Monday, August 23, 2010

Extra, Extra!: Convene Newsstand

Welcome to this week's Extra, Extra!, where we give air time to all the news that wasn't fit to print in PCMA's weekly ThisWeek newsletter.

According to this story in the New York Times, written by a former meetings-industry journalist, the tide of eco-friendly hotels may have — at least for the time being — crashed upon the rocks of recession. One hotelier, who is also a Green Meeting Industry Council board member, said, "Big-ticket items that have long-term return on investment have definitely been put on the back burner."

Quick: Name the most boring thing ever. If you said, "in-flight magazines," you are correct — but maybe not if you consider the airline magazine of the new Afghani airline Safi Airways. In its pages, you can brush up on "Kabul heroin addicts, photos of bullet-pocked tourist sites, and ads for mine-resistant sport-utility vehicles," writes the Wall Street Journal reporter. Who needs to watch, say, Marley & Me for the 500th time when you've got that to read?

Earlier this summer, Stefanie Syman published a book called The Subtle Body: The Story of Yoga in America, which traces the history of, well, yoga in America, from its Transcendentalist origins to widespread acceptance by people from all walks of life — even while on the road, as this story from Hotel Interactive discusses. According to the article, business-traveling yogis should seek out Kimpton hotels in particular, as the company is big on the amenity.

Here's some good news for fans of the Crescent City (aka New Orleans, aka N'walins, aka the Big Easy): The 1,193-room Hyatt Regency New Orleans, which has been closed since Hurricane Katrina struck, broke ground last week on its $275 million reopening project! In addition to getting the Hyatt back up to par for a reopening sometime next year, the renovation will also add 200,000 square feet of meeting space, plus two restaurants, two bars, and a coffee shop.

Last but not least, the Cleveland Plain Dealer (great newspaper name, that) reports that the city's planning commission has approved the design for a new downtown convention center — which, by the way, looks really cool: Click through here for the story — featuring an aerial rendering of the new convention center, which appears as though it will feature lots of light and green space.

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