news surrounding the Coronavirus/Covid-19; GrandStay Hotels will take every precaution to assure the safety of our guests and employees. The information surrounding this serious issue changes daily and new information continues to come out from county, state and federal authorities.
The GRAND START® Breakfast:
Each state has issued varying requirements for serving buffet-style food service. GrandStay Hotels will follow all county, state and federal guidelines. Subject to local government requirements, many GrandStay Hotels will offer a pre-packaged/bagged breakfast offering. Some GrandStay Hotels will suspend breakfast altogether. GrandStay Hotels will resume the full menu of the GRAND START® Breakfast once it is prudent to do so.
Pool/Hot Tub and Exercise Room:
Depending on current state recommendations the pool, hot tub and exercise room may be shut down and closed for use. If you want to know about the hotel of your destination’s facilities status, please contact the location directly.
Should circumstances of your health and well-being interfere with the reservations that you have made, please contact the online site that you made the reservation with (Expedia, Booking. Etc.) OR if your reservation was made direct to the hotel or at the GrandStay Hospitality.com website then contact the GrandStay Hotel of your destination to verify change or cancellation lead times. Each GrandStay Hotel is individually owned and operated, and each has established independent change and cancel policies. It is important that you be assured that as our guest, GrandStay Hotels will stay on top of the latest information while providing the safest lodging possible. Along with our vendor partners providing sanitation products, GrandStay Hotel employees are committed to you, our guest, and you can count on GrandStay Hotels to put safety and health at the forefront of all we do.
Jon Kennedy, President
GrandStay Hospitality, LLC
RUNNING ACES HOTEL
The brand-new Running Aces Hotel powered by GRANDSTAY® HOTELS reservation system will reopen on Monday, June 1. It is the newest hotel in the area and has many great features such as expanded hallways throughout the facility, the largest standard rooms in the state, and a 65” TV in every room. Some of the additional safety measures to be taken at the hotel include:
Each check-in will receive a small pack of sanitizing wipes
All paper collateral will be removed from guest rooms
Upon check out, rooms will be cleaned and not re-rented for 24-48 hours
Reduced daily housekeeping for multiple night stays.
Pre-made grab-n-go breakfast bags will be available for breakfast
Live racing season from June 20 – Oct 4. every Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday at 1pm (Pending state approval). Running Aces is committed to hosting live racing this year even if that means no fans in the stands. However, as soon as spectators can be welcomed, Running Aces will do so according to state guidelines.
GAMING & DINING
Running Aces Casino hopes to open as soon as possible with approval from the Governor. Existing and new safety methods will be practiced ensuring safety for everyone, including:
Non-contact temperature checks
Required face masks
Social distancing gaming tables
Added plexiglass shields for the dealers/players to be separated
Daily cleaning of our gaming chips
EVENTS & CONCERTS
Running Aces is finalizing details on how to utilize its parking lot to provide safe, in-car entertainment. Such as drive-in movies, charitable car bingo, and concerts.
For more information, including a virtual reality tour of the hotel and to make reservations, please visit RunAces.com/Hotel or GrandStayHospitality.com
About Running Aces® Casino, Hotel & Racetrack
Running Aces is the Twin Cities’ premier card room, hotel and entertainment destination. The new state-of-the-art 116 room, full-service hotel will feature a modern look, the latest technology, and amazing views of the racetrack. Open 24/7 & Smoke-free, Running Aces is located one exit past the 35 and 35W merge, just 20 minutes north of 694. www.RunAces.com