Travel Business News - North America.

 
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New York (AirGuideBusiness - Travel Business News North America) May 13, 2012

AmaWaterways Award-winning river cruise line AmaWaterways christened its newest ship, the AmaCerto, today in the scenic Danube town of Vilshofen, Germany. The traditional ceremony centered on the christening and blessing of the ship by its Godmother, Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) President Christine Duffy. OChristine Duffy is a prestigious godmother and we are thrilled to have our AmaCerto under her guidance,O said AmaWaterways President and Co-Owner Rudi Schreiner. OThe AmaCerto was designed with the passenger in mind. AmaCerto is the most innovative ship available and we enjoyed celebrating its christening with the Vilshofen locals.O The dayOs festivities began with a rendition of the OTriumphal March from AidaO while OstelzengehersO or stilt walkers welcomed the crowd as the AmaCerto sailed into view. Vilshofen Mayor Georg Krenn greeted the enthusiastic crowd of local dignitaries, river cruise executives and passengers, followed by remarks from AmaWaterways President and Co-Owner Rudi Schreiner & Executive Vice President and Co-Owner Kristin Karst, as well as Godmother Christine Duffy. In preparation for the christening, local school children handed out celebratory balloons to the eager crowd. Amid a chorus of cheers, Duffy christened the AmaCerto by breaking a bottle of Champagne on the shipOs hull. Simultaneously, the crowd released their balloons and a traditional 10-gun salute sounded from a brigade of Vilshofen soldiers dressed in traditional Bavarian garb. Additional highlights of the christening ceremony included a special blessing of the ship and convocation by Rev. and Mrs. Mark Kirchmeyer; a performance by the childrenOs dance group Trachtenverein DOWolfachtaler; moving renditions of OAve MariaO and OHallelujahO by soprano Heidlinde Schmid and a signing of VilshofenOs traditional OGolden Book.O AmaWaterwaysO new AmaCerto is a deluxe 164-passenger vessel that incorporates the most advanced river cruise ship design including Twin Balconies in the majority of its spacious staterooms and suites, which range up to 350 sq. feet. Passengers will enjoy gourmet dining with free-flowing local wine at the multiple fine dining venues available onboard. The AmaCerto also features a heated sun deck swimming pool with a Oswim-upO bar; fitness center and spa; complimentary Internet and Infotainment system in all staterooms plus Wi-Fi. For passengers wanting to explore the serene paths along the rivers, the AmaCerto offers a fleet of bicycles onboard (capacity controlled). The AmaCerto will serve the Dutch and Belgium Waterways and the Danube and Rhine Rivers on nine itineraries: Tulip Time Cruise; The Romantic Danube; Melodies of the Danube; The Legendary Danube; Blue Danube Discovery; Magnificent Europe; Christmas Time Cruise; Legendary Danube Jewish Heritage; and Christmas on the Rhine. May 8, 2012

American Casino American Casino reports increase in Q1 net revenue. American Casino & Entertainment Properties said its net revenue increased to $87.1 million from $86.4 million for the first quarter. American's Stratosphere property in Las Vegas saw its net revenue increase 1.6%, to $38.4 million, while the Aquarius increased its net revenue 3.9%, to $24 million. May 7, 2012

ASTA ASTA's 2011/12 Worldwide Destination Guide available . ASTA's comprehensive resource for travel agents and suppliers is now available. Contained in these pages is a wealth of information providing guides on countries across the globe, both tried-and-true favorites and up-and-coming destinations that are the next must-see places for your clients. Each country section contains company information and contact details for each international ASTA member serving that destination. There are also 50 domestic state profiles, giving anyone selling a destination the information to do so confidently and accurately. To learn more or to purchase, go to ASTA's Bookstore. Domestic ASTA members pay only $57 for additional copies; international members pay $87 (S&H included). Prices are discounted during the checkout process after you log in as a member. May 11, 2012

ASTA Experience Los Angeles like an insider . Attend ASTA's Travel Retailing & Destination Expo and discover the Los Angeles that will meet your client's needs, whether it is spectacular outdoor adventures, sophisticated art galleries or premier shopping they're seeking. You will also learn about L.A. through exclusive specialized education, courtesy of Los Angeles Tourism, and see the city during complimentary sightseeing tours and from the opening event on the rooftop of ICON LA. May 10, 2012

