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On Nov. 11, Bruce Springsteen and a series of other artists performed in front of hundreds of thousands during “The Concert For Valor” at
The National Mall in Washington, D.C. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/Getty Images for HBO.

Detroit Bankruptcy Ruling Sets City on Right Path, CVB Leaders Say

With a federal judge approving a plan to end Detroit’s bankruptcy, CVB leaders are saying the city is on the road to recovery ahead of hosting ASAE’s Annual Meeting & Expo in 2015.

On Nov. 7, Judge Steven Rhodes of U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that Detroit’s comprehensive restructuring plan “meets the legal requirements for confirmation.”

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Jack Vaughn Dies at 77

Jack Vaughn, the hospitality industry giant who was the catalyst behind the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center’s rise to international acclaim, took his own life on Nov. 9 at his Nashville home.

For much of his adult life, the 77-year-old had suffered from chronic back pain and had recently been diagnosed with bladder cancer.

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Marriott Hotel/Office Tower Will Be Built Near
Music City Center

A JW Marriott Hotel with up to 600 rooms and a 400,000-square-foot office tower will be built directly across from the Music City Center in Nashville.

Having announced the project on Nov. 10, Developer Turnberry Associates, expects to break ground on the 35-story hotel project over the summer 2015. The opening of the hotel, which will be the tallest building in Nashville, is scheduled for late 2017.

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Introducing 2014’s Association Forum/USAE “Forty Under 40 ” Honorees

Get ready: It’s almost time for the induction of this year’s class of “Forty Under 40” Honorees under the program co-developed and presented by the Association Forum of Chicagoland and USAE.

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PR Pupils of the Pigskin

By Todd McElwee

In the D.M.V. (District of Columbia, Maryland, Virginia) it’s impossible to escape the dumpster fire that is the Washington Redskins. Yes a 3-7 franchise, which has finished last in the NFC East seven times in the past 10 seasons, continues to dominate headlines. The hospitality industry should take notice because nobody provides a better template as what not to do in public relations as the Burgundy and Gold.

Fed Ex Field morphed into a ghost town during the second half of a 27-7 loss to the dreadful Tampa Bay Buccaneers as fans made their way to the exits. The visiting team came into the contest at 1-8, and to make matters worse the home outfit was coming off a bye week. However Washington truly embarrassed itself following the loss as quarterback Robert Griffin III – the most polarizing figure within the Beltway – and rookie head coach Jay Gruden broke the cardinal rule of team sports by airing their dirty laundry outside of the locker room.
Few are worse at public relations than the Redskins. A year after Griffin and former head coach Mike Shanahan engaged in an unnamed sources war of words, the quarterback and his new coach’s tit-for-tat continues Washington’s long string of PR fumbles. It was another instance in which the team did not present a unified front at moment when solidarity was required.

Washington is also perceived as out of touch. Owner Daniel Snyder and his franchise have appeared old fashioned, insensitive and even combative during ongoing controversy surrounding the team’s mascot. Attempts to connect with the Native American community have been criticized as contrived and disingenuous from members of both the local and national media.

Magnifying all of the Redskins’ PR issues is the fact that players, Griffin in particular, never stop talking. Case in point, Griffin’s press conference following the Tampa loss. Initially the former Heisman Trophy winner followed in the footsteps of all great signal callers before him and shouldered the blame for the embarrassing setback. He should have stopped there but instead went on to say it’s a complete team effort and that no quarterback can win on his own. One would never hear Tom Brady or Peyton Manning utter similar phrases.

Whether than speaking for themselves, Redskins players should only discuss the team. Sure it’s boilerplate, one-game-at-a-time, clichés, but it’s a formula winning organizations employ. Don’t rock the boat, particularly when you’re losing. However the chatter is sure to continue as Washington plays out the final six weeks of what is looking like another last place campaign.

For the most part the hospitality industry is on top of the PR game. However it should remain cognitive of the Redskins’ miscues in order not to suffer similar embarrassments.


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