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Ohiya Casino Resort Develops Tatanka in Nebraska
Golf course designer Paul Albanese has designed and is developing the new Tatanka Golf Club, which is scheduled to open in 2015. Seeding of the course was recently completed.
“This is easily one of the nicest pieces of property I have ever been involved with, and it has been incredibly interesting,” Albanese said regarding the land that features bold movements of rolling hills and ridges with views that stretch for more than 30-40 miles.
Ron Whitten, architecture editor for Golf Digest, described it as; “Nebraska’s Sandhills with trees,” as he included it among a group of sneak peaks in his listing of Best New Courses in 2014.
During the construction, Albanese researched the history and culture of the Sioux Nation in order to incorporate cultural stories into the design. With each creation of a fairway, green and bunker his team would discuss ideas presented by the Sioux Nation.
“We took the history and the culture of the area and the Sioux Nation, and used it as a design inspiration in a subtle and respectful way.”
“We looked at the land forms and designed something that might reflect local stories. For instance, how a certain mountain looked and got its name would be the kind of thing we tried to incorporate. I remember a story about a medicine woman we used as inspiration.”
The resort decided upon a golf course as part of an expansion to give visitors a reason to stay longer. Albanese expects there will be an economic impact on the area in jobs and increased tourism.
“This is a template used by other Native American tribes with casinos,” Albanese said. “They use the golf to create a destination resort, more of a weekend trip instead of a simple visit to the casino. Take a break from gaming, and play golf, that kind of thing.”
Ohiya Casino Resort was the first casino in Nebraska, and was developed almost 17 years ago. It continues to be an ideal entertainment destination for those seeking excitement across the upper Midwest in northeast Nebraska, southwest Minnesota, southeast South Dakota, and northwest Iowa.
It is located just a few minutes east of Niobrara, NE, and it offers a modern casino with high payouts, bingo, multiple dining options, comfortable hotel rooms, events and entertainment, and now world-class and inspired golf, too. Tatanka will soon stand for great golf as well.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts Expands Presence in Chicagoland with Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center
Hilton Hotels & Resorts has announced the official opening of Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center, formerly Oak Brook Hills Resort, conveniently located just west of downtown Chicago. Nestled in the upscale suburb of Oak Brook, Ill., the peaceful, 150-acre estate is home to Audubon certified 18-hole championship Willow Crest Golf Course and other premier amenities making the resort an ideal destination for getaways, golf trips, family vacations, weddings and business events. Situated just 30 minutes outside of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport and Midway International Airport, Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center is a multi-faceted retreat for leisure and business travelers alike.
“As Hilton Hotels & Resorts continues to meet the needs of today’s business and leisure travelers, we are proud to welcome Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center to our portfolio of more than 550 hotels worldwide,” said Rob Palleschi, global head, full service brands, Hilton Worldwide. “With a championship golf course and tented pavilion for business events, to our pet-friendly accommodations and casual eateries for families, we look forward to setting the stage for our guests to create memorable experiences while visiting this leading Midwest destination.”
Featuring 36 meeting venues throughout more than 42,500 sq. ft. of exhibition space, Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center offers all the amenities of a resort while providing convenience for business conference needs. From a tiered amphitheater seating 145 attendees to a 13,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom holding 1,500 guests, the property is an ideal venue for small and large business meetings, conferences, weddings, retreats, banquets and other social events. The highly trained Team Members at this International Association of Conference Centers (IACC) certified meeting center provide onsite support for the state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment, as well as full-service catering customized through the assortment of Food & Beverage packages.
“We are excited to join the Hilton Worldwide portfolio and extend the brand’s world-renowned hospitality. Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center is designed to provide premier accommodations for corporate travelers looking for business-friendly amenities as well as families and leisure travelers looking for a little extra space right outside of Chicago,” said Stefan Mühle, General Manager, Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center. “Whether our guests are planning large conferences or escaping to a tranquil resort, we look forward to providing exceptional experiences with our state-of-the-art facilities.”
