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On Feb. 13, Flynn, a Bichon Frisé with the registered name of “Belle Creek’s All I Care About Is Love,”
won Best in Show during the 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.
Here Flynn is joined by judge Betty-Anne Stenmark and handler Bill McFadden. Photo by Jack Grassa.

Dawn Ullrich Fired as Head of Houston First

By Jonathan Trager

One week after announcing she’d retire at the end of the year, Dawn Ullrich has been ousted as President & CEO of Houston First Corp. and has hired a lawyer to challenge the action.
Houston First Chair David Mincberg informed Ullrich she was “immediately relieved of any and all duties” in a letter on Feb. 13. Ullrich had notified the board and Mayor Sylvester Turner of her plan to retire on Feb. 6.

To read entire story click here

Media Locked Out of Destinations Showcase’s
Keynote Address with José Andrés

Todd McElwee

Destinations International is providing scant insight as to why the media was not permitted to attended chef/restaurateur José Andrés’ keynote address during Destinations Showcase on Feb. 13 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Stating the lockout was a condition of Andrés’ contract the association would not divulge the manner in which it booked Andrés with Melissa Cherry, Chief Marketing Officer, Destinations International, telling USAE the association’s agreement was not with the chef’s ThinkFoodGroup but with the agency representing him for all speaking engagements, and the terms of that contract are confidential. Cherry added: “Media not attending is often a standard of speaker agreements.”

To read entire story click here

Nearly 4,000-Room Casino Resort Announced
for Las Vegas Strip

Grant Broadhurst

It’s go big or go home in Las Vegas. That being the case, Marriott International and its partners have decided to go very big.
Marriott and Witkoff Group announced on February 12 plans to open The Drew Las Vegas in late 2020 on the north end of the Las Vegas Strip. The integrated casino resort is planned to offer nearly 4,000 hotel rooms and more than 500,000 square feet of convention and meeting space.

To read more click here

National Geographic Traveler Receives Destinations International Foundation’s
Top Award

By Jonathan Trager

George Stone, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler, received the prestigious Spirit of Hospitality Award on his magazine’s behalf from the Destinations International Foundation on Feb. 12.

To read more click here


2018 E-Blast and
Turn the Page Hot Dates


Twin Wedding… Identical twins Brittany and Briana Deane met identical twins Josh and Jeremy Salyers last August at the Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg, Ohio. After dating for several months, the twin sets of twins recently got engaged in Twin Lakes, Virginia, and they plan to get married – Brittany to Josh and Briana to Jeremy – in a twin wedding at this year’s Twins Days Festival in Twinsburg. Presumably, no double-barreled (or twin-barreled) shotgun will be necessary. HOTS doesn’t have a twin since HOTS is as unique as they come, but their story makes HOTS wish it had a twin because going to a twin festival in Twinsburg sounds like a double helping of fun.


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