Call Us in DC CVBs
Email Address:

Forgot Password?
Sign up now and
we'll deliver the
news to your
email address
Email Address:



Visit Sarasota County (VSC) worked with TripAdvisor to announce Siesta Beach had been recognized with the website’s Travelers’ Choice Award on Feb 18. VSC hired master sand sculpture and Siesta Key resident Brian Wigglesworth to create the centerpiece for the event. Shown here are
VSC staff members (from left to right): Lynn Hobeck Bates, APR, Public Relations Manager; Virginia Haley, CDME, President; Erin Duggan, CDME, Director of Brand; and Deborah Ericson, Project Coordinator.

LVCVA to Buy Riviera for Major Business District Project

In an unprecedented action, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (CVA) will purchase the Riviera Hotel & Casino and then demolish it to make room for more convention space.
The Authority board of directors
was scheduled to meet on Feb. 20 (after USAE’s press time) to finalize the purchase of the hotel from Starwood Capital Group for $182.5 million.

To read more click here

Frits van Paasschen Out as CEO of Starwood Hotels

Frits van Paasschen has abruptly departed from Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the company which he has led since Sept. 2007. The company says his leaving was a “mutual decision” but has occurred amidst widespread stockholder discontent.

To read more click here

Mandarin Hotel Purchase Marks Loews Move into San Francisco

Loews Hotels & Resorts is headed to San Francisco, having announced it has agreed to purchase the 158-room Mandarin Oriental San Francisco Hotel, with an expected late March deal closing. This will be the first-ever Loews property in the City by the Bay.

To read more click here

Visit Ithaca “Surrenders” to Old Man Winter; Suggests Heading to Florida Keys

The Florida Keys stretch well over 100 miles into the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico. Recently, however, the archipelago seems to have added some real estate in Upstate New York.
Disheartened by brutal wintry conditions the “Welcome” section of the Ithaca/Tompkins CVB’s homepage provided a link to the Florida Keys Tourism Council’s website stating, “That’s it. We Surrender. Winter, you win. Key West Anyone?”

To read more click here

Read CustomNEWS Blog

How to Sell St. Patrick’s Day

By Todd McElwee

St. Patrick’s Day is getting the shaft. It’s March 17, by the way.
Buoyed largely by a romantic cartel of greeting card, jewelry, candy and flower conglomerates, Valentine’s Day has nearly monopolized the nation’s holiday attention between New Year’s Eve and Easter Sunday.

And the travel industry is partially to blame for fueling the fire of Cupid while only providing cursory attention to the Patron Saint of the Emerald Isle because nobody really knows how to promote his holiday.

Well, here’s how.

Keep your love Valentine’s Day—St. Patrick’s Day doesn’t need it. It’s an informal day to be spent with friends. And that’s how you should sell it.

We’ve all been sold on the celebration of love. It’s big business and the travel industry has done a fantastic job capitalizing on America’s adoration for Valentine’s Day. Couples are easy targets for romantic dinners, hotel packages and intimate getaways as readily available as overpriced bouquets and assorted boxes of chocolates. There’s a lot of pressure—particularly on men—to set that idyllic Valentine’s Day agenda.

St. Patrick’s Day isn’t stuffy. Unlike its February cousin, there’s no pressure to send the reddest of roses or express your adoration with a grandiose gesture. And though green attire is preferred it’s arguably the most casual of holidays.
Irish in nature, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t a niche holiday. It’s a relaxed time to be spent with the one you love and those you really like as well. Tables for two on Valentine’s Day can turn into tables for six or eight on St. Patrick’s Day. And while only couples can be targeted on Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s is a communal affair with parades, pub crawls, festivals, and Irish cultural tours among the myriad of events offered. All are welcome.

Does that interest you marketers?

That’s how you sell St. Patrick’s Day.




4824 Edgemoor Lane - Bethesda, MD 20814
Tel: 301-951-1881 - Fax: 301-656-2845

Send email to