Starwood plans to add 30 hotels to its Middle East portfolio by 2015 | Mashantucket remain united, supportive of Foxwoods resort in Conn. | First Hyatt Place in Puerto Rico is scheduled to open its doors in 2014
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March 30, 2012
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Starwood plans to add 30 hotels to its Middle East portfolio by 2015
Starwood Hotels & Resorts is looking to open 30 new hotels in the Middle East in the next two to three years, said Roeland Vos, president of Starwood's Europe, Middle East and Africa division. "So that means we're going to have 60% growth in the region, and that surprises a lot of people. All of these are in the upper-scale luxury space," Vos said. The hotelier will mostly be focusing on its W and St. Regis brands in the expansion.
HotelierMiddleEast.com (United Arab Emirates) (3/28) 
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Business Update
Mashantucket remain united, supportive of Foxwoods resort in Conn.
Connecticut's Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Council says it remains united as it focuses on a return to financial success at its Foxwoods Resort Casino. "The community is pulling together in these challenging economic times, and we are eagerly embracing our future with a strong determination to continue growing our business as a major economic force in southeastern Connecticut," the council said in a statement.
Bloomberg Businessweek/The Associated Press (3/28) 
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Market Trends
New Orleans hotels draw local crowd with creative bar offerings
A number of hotels in New Orleans have reinvented their restaurants and bars to cater to the local community's passion for creative cocktails and menu options, this feature says. Some hotels, such as the Windsor Court, are also accommodating another New Orleans passion -- jazz -- by offering live music at their bars.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (3/29) 
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Interest in travel to Asia, Caribbean and U.S. rises, Kayak data show
Figures released by Kayak on travel-related searches in January showed a 22% rise in interest in U.S. travel destinations, in contrast with declining search volumes for European cities. Kayak representatives say this may be due to rising airfares into western Europe as the region prepares for two major events. Searches for the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Shanghai and Beijing are also rising, the figures show.
Reuters (3/28) 
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Spotlight on Technology
Hotels are checking into the rising Pinterest trend
Many hoteliers have noted the increasing popularity of the Pinterest platform and are studying how best to adapt their social-media marketing strategies to fit its concept, this feature says. Several have opted to highlight the tourist attractions around their area to capture travelers' attention. "I think that we will build a community, which we learned from Twitter and Facebook, by embracing the city. Once we have the audience, then we are able to speak a little more about the hotel," said Kelli Crean, e-commerce manager at The Roosevelt Hotel in New York.
HotelNewsNow.com (3/28) 
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Best Practices
Column: Great leaders possess self-control, desire to excel
The many qualities that differentiate exceptional leaders from those who aren't include their ability to energize their employees and push them to reach for higher goals, writes Enda Larkin of HTC Consulting. Great leaders should also exercise self-control and have the ability to learn from their mistakes, he writes.
Hospitality Net (3/27) 
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Development
Boutique-hotel design firm is picked to revamp Novotel New York hotel
Accor has tapped Stonehill & Taylor to oversee the $115 million renovation of its Novotel New York Times Square property. The architecture and design firm, which had a hand in several successful remodels of New York boutique hotels, says it is looking at renewal as a primary theme for the redesign. "With the backdrop of Times Square, we picked its most iconic moment, the New Year's Eve celebrations, as our inspiration for the design," said Michael Suomi, a principal at Stonehill & Taylor.
USA Today/Hotel Check-in blog (3/29) 
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Choice Hotels will add a second Cambria Suites in South Fla.
A $16 million development near Miami International Airport in South Florida will add a second Cambria Suites hotel in the area, expected to open by 2013. The planned seven-story structure will have 122 suites and 1,800 square feet of meetings space. "The Miami development reflects our commitment to expanding the Cambria Suites brand into urban markets," said Michael Murphy, senior vice president at Cambria Suites.
The Business Journals (tiered subscription model)/South Florida/Morning Edition blog (3/29) 
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AH&LA News
Prepare security personnel to handle critical issues
The revised Lodging Security Officer program from the Educational Institute has been updated with new information on child trafficking, active shooters, hostage situations and more. The four modules and DVD are ideal for self-study or group training, and can prepare employees to be a Certified Lodging Security Officer.
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USA Today discounts ads by 25%
AH&LA members receive an exclusive 25% discount off regional and national advertising in Travel Today, the weekly travel display feature. Let USA TODAY & USATODAY.com help deliver your message to more than 3 million frequent travelers daily. For a tailored campaign to meet your needs, contact Tom Tempe at (703) 854-5444 or ttempe@usatoday.com.
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One is never more on trial than in the moment of excessive good fortune.
Lew Wallace,
American general, statesman, lawyer and author
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