Travel Business News - North America.


New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) Mar 4, 2012

Alaska Airlines Alaska Airlines Named Official Airline Sponsor of Iditarod Race. Alaska Airlines will serve as the official airline sponsor of the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, marking the 34th year the carrier has supported the event. The airline will again present the Leonhard Seppala Humanitarian Award, which recognizes one musher for providing exemplary dog care and is considered the highest honor a competitor can receive. The award is named after one of Alaska's most-celebrated mushers, whose 1925 sled-dog team traveled the longest distance to transport diphtheria serum to Nome. As part of its sponsorship, Alaska Airlines also will provide air transportation and dog-care supplies for Iditarod veterinarians who care for the race dogs' health and safety. Feb 28, 2012

AmaWaterways AmaWaterways will add 2 new ships to 2013 schedule. AmaWaterways has introduced two new river-cruise ships that it plans to put in service in 2013: the 164-passenger Amaprima and the 108-passenger Amavida. Ama's 2013 program also includes four new itineraries to Portugal and France. Mar 2, 2012

American Express American Express, Concur Expand Global Partnership to Japan. American ExpressO Global Corporate Payments business and Concur, which provides employee spending management services, have expanded their global alliance with a new partnership in Japan, whereby they will promote each othersO solutions to corporate clients in that market. American Express Global Corporate Payments and Concur have been working together since 2008 in more than 15 markets. Companies integrate American Express payment data with Concur expense systems. With Program Optimization, a unique feature developed by American Express and Concur, clients receive reports with both American Express card data and non-card data. More robust data helps companies improve compliance with policies and reduces risk of unauthorized spending. When companies consolidate spend across business units and geographies, they gain negotiating leverage with suppliers. Mar 1, 2012

AMResorts AMResorts Introduces New Meetings, Incentives Promotions. AMResorts, provider of sales, marketing and brand management services for Zotry Wellness & Spa Resorts and Secrets, Dreams, Now and Sunscape Resorts & Spas, is offering new promotions that will reward planners while offering added perks they can extend to their clients, including spa treatments, Tumi Movado and Maui Jim goodies, themed receptions and more, to offer an even more exciting travel and event experience. Additionally, AMResorts Meetings and Incentives is launching a 5 percent Cash Forward program designed to recognize and reward loyal meeting planners. Mar 1, 2012

Anguilla Luxury Resort Anguilla Luxury Resort Cap Juluca Bound for Auction Block. Cap Juluca, the 95-room luxury resort on Anguilla, will be sold at a public auction on May 2. The auction will take place Oas part of a restructuring process towards debt obligations owed to the original developer,O according to a statement from of DK Realty Partners, LLC, a U.S. and Caribbean-based real estate auctioneer. The property will be sold Odue to a default on payments under terms of a settlement agreement between the current owner of the asset and Charles Hickox, the original developer of the property,O according to the statement, which adds that Othe auction will have no effect on the operations of the hotel; a smooth transition is planned.O Cap Juluca was acquired in 2008 by Cap Juluca Properties Ltd., a company formed by long-time travel industry executive Adam M. Aron, previously chairman and CEO of Vail Resorts and RockResorts and president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Ltd. As recently as 2011 Aron told financial publication The Robb Report that the 179-acre property was in the midst of a $28 million renovation. Aron had not responded to attempts to contact him at press time. OThe opportunity to buy a world-renowned property of this quality and distinction is very rare,O said David M. Kaufman, principal of DK Realty Partners. OI fully expect Cap Juluca to draw strong interest from qualified investors around the world.O Feb 27, 2012

Ashford Hospitality Trust Capital expenditures hit profits and revPAR, Ashford reports. Ashford Hospitality Trust reported a net loss of $18.3 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 compared with $111.5 million in losses the previous year, which the company attributes to the effects of capital expenditures on its Highland portfolio. Revenue per available room likewise underperformed for the period, rising 5.4% against an industry average of about 8%. Company executives say they expect similar disruptions for the first quarter of 2012. Feb 27, 2012