ASTA Important information regarding ASTA 2012 elections . The 2012 national election period has begun and will run through August. This year, ASTA members will elect four national directors to serve on the Board of Directors. Travel agent members and the official representatives and selected voting managers of Premium Member companies in good standing are eligible to vote. The self-nomination period for national office will open May 28. National ballots will be sent on July 5. May 10, 2012

ASTA ASTA CEO: Membership helps strengthen ASTA's agent support. Travel agents should join ASTA to help sustain the group's efforts in support of the industry, ASTA CEO Tony Gonchar says. "Helping ASTA to lobby and do its work as effectively as possible helps both buyers and sellers. It sustains travel agents' ability to operate without the burdensome laws designed to tax them or make it difficult to continue operating," Gonchar said. May 8, 2012

Aston Hotels Aston Hotels Offers Agent Reward for Booking Maui Property. Aston Hotels & Resorts is rewarding travel agents with a free night at The Whaler on Kaanapali Beach on Maui with each five consecutive night stay they book for clients at the resort. Agents who book 10 nights earn two free nights; book 15 nights, earn three free nights. There is no limit on the number of free nights agents can earn. In addition to receiving free nights, as STARs Online members, agents also generate a $50 cash back bonus for every five consecutive nights booked, as well as STARs points redeemable toward gift cards or free stays with Aston Hotels & Resorts. The offer is valid for materialized bookings for travel dates May 15 to Dec. 20 and does not apply to bookings made for the travel agent, complimentary stays or discounted industry rates such as travel agent or eduVacation rates. ItOs not valid for cancelled or no-show bookings. Redemption of the free night certificate is subject to availability; black-out dates and some restrictions may apply. The agent must be a current STARs Online member to qualify. May 10, 2012

Atlantic CityOs Tropicana Atlantic CityOs Tropicana Announces Multi-Phase Renovations. Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City, which recently opened the newEBoogie Nights night club, announced a series of significant renovation projects that will include major improvements to its guest rooms, restaurants and casino floor, as well as considerable changes to its nightlife offerings. Construction will begin in the fall of 2012 and will be completed by the end of the year. Included in the plans are renovations to 16 floors of the North Tower, which includes 437 standard rooms and junior suites. Overseeing the design and aesthetics are Bergman Walls and Associates, Atlantic City-based SOSH Architects and Steelman Partners. The new rooms will feature sleek, contemporary furnishings, bold graphic carpeting, textured wall coverings and modernized bathrooms. In addition, a new Italian fine dining restaurant will be introduced. Boogie Nights dance club will be expanded to include TangoOs Lounge, with more than 30 additional seats, a new dance area, and a relocated stage adjacent to Boogie Nights. Additionally, the casino floor will be further enhanced with close to a $4 million investment in over 150 state-of-the-art slot games. May 7, 2012

Atlantis Resort BahamasO Atlantis Resort Partners With Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network is teaming with the BahamasO Atlantis, Paradise Island resort to offer summer festivities featuring Cartoon Network characters from May 25 to Sept. 3, 2012. The program will feature elements from the networkOs OAdventure TimeO animated series, including an OAdventure TimeO themed poolside dive-in theater and a Cartoon Network, multi-brand character takeover of one of AtlantisO most popular dining destinations, Seagrapes restaurant. Other experiences will include a costumed character parade through Marina Village featuring Cartoon Network stars, and advanced screenings of the new Cartoon Network series, OBen 10: Omniverse.O Also, a Cartoon Network Studios Fantasy Camp will offer aspiring cartoonists training courses on animation fundamentals including animation technology, hand-drawing techniques, flip-book basics, character creation, voice acting and more, guided by experts from the Emmy Award-winning Cartoon Network Studios May 9, 2012

Boyd Gaming Boyd Gaming Set to Buy Peninsula Gaming For $1.45 Billion. Boyd Gaming Corporation, which has gaming properties across the country from Las Vegas to Atlantic City, has agreed to buy Peninsula Gaming, LLC, for $1.45 billion. Boyd said the acquisition will complement its existing portfolio by adding five properties in some of the nation's strongest growth regions: Kansas Star Casino near Wichita, Kansas; Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa; Diamond Jo Worth in Northwood, Iowa; Evangeline Downs Racetrack & Casino in Opelousas, Louisiana; and Amelia Belle Casino in Amelia, Louisiana. The purchase price represents an EBITDA multiple of seven times based on the trailing 12-month EBITDA of $109 million for Peninsula's Iowa and Louisiana properties, an annualized run-rate for Kansas Star based on its first-quarter 2012 EBITDA of $26.8 million, and corporate expense of $10 million. "Acquiring Peninsula Gaming is a...

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