Hilton Chicago/Oak Brook Hills Resort & Conference Center will participate in Hilton HHonors, the only guest rewards program that allows members to earn Points & Miles for the same stay and redeem points for free nights with No Blackout Dates at more than 4,000 hotels worldwide.
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Intercontinental® Milwaukee Celebrates Five-Year Anniversary of 'Pink Rooms'
InterContinental® Milwaukee, which is owned and managed by Marcus® Hotels & Resorts, is celebrating the five-year anniversary of its Pink Rooms—two special guest rooms designed to build awareness, raise funds, offer support and foster hope for those fighting breast cancer. Over the past five years, a portion of the proceeds from each stay in the rooms has been donated to ABCD: After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, a Milwaukee-based organization whose mission is to provide free, personalized information and one-to-one support to people affected by breast cancer—patients, families and friends.
In honor of the milestone, the two Pink Rooms each have been given distinct new looks with updated upholstery, wall coverings, window treatments and accessories. The progress on the renovated rooms, designed pro bono by two local women, Ann Torcivia Hruz and Sue McCaffrey, will be unveiled at a public reception celebrating the anniversary on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, beginning at 5:00 p.m. in CLEAR Bar & Lounge, located inside the hotel. The designers worked with several vendors, including Atlas Carpet Mills, Calico Corners, City Lights, D. L. Couch Wallcovering, Designtex, Kellex, Pro Wisconsin, and Stu’s Flooring, who donated the new furnishings for the rooms at or below cost.
The evening of the event, Tim Smith, general manager of InterContinental Milwaukee, will be presenting ABCD with a check for $12,000—proceeds from the past year’s overnight stays in the Pink Rooms. The latest check brings the total donated since the inception of the program to nearly $50,000. Since the Pink Rooms opened, more than 2,000 guests from 42 states and 12 different countries have stayed the night in the special guest rooms.
“Over the past several years, the Pink Rooms have served as powerful symbols of hope and encouragement for both our employees and guests,” said Smith. “We are proud to be active in the local breast cancer awareness community and look forward to continuing our partnership with ABCD.”
“InterContinental Milwaukee and The Pink Room began its partnership with ABCD five years ago—and an amazing five years it has been,” adds Ginny Finn, executive director of ABCD. “The Pink Room project serves the dual purpose of significantly raising the profile of ABCD’s free services and raising funds to make sure all those who turn to us are served at no charge.”
At 5:00 p.m., the reception, featuring complimentary cake, appetizers and a specialty pink drink, ‘Tree of Hope’ contributions, and temporary pink hair painting from WELL Spa + Salon, will begin. A special presentation will be held at 6:00 p.m., with ABCD board member remarks and the check presentation from InterContinental Milwaukee to ABCD. The event will continue until 7:30 p.m. with Pink Room tours, raffles, and more.
On display at Gallerie M that evening through the end of October, will be photographer John Grant’s new exhibit, The Pink Balloon Project. The exhibit features patients and survivors of breast cancer. “Pink” in the name The Pink Balloon Project signifies women with breast cancer. “Balloon” represents the buoyancy and sense of hope one needs to fight disease; it also represents lightness, and an ability to rise above obstacles. All of the women featured in the exhibit have been active with ABCD.
Over the years, InterContinental Milwaukee’s Pink Room concept has won numerous awards, including Honorable Mention in PR News’ Corporate Social Responsibility Awards and a national ‘Stars of the Industry’ award from American Hotel & Lodging Association in the category of guest relations.
About the Pink Room
The initial idea for the Pink Room project came from three InterContinental Milwaukee employees’—who all share a personal connection with the disease—desire to support the fight against breast cancer. When guests of the Pink Room enter their room they’re greeted by an abundance of pink—from the comforter to the commissioned artwork. They’ll notice a laptop on the desk that opens up to the Pink Room blog, where they can read previous guests’ survival stories, learn about breast cancer events in the area and much more. InterContinental Milwaukee’s guests have been inspired by design concept and stories left on the Pink Room blog since the hotel began taking reservations for the Pink Rooms. More information on the Pink Rooms can be found at pinkroomstories.com.