Baha Mar Resort BahamasO Baha Mar Resort Reaches 25 Percent Completion. The 1,000-acre, $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort in the Bahamas, currently under construction in the Bahamas, recently reached the 25 percent complete mark, said Sarkis Izmirlian, chairman and CEO. Developers broke ground on the resort one year ago this week, said Izmirlian. OWe will soon unveil a new website and begin pre-construction sales of our private residences,O he said. As part of the development, a new public roadway has been created on West Bay Street that borders six acres of natural wetlands, lakes and parks, including walking trails, gazebos and boardwalks, all open to the public. The development also includes the new Baha Mar Commercial Village, featuring three new financial institutions, a new police and fire station, and a straw and crafts marketplace. The resort incorporates the existing Sheraton Nassau Beach Hotel and will feature the Mondrian, Rosewood and Grand Hyatt hotel brands. Feb 27, 2012

BNSF, Kansas City Southern Coal, petroleum key to expand Class I-served Texas city's export value. Coal and petroleum commodities would be the key products that would add more export business for Corpus Christi, Texas, according to a report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors. BNSF, Kansas City Southern and Union Pacific serve the city. "We're such a global market today, we need to look at products that are produced in Texas and other central parts of the U.S. that could use our port for exporting," said Mayor Joe Adame. Feb 27, 2012

BNSF, Union Pacific BNSF, UP seek state grants for rail projects in Oregon. BNSF and Union Pacific are both seeking state grants from the Oregon Department of Transportation for their rail-related projects in the state. Their applications and 63 others have advanced to the review process. Funds will come from the ConnectOregon IV program, which will provide $40 million in grants. Mar 2, 2012

Business Destinations Help us Bring the Best From Business Travel. Business Destinations has always been focused on presenting the best options for every aspect of business travel. Our journalists have travelled the world to find the top rated airlines, hotels and venues. With voting for the Travel Awards 2012 now well under way, the magazine is inviting readers to share their top recommendations and experiences. Business Destinations is taking nominations for the companies and locations that provide the environments and quality of services most conducive to business overseas. Our Business Travel Award categories cover the full spectrum of the corporate travel experience, from arrivals to departures. Whether it's the ideal conference venue in Latin America or the best eco hotel in Africa, Business Destinations wants to hear about it. Feb 27, 2012

Caesars Entertainment Caesars Entertainment Reports Higher Revenues for 2011, Fourth Quarter. After publicly listing shares on NASDAQ earlier this month, Caesars Entertainment Corporation reported the following financial results for the fourth quarter and year ended Dec. 31, 2011. Net revenues for the fourth quarter of 2011 were $2,172.4 million, up $51.4 million, or 2.4 percent, from the year-earlier period. The increase in net revenues was due mainly to higher revenues in Las Vegas, and from our international and online businesses, including revenues related to Playtika which we acquired during the year, partially offset by a decline in net revenues at properties in the Midwest and Atlantic City. For the fourth quarter of 2011, income from operations rose $80.5 million, or 61.4 percent, to $211.6 million from $131.1 in the year-ago fourth quarter. This increase was primarily due to higher revenues and cost reductions achieved as part of Project Renewal and previous cost reduction programs, as well as a $38 million decrease from 2010 in impairment charges related to goodwill and other non-amortizing intangible assets, partially offset by a favorable $23.5 million property tax adjustment recorded in the fourth quarter 2010. Net loss attributable to Caesars for the fourth quarter of 2011 was $220.6 million, up $23.9 million, or 12.2 percent, from the fourth quarter of 2010. Higher net losses in the 2011 fourth quarter reflect higher interest expense resulting from the company's de-designation of certain interest rate swaps during 2011 and gains on the early extinguishment of debt recognized in the fourth quarter of 2010 that did not recur in 2011, partially offset by higher income from operations and an increase in the benefit for income taxes. Net revenues for 2011 were $8,834.5 million, up $15.9 million, or 0.2 percent, from 2010, as favorable results in Las Vegas, and from our international and online businesses, including revenues related to Playtika, were somewhat offset by revenue declines at properties in the Midwest and Atlantic City. For the year, income from operations increased $343.2 million, or 64.5 percent, to $875.5 million from 2010. This increase was due mainly to a $182 million decrease from 2010 in impairment charges related to goodwill and other non-amortizing intangible assets, the effects of cost-reduction efforts under cost savings programs, including...

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