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The Disney Magic cruise ship made its maiden call on Cruiseport Boston on May 18. The 2,400-passenger ship arrived as part of a 15-day cruise, one of eight more maiden calls on the port in 2016. Pictured here: Mickey Mouse with Pat Moscaritolo, President & CEO of the Greater Boston CVB.

Associations React to Labor Dept’s Final
Overtime Rule

By Todd McElwee

The association/nonprofit sector reacted swiftly to the Dept. of Labor’s (DOL) final rule expanding overtime pay to more than 4 million workers. Released May 18, and set to go into effect Dec. 1, the rule increases the overtime eligibility threshold from $23,660 to $47,476.


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Nebraska Tourism Commission Suspends Director after Audit

By Jonathan Trager

The Nebraska Tourism Commission has suspended Director Kathy McKillip with pay after a state audit concluded there has been serious fiscal mismanagement at the organization.
Commissioners met in closed session on May 13 and voted 7-0 to temporarily ban McKillip from her job. The Commission must now approve any expenses of more than $1,000 as well as personnel decisions.

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The Nation’s Newest DMO: Visit National Harbor

By Dan Bennett

A convention and visitors’ association has opened in National Harbor, MD., seeking to further promote the eight-year-old destination as a place for tourism and meetings.
The new entity, Visit National Harbor, is a partnership between the Peterson Companies – the developers of National Harbor – and MGM National Harbor casino, Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center and the shopping mall developer Tanger Outlets.

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Former Visit Philadelphia CFO Pleads Guilty to Theft

By Jonathan Trager

The former CFO of Visit Philadelphia has received three years probation after admitting she stole $200,000 from the organization over a period of 6½ years.
Joyce Levitt, 61, pled guilty on May 11 to theft, receiving stolen property, and fraud. Many forgery charges were dropped as a result of the plea.

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HOTS Pre-Flight Proposals

HOTS may be one of the few who actually enjoys airports. Yes, security and parking is routinely awful, but once one pushes past the full-body the scanner the hustle and bustle; sights of planes taking off and landing; mindless barstool banter with people you’re likely to never see again over an overpriced beer or double for a dollar more; and feeling of jetting off to a far-off locale all appeal to HOTS. Yet there are measures facilities could implement to enhance the pre-boarding experience.
1. More Manned Security Checkpoint Lanes: Nothing, and I mean nothing, draws the ire of fliers than dust bunnies collecting on unmanned equipment at TSA security checkpoints. If an airport has five lanes, all five should be in operation. HOTS has no issue with tacking on another dollar or two to the price of a ticket or 50 cents onto a bag of chips to pay for this.
2. Plugs, Plugs, and Plugs: Every seat at a major airport should have an outlet as well as USB port. Restaurants should also have outlets in tables and bars. Again, 50 cents more for a soda is acceptable to make this happen.
3. Play Areas: If fast-food restaurants across the nation can encompass indoor jungle gyms, ball pits and play facilities why can’t airports? Clear out seats from lesser used gates and install play areas. Parents of worn out children across the nation will thank you. Plus airports could have each area sponsored.
4. Beer Gardens: Adult play areas. Craft breweries have popped up across the nation. Airports should showcase their best local offerings in German-style beer gardens. Breweries would also jump at the opportunity, which has to be more cost effective than leasing an entire restaurant; we’re talking picnic tables and draft beer. Passengers should also be allowed to carry alcoholic beverages from a restaurant/bar to their gates. Chicago gets this right.
5. Museums: Many airports already display local artifacts and art but HOTS cannot remember a full-fledged museum calling an airport home. Who wouldn’t want to visit a display or two from the Smithsonian while killing time at Reagan National and there’s no better showcase for a city.

 


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