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Hotel News in Brief
Some current conversation starters...
Bed bug infestations remain a critical issue for hotel operators and managers in terms of treatment costs, liability exposure, and reputation damage. BedBug Central, a leading educational resource for bed bug services, will provide the hospitality sector with comprehensive information on effective bed bug management at the third annual North American Bed Bug Summit.
The two-day conference, "BedBug University: North American Summit 2012" will be held Sept. 6-7 at the Red Rock Casino and Spa in Las Vegas, NV. Attendees will hear from 23 of the foremost bed bug experts in world on actionable strategies for legal protection, bed bug control, staff education, treatment cost reduction, and much more. According to Jeffrey White, Technical Director for BedBug Central, this year's summit is expanded to provide the hospitality sector with an international perspective on bed bug management. Expertise will be provided by companies like AntiCimex, which has more than 70 years of experience treating bed bugs in a cost effective and efficient manner. "Our work with the hospitality sector shows that this industry requires the latest information about bed bugs to best protect their brand," said White. "This summit fulfills that need by exploring new treatment strategies, reviewing the latest research, and presenting expert perspectives that will help save properties valuable time and resources." In addition to hearing from leading bed bug authorities such as Dr. Michael Potter, Dr. Dini Miller, and Richard Cooper, the summit will continue its popular EXPOcentral, one of the largest expositions of bed bug related vendors and services. This forum allows attendees to make informed decisions about who to select as future service partners by viewing hands-on demonstrations from 75 exhibitors and comparing multiple manufacturers in one setting.
Tourists to Thailand are being warned to heed red-flag warnings at beaches in Phuket after a British holidaymaker drowned.
Peter Cook, who was staying in the resort of Patong with his wife and two children, was the fourth person to drown in Phuket in the past three months. He was swimming with his daughter and his son early one morning when they got into difficulties. Burmese workers used long poles to help, said The Phuket News, and Mr Cook managed to push his children towards them but he was unable to reach them and drowned. The paper reported chief lifeguard Sakhon Chaithong saying that the three had gone swimming at 07:00hrs. The beach has red flag warnings, he said, but lifeguards are not on duty until 09.00hrs.
Travellers were a bit startled at two different hotels after having to evacuate because authorities found methamphetamine labs in the hotel rooms.
The Hampton Inn in Center City, Philadelphia had to be evacuated on Saturday after police discovered a makeshift meth lab being operated out of a room on the third floor. Mathew Phillip Sinson, 27, was arrested and charged for making and possessing $70,840 worth of illegal drugs, according to Philly.com. The meth lab set off a fire alarm, which resulted in 300 guests having to evacuate the hotel and leave their beds early on Saturday morning. Firefighters and the Police Department's Homeland Security and Terrorism unit responded to the incident and made the discovery. Sinson was producing the addictive stimulant with the "one-pot" or "shake-and-bake" method in the hotel. These techniques can cause explosions to occur and toxic fumes to be released. The method requires a combination of chemicals to be shaken up in a plastic bottle. The chemicals within the room can make it unsafe to live in. This wasn't the only makeshift hotel room meth lab bust over the weekend. Those staying at the Holiday Inn in Peabody, Massachusetts had to evacuate late Sunday night after police discovered another meth lab. Hotel security guards noticed smoking coming from one of the rooms, according to The Boston Herald. Police discovered a large amount of dangerous chemicals in a first floor room of the hotel. Over 200 people had to evacuate while The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and police investigated in incident. No one was at the room when the discovery was made, but police have information about who paid for the room. They are looking for the suspect.
Key Appointments in the Industry
Congratulations to these new appointments...