About InterContinental Milwaukee
Whether you’re looking for vibrant nightlife or a uniquely refined place for meetings, InterContinental® Milwaukee is your downtown destination. Mixing sophisticated elegance with modern luxury, InterContinental Milwaukee offers a chic, upscale atmosphere with a twist of the unexpected. Adjacent to the scenic Milwaukee Riverwalk, InterContinental Milwaukee is centrally located to downtown’s business and theatre districts, parks, restaurants and nightlife. Discover the historic Pabst Theatre, the Milwaukee Public Museum, or one of Milwaukee’s many summer festivals. InterContinental Milwaukee is located at 139 E. Kilbourn Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. Find the hotel on Facebook (facebook.com/InterContinentalMilwaukee) or follow it on Twitter (@InterConMKE) to learn more about upcoming exhibits, events and specials.
About Marcus Hotels & Resorts
Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), owns and/or manages 19 hotels, resorts and other properties in 10 states. A force in the hospitality industry, Marcus Hotels & Resorts provides expertise in management, development and historical renovations. The company’s portfolio includes a wide variety of properties including city-center meeting hotels, upscale resorts and branded first-class hotels. For more information, please visit www.marcushotels.com and follow the company on Facebook and Twitter (@MarcusHotels).
Sen. Fischer (R-NE) Visits with Hotel Staff on Tour of Omaha Embassy Suites
Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) today visited with hotel employees in Omaha as she went on a “heart of the house” hotel tour of the Embassy Suites Omaha Downtown. The tour, of the 249-room hotel, also included a meeting with the future of the hotel industry: Omaha Public Schools high school youth participating in a school-to-work program. Fischer expressed her appreciation for the hotel’s contribution to local economic growth and job creation.
Hotel employees are the backbone of the lodging industry in Nebraska, which generates $269 million in tax revenue for state and local governments and provides more than 7,600 jobs resulting in $148 million in employee wages. As Americans marked Labor Day honoring the workforce, Embassy Suites General Manager Susan Madsen provided Senator Fischer and her staff an opportunity to see first-hand the impact the hotel industry has on jobs in her state.
“I’m thankful for the opportunity to go ‘behind the scenes’ at the Omaha Embassy Suites and meet the hardworking staff – the heart of the hotel. The great work performed by these employees ensures that guests have comfortable visits and is the secret to this business's ongoing success. The hotel industry plays a key role in creating good jobs for young people and seasoned workers alike here in Nebraska and I appreciated the opportunity to learn more.” said Senator Fischer.
Project SEARCH, a program implemented at the Embassy Suites Omaha Downtown/Old Market last August provides a unique, business-led, one-year, school-to-work program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While on the tour, Senator Fischer had the opportunity to meet with graduates of the program who are now employed at the hotel.
“We are thrilled to have Senator Fischer tour our property and meet with staff who represent the heart of our industry,” said Madsen. “Her encouragement of youth participating in Project SEARCH will be a powerful incentive for them to work harder and continue their path toward success.”
The American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee lodging industry, working together with state associations engages with members of congress on the “Heart of the House” hotel tours to provide an in-depth look at the career opportunities available as well as the economic impact the lodging industry has on the local, state and national economies.
Serving the hospitality industry for more than a century, the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) is the sole national association representing all segments of the 1.8 million-employee U.S. lodging industry, including hotel owners, REITs, chains, franchisees, management companies, independent properties, state hotel associations, and industry suppliers. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., AH&LA provides focused advocacy, communications support, and educational resources for an industry generating $155.5 billion in annual sales from 4.9 million guestrooms.
