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Online Revealed Canada Announces 8th Annual Conference at Caesars …

Online Revealed Canada, the first and only Canadian online tourism marketing conference for the travel and tourism industry, announces dates and new location for the 8th annual tourism industry event.

(PRWEB) September 25, 2012

Online Revealed, Canada’s only tourism internet marketing conference, will be back on the road for the 8th annual event in 2013. The conference, which focuses on the latest in online travel marketing trends, will take place at Caesars Hotel and Casino in Windsor Ontario, April 2-4, 2013, with an anticipated attendance of 450 delegates from across Canada.

Founded and produced by travel and technology industry innovators, A Couple of Chicks™ Digital Tourism Marketing, the 2013 conference will once again bring attendees the latest trends in digital marketing for the travel industry including the latest in social media, mobile marketing, search marketing and travel distribution online.

The first Online Revealed Canada, held in Ottawa in 2006, drew 180 attendees and has since evolved to become the go-to event for the travel and tourism industry in Canada to learn, connect and be informed about the fast changing world of digital marketing.

“We are extremely excited to be returning to our “travel” roots in changing the host city of Online Revealed each year, with Caesars Windsor as the chosen location for 2013,” said Online Revealed Canada Co-Chair and A Couple of Chicks™ Co-founder Patricia Brusha. “It is hard to believe how far we have come since the first conference held in Ottawa in 2006, and we continue to be committed to keeping the Canadian tourism marketing industry ahead of the curve in digital marketing moving forward.”

Industry giants like Facebook, Google, Travelzoo and Expedia will present the latest trends during the two-day conference, with a focus around hands-on learning workshops, travel and technology exhibitors, networking opportunities, as well as events and presentations from the most popular speakers in digital marketing today.

Attendees will hear from digital marketing expert Mitch Joel, President of Twist Image and author of “Six Pixels of Separation”, the first book to integrate digital marketing, social media, personal branding and entrepreneurship, in a keynote presentation on April 4th. Mitch Joel will introduce his latest book “CTRL ALT DEL: How to Reboot Your Business (and Yourself) in a Connected World”.

The conference is also home to the 4th annual Canadian e-Tourism Awards, which will be presented at a special luncheon on April 4th. These awards recognize the evolution and marketing power of the digital space, including social media and traditional consumer websites. The awards are sponsored by leaders in the industry including Google, Miles Partnership, T4G and VIA Rail, and celebrate excellence in Canadian tourism marketing online.

New this year, and after a successful pilot project launched at Online Revealed 2012 Toronto Conference, the Canadian DMO Online Benchmarking Series will bring key insights to the performance of Canadian Destination Marketing Organizations, against their peers, and against International Destinations including New Zealand and the U.S.A. The groundbreaking research program, produced in conjunction with the Canadian Tourism Commission, will highlight key insights into the trends, challenges and opportunities destination marketers are facing in today’s competitive digital world.

Conference registration will open in October 2012. Sponsorship packages are available by contacting Dino Fazio at or contact Patricia Brusha at for speaking opportunities.

About Online Revealed:

The Online Revealed tourism marketing conference provides travel and tourism professionals with unique and innovative online marketing education, with an agenda that includes educational workshops, keynotes and panel discussions, all driven by the industry for the industry. The event, which has been produced in 7 cities across Canada since it’s inception in 2006, is produced by leading online marketing firm, A Couple of Chicks™ Digital Tourism Marketing, Online Revealed Canada is an annual Canadian conference produced for the industry, and by the industry, with a mission to educate the tourism industry to be successful on the World Wide Web. Visit for more information.

For the original version on PRWeb visit:

Copyright 2012 Midland Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Billboards on the side of the Showboat Casino-Hotel lure guests from Revel …

ATLANTIC CITY – Revel has failed thus far to grow the gambling market here, and despite massive state subsidies it is teetering on the brink of bankruptcy.

Some blame the casino’s poor timing, coming on the scene amid a still-weak economy and bruising competition from surrounding states. Others say it has simply overreached, trying to be too like Vegas in a middle-of-the road, drive-in market. And still others are turned off by its lack of buffets, its no-smoking policy, its expensive rooms (averaging $210.96, versus $133.13 at next-priciest Borgata), and its dearth of moderately priced restaurants.

For whatever reason, it’s a formula that is just not working.

Carol Lehman has this simple message for Revel: Cut back the video machines, substitute quarter slots for some $1 and $5 slots, and maybe things will pick up.

“I was grateful it was a nonsmoking casino,” said Lehman, 60, of Levittown, Bucks County, who suffers from asthma. “But it was so disappointing. . . . [Revel] forgot that it’s the middle class that goes to Atlantic City.”

On two visits, in April and June, Lehman said, she found that there was nowhere to get a cheap sandwich, and that she got lost easily in the sprawling, 6.3 million-square-foot complex.

She has not been back.

Of the $2.4 billion mega-casino and its all-glass facade, 10 swimming pools, cabanas and massive spa, her husband, John Lehman, 62, said, “It’s too fancy for me. It’s over the top.”

Last week, they found sandwiches for $6.95 each next door at Showboat, and they stayed three comped nights (free, that is) at Resorts.

That Revel has not gained traction is clear from the revenue figures for its first four months in operation: It has been in eighth place among Atlantic City’s dozen casinos every month since its April 2 soft opening.