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced the appointment of Jan D. Goessing as Area Vice President (New York and Boston) and General Manager. In this role, Mr. Goessing serves as General Manager of the Group's North American flagship property, Mandarin Oriental, New York and oversees operations at Mandarin Oriental, Boston. Jan D. Goessing takes up his new position, following the departure of Rudy Tauscher who leaves the Group to pursue his own business venture outside the industry. Mr. Goessing has spent the past 18 years with Mandarin Oriental in senior management positions throughout Asia and The Americas. Following assignments at the Group's Hong Kong and Jakarta properties, he served as General Manager of Mandarin Oriental's former property in Hawaii from 1998 to 2006, during which time it became well established as one of the best urban resorts in the region. In 2006, he was appointed General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC and was instrumental in positioning the property as one of the city's most successful luxury hotels. Mr. Goessing was appointed General Manager of Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok following the retirement in 2009 of legendary hotelier, Kurt Wachtveitl, and has helped to ensure the flagship property remains the indisputable market leader in the city. Prior to joining Mandarin Oriental, Mr. Goessing held senior management positions throughout the United States; in Chicago, Boston and Beverly Hills with the Regent Beverly Wilshire. He has also worked for Intercontinental and Kempinski Hotels in Luxembourg and Germany early in his career.
Kosmopolito Hotel International (KHI) has appointed Mr. Bernard Lo as General Manager of Grand Dorsett Chengdu, which is scheduled to open in September 2012. A well respected hotel professional who has more than 40 years of experience in the industry, Bernard was most recently the General Manager of Intercontinental Century City Chengdu, one of the most luxurious hotels in southwest China operated by the Intercontinental Hotels Group. His career has taken him around the world and he has worked with numerous upscale hotels in senior management capacity in Switzerland, Germany, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Beijing and many other key getaway cities. "With his experience and expertise, Bernard is certainly a great asset to the company. He brings with him a wealth of knowledge and excellent understanding of the hospitality industry, especially in China and will play a key role in the successful operation of Grand Dorsett Chengdu ," said Winnie Chiu, President and Executive Director of Kosmopolito Hotels International.
The Latest in Hotel Openings
Sofitel has opened its first hotel in Auckland, New Zealand. The property, which had been part of Accor's MGallery collection, has been extensively refurbished. All of the guestrooms at the Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbor have private balconies and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the harbor. The oversized bathrooms have separate rain showers and deep soaking tubs. The casual Café 21 Viaduct and the property's gourmet restaurant have a waterfront esplanade. The property also offers three meeting venues and a spa with six treatment rooms, sauna, steam room, whirlpool, and indoor lap pool. Sofitel Auckland Viaduct Harbor is located in the city's Wynyard Quarter and has its own pontoon for yachts and water taxis.
Tsogo Sun has opened 54 on Bath, its new boutique hotel outside Johannesburg, South Africa. 54 on Bath offers 60 standard rooms, 12 suites, and three penthouse suites. Situated in the suburb of Rosebank, the property was previously the Grace Hotel. After consulting with Brash Brands, Tsogo Sun decided to make 54 on Bath a personalized and intimate space, "the antithesis of large chain hotels," as Graham Wood, managing director of Tsogo Sun Hotels, put it. The interior is by David Muirhead of David Muirhead & Associates. "We worked with the classic foundation and lines of the property and evolved the interiors in a way that was respectful to the architecture," says Muirhead. "This landmark building has been given an interior that is urban chic yet classic, and is all about a revival, not only of the hotel, but of the commercial node of Rosebank." Art within the hotel celebrates Johannesburg.
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C., the leader in luxury hospitality, has announced the brand's first hotel in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), marking another step in the group's expansion in Asia. The Ritz-Carlton, Saigon is owned by the Bitexco Group, one of Vietnam's most prestigious property developers. The 250-room hotel is located in the historic centre of Saigon adjacent to the famous Ben Thanh Square market, in a 48-storey tower. The Ritz-Carlton, Saigon is part of a dynamic development project called The One Ho Chi Minh City, which also includes prime office space, retail outlets and 350 luxury apartments. Award-winning US architect Bernardo Fort-Brescia of Arquitectonica Architects, drew inspiration from Vietnam's legendary dragon. He described the towers as a representation of two dragons rising from the ground with their tails coiled and pearls dangling from their mouths. In Vietnamese culture, dragons, especially in pairs, are a powerful life symbols representing prosperity and growth.
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