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Ernest Wooden Jr., President and CEO of Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced on January 10 at the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX that Los Angeles welcomed a record-breaking 48.3 million visitors in 2017 - a million visitors more than in 2016. From left to right: Gene Seroka, Executive Director of Port of Los Angeles; Doane Liu, Executive Director of the Los Angeles Department of Convention and Tourism Development (LACTD); Councilmember Joe Buscaino, District 15; Jon F. Vein, President of LACTD Commission; Ana Cubas, LACTD Commission; Ernest Wooden Jr., President & CEO of L.A. Tourism; Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti; Sean Burton, President, Board of Airport Commissioners; Val Velasco, Vice President of Board of Airport Commissioners; and Deborah Flint, CEO of Los Angeles World Airports.


Ronnie Burt Resigns as CEO of Visit KC

Jonathan Trager

Ronnie Burt, who has served as President & CEO of Visit KC since 2014, is leaving following a period of internal tension with several employees and a lawsuit filed by a former employee.
Burt, 49, announced his departure from the organization on Jan. 11, effective on Jan. 31. Visit KC has said Burt will “assist the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors with a smooth, seamless transition process to ensure the important work of Visit KC continues.”

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Settlement Nowhere in Sight for
Destinations International’s N.Y. Lawsuit

Todd McElwee

It appears no settlement is in the immediate future for Destinations International’s New York lawsuit against McDermott Will & Emery LLP and attorney Banks Brown.
Don Welsh, President & CEO, Destinations International, told USAE the defense has sought to institute discovery commencing Jan. 22.

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Hargrove, Inc. Acquired by PSAV Holding Company

Todd McElwee

Hargrove, Inc. has been acquired by PSAV Holding Company. A family-run firm since its 1946 founding by Earl Hargrove Jr. and his father, the Lanham, Md. operation will continue to operate as a stand-alone company.

To read more click here

ASAE “Cautiously Optimistic” about Labor
Department’s Proposed Rules for Association Health Plans

Grant Broadhurst

The proposed rules for association health plans could give associations the opportunity to offer their members health insurance plans, but the rules need clarification, according to ASAE.

To read more click here


2018 E-Blast and
Turn the Page Hot Dates


My Hotel Carpet Makes HOTS Green… As a corporate pilot, Bill Young has seen almost as many hotel carpets around the world as HOTS. Unlike HOTS, however, he began posting photos of interesting hotel carpets on an Instagram account called @myhotelcarpet in 2015. Until his account suddenly went viral over the holidays, he only had 82 followers, but he now has more than 650,000 followers.
HOTS is floored by that amount of fame and regrets not taking more photos of carpets. It gets better: Marriott International responded to Young’s sudden fame by inviting him to their headquarters to help design a hotel carpet, which he did on January 10. The carpet Young helped design will be used at the Aloft hotel in Austin, Texas near where his daughter, Jill, goes to college.
HOTS is green with envy and hopes to sweep this entire incident under the rug. That is, unless some hotel company also lets HOTS design the carpet under which to sweep it.


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