“Clearly . . . results continue to fall below our modest expectations, which is concerning given this is Atlantic City’s ‘bread-and-butter’ summer season,” said gaming analyst Dennis Farrell, of Wells Fargo Securities L.L.C.

Revel may have something in common with the now-bankrupt Pier at Caesars, a high-end retail mall attached to Caesars Casino on the 50-yard line of the Boardwalk. The Pier, like Revel, aimed primarily for affluent New Yorkers, banking that there were enough of them to want to come down and plunk their cash at the likes of Louis Vuitton and Tiffany’s.

The Pier, which opened in 2006, defaulted on its mortgage two years ago and is still looking for a buyer. It failed to attract the minimum bid of $25 million at an online auction this month – a far cry from 2007, when it was valued at $200 million-plus.

Bob McDevitt, president of 14,500-member Unite Here Local 54, the union that represents Atlantic City casino and hotel workers, hates to say it, but “I told you so.”

McDevitt has locked horns with Revel’s owners from the beginning over its nonunion status and the hefty state aid provided to finish building the casino, add road improvements, and train its employees – more than $300 million in various state assistance.

“As we had predicted, they were only going to cannibalize the existing market,” he said. “No one in our organization was convinced Revel was going to grow the market, and unfortunately, we were correct.”

Instead, McDevitt said, it is “absolutely endangering two or three possible casinos in Atlantic City, including Trump Plaza and Atlantic Club.”

“The math is simple,” he said: “If Revel didn’t exist, there would be $17 million more in the market for the other casinos, which would put all of them in a somewhat better position.” (Revel generated $17.5 million in casino revenue last month.)

Total gaming revenue has been so low that Revel recently started matching the top-tier status of gamblers with loyalty player cards from other Atlantic City casinos – which means those players don’t have to start from scratch at Revel. It also began paying $750 cash to Titanium Club members from Borgata and Seven Star Caesars Entertainment Club members – the top-level gamblers at those casinos – just so they would try out Revel, according to some operators.

Joe Lupo, senior vice president of operations at Borgata, does not agree with the notion that Revel is too Las Vegas-like to succeed. And with good reason: Market-leading Borgata is Vegas-like, too. But it generated $54 million in casino revenue last month, triple Revel’s.

“I really don’t know what’s going to happen,” Lupo said, discussing Revel last week at Gypsy Bar, one of Borgata’s signature cocktail lounges. “Maybe a new operator will come in and have a more favorable financing deal. Their numbers need to improve, and they need to bring new customers to the market. Only time will tell.”

Steven Lonegan, state director of the New Jersey chapter of Americans for Prosperity, a political-advocacy group focused on free-market economics and educating lawmakers about government subsidies, has been a critic of Revel for two years.

“Initially, Revel was supposed to be a winner that got all these state-funded advantages that no one else got. The real loser are the taxpayers,” he said last week.

“Revel’s a terrific example of government intervention supporting an inefficient operation,” he said. “It should be allowed to collapse, file bankruptcy, and let people take their lumps and have a skilled investor come in and buy it for 5 or 10 cents on the dollar and make it work using dynamic marketing skills.”

Katie Schuman, 22, of Center City, blamed Revel’s poor performance on the economy, in part, as she played roulette at Borgata last week with boyfriend Tristin Robinson, 29.

Casino-city ties drive marketing

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Helping execute that vision is Las Vegas-based gambling giant Caesars. It was tapped to operate incoming Horseshoe casinos in Cleveland and Cincinnati, where Gilbert’s Rock Gaming development company owns a majority stake.

Experts are divided on how much business will be spun off to neighboring restaurants and hotels, but Payne says there’s plenty of customer spending to go around.

The Cleveland casino will refer business around the city through its Total Rewards loyalty program, says Payne, who oversees 18 Caesars properties in nine states. Caesars will buy hotel rooms or negotiate discounts on meals at nearby restaurants, then comp them to valued casino customers.

“It’s a win-win for both us and our partners,” Payne says. “We are able to provide world-class amenities while providing business to our partners they might not have received otherwise.”

Payne notes that partnering with outside businesses allows the casino to fufill customers’ needs that the property itself can’t meet. The Horseshoe Cleveland, for example, has only one sit-down restaurant, its buffet called The Spread. Cincinnati’s future casino lacks a hotel.

Big numbers are behind the talk of partnership.

Last year, Caesars raked in $8.8 billion worth of revenue from its sprawling network of 52 casinos in 12 states and seven countries. But the company also gave away $1.3 billion in promotional allowances – free or discounted hotel rooms, meals, entertainment and other goodies – designed to keep customers happy and coming back for more.

Caesars Total Rewards program boasts 40 million members, largest in the casino industry. Caesars also uses the program to cross-promote its own casinos, allowing patrons to redeem rewards earned at one casino at another.

David Schwartz, director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, says Caesars is making a calculated bet by referring business to a network of hotel and restaurant partners outside its doors.

Since there’s no rival casino just blocks away, casino operators are betting that gamblers come back to the tables after they get something to eat elsewhere. Meanwhile, partnering with area businesses saves them money.

Atlantic City expects packed casinos, hotels for New Year’s celebrations

ATLANTIC CITY — Sold-out hotel rooms, packed