Dolce Named Manager of Q Center, the Largest Conference Hotel in the Midwest
Dolce Hotels and Resorts® today announced it has been named manager of the 1,042-room Q Center® in St. Charles, Illinois, the largest conference hotel in the Midwest, exemplifying the effort by conference hotel owners to find a more diversified and profitable business model.
Q Center, a Dolce Conference Hotel, joins the Dolce system of 26 properties representing more than 5,000 rooms in 10 states, Canada and Europe. It also becomes Dolce’s first conference hotel in the Chicago area and its third property in the Midwest, following the opening of The Alexander, A Dolce Hotel, in Indianapolis last year.
The facility features 150,000 square feet of function space certified by the International Association of Conference Centers, five restaurants and lounges and a 4,500-square-foot fitness center on a 95-acre campus.
“We will leverage more than 30 years of experience in the meetings and training space with the features of a renowned facility,” said Steven A. Rudnitsky, Dolce president and chief executive officer. “We will develop an enhanced offering for meeting planners and groups who count on Q Center to offer a state-of-the-art experience. The features that make Q Center a preferred destination for meetings will be complemented by the service elements and operational skills that distinguish the Dolce brand name.”
Speaking for the property owner, John O. Niemann Jr., president and chief executive officer of Q Center LLC, called Dolce Hotels and Resorts “one of the premier names” in conference center and hotel management. “Dolce will drive incremental revenue by leveraging its global customer base to attract more group business and create value,” he said. “We believe Dolce shares our focus and dedication to outstanding customer service.”
Dolce will focus on increasing occupancy at Q Center and introducing signature service elements based on the highest industry standards in technology and facilities. Those elements include Thoughtful Foods for Thoughtful MindsSM, a food-and-beverage program offering customizable culinary experiences for meeting attendees, as well as Nourishment HubsSM, featuring fresh and energizing refreshments throughout the day. Meeting planners will be provided with convenient, flexible options to plan meals for their attendees as well as all-inclusive pricing for easy budget planning.
About Dolce Hotels and Resorts
Headquartered in Rockleigh, New Jersey, Dolce Hotels and Resorts operates 26 upscale hotels, resorts and conference-focused properties through North America and Europe. The portfolio features U.S. addresses in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas, as well as properties in Canada, Belgium, France, Germany and Spain. All distinct in design and uniquely suited to their locations, Dolce properties feature freshly sourced culinary experiences and inspiring environments that bring people together for meetings and events. Dolce pioneered the Complete Meetings Package, now embraced by many hotel companies and the International Association of Conference Centers as a standard. Dolce Hotels and Resorts is continuing to expand throughout the U.S. and Europe.
Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown Hotel Debuts in Historic Bartlett Building
Renaissance Hotels is thrilled to welcome its newest gem to the portfolio with the opening of the new Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown, located in the city’s historic Bartlett Building. Renaissance Hotels is a lifestyle brand within Marriott International’s global portfolio of 18 brands. With its proud motto of “Live Life to Discover®,” Renaissance Hotels offers today’s lifestyle business traveler a unique guest experience woven through design, service and unique programming.
Built in 1901 and designed by famed Chicago architect Daniel Burnham, the 18-story Bartlett Building was Cincinnati’s tallest for 12 years and the tallest building in Ohio for three years. Also known as the Union Trust Building, the structure is on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. It had been vacant since 2010.
“Renaissance Hotels is known for embracing the spirit of each destination through design, service and unique amenities, making our new hotel a great destination for travelers visiting Cincinnati,” said Keoni Christensen, general manager of Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown. “We want to create an experience that invites our guests to discover the very best of Cincinnati, from its vibrant arts scene to the best in local entertainment and culinary adventures.”
After a $50 million renovation, The Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown now features 323 hotel rooms including 40 executive suites complemented by upscale amenities, contemporary styling and stunning views of downtown. The hotel property was completely renovated from a historic office building to a full-service hotel with oversized rooms.
About The Renaissance Cincinnati Downtown:
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