Meeting News - February 16, 2009 - (Page Cover1)

INSIDE THE INDUSTRY MPI chapter’s bailout plan p. 4 TRANSPORTATION Dogs hunt geese at airports p. 16 GREEN BEAT EPA to set green hotel rules p. 19 NEWSMAKER Loews Hotels’ Jonathan Tisch urges a stand by the industry as economic, public pressure mounts. page 6 MeetingNews w w w. M e e t i n g N e w s . c o m F e b r u a r y 16, 2009 July 16, 2007 Attendees with Disabilities Are Rising; Are We Ready? What planners don’t ask can hurt their meetings Planners may not think much—or often— about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), but it’s a law that, if ignored, can add thousands of dollars in liability penalties to any meeting. Since the beginning of 2009, two New York City hotels have settled with the U.S. Department of Justice over instances of ADA non-compliance, while five more have been sued by the DOJ. In Dayton, OH, a business conducting one-day workshops was found in non-compliance for not providing a qualified sign language interpreter, and a Los Angeles massage company settled after refusing services to an HIV sufferer. Although planners note that questions from attendees regarding disabilities are among the fewest they field (less than 4%), familiarization with the ADA is more important than ever: On Sept. 25, 2008, then-president George W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act, which, in some cases, significantly expanded the definitions of impairment of “major life activities” under continued on page 18 Hotels & Resorts RITZ-CARLTON ATLANTA TRANSFORMS WITH TIMES Full guest-room renovation modernizes accommodations with tech connectivity and amenities. see page 10 Regional Report SOUTH Our wide-ranging report covers meetings trends and supplier promotional deals amid the deep recession, as well as hospitality openings and future plans. starts on page 21 MeetingNews ExclusiveResearch How often do you inquire about ADA compliance while on a site inspection? CAPITAL EXPENDITURES EXPECTED TO PLUMMET Bjorn Hanson research predicts 30-percent drop in investments by hotels this year after years of growth in spending. see page 10 Destination Insider HOUSTON CVB looks to association and public event business to offset decline in corporate meetings. see page 34 Convention Centers FACILITIES PROJECTS FACE RECESSION BATTLE Destinations around the country scrutinize the benefits of building expansions and convention hotels plus the money spent on them. see page 12 BRANSON, MO Upcoming new airport firms up operating deals with AirTran and Enterprise Rent-A-Car. see page 35 Always 40.1% Frequently 16.2% Occasionally 26.7% Never 17.0% Insider Report SPA INCENTIVES Impacted by the downturn, spas launch multi-treatment value packages, gift cards, and multi-venue cooperatives. see page 36 CVBs SAN JOSE WILL MANAGE MCENERY ANOTHER 5 YEARS Bureau wins contract extension with city options for additional years to run center and public arts facilities. see page 13 Source: 352 of MeetingNews survey respondents Cleveland’s Comeback Begins at the Mall City & private partner: Mall B is new convention center site By Brad Crawford Volume 33/Number 3/$10.00 The Cleveland hospitality community has long despaired ever seeing a new convention center downtown; in fact, dark talk among locals wondered that, even if a new center were built, the lack of a headquarters hotel and relative paucity of attractions would leave it hopelessly behind the Vegases, Orlandos, and Chicagos of the world. For more years than any other city in the country, seemingly irreconcilable differences among voters and civic leaders have left Cleveland with the oldest convention center in the country, a grim, shadowy space with low ceilings and continued on page 12

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Meeting News - February 16, 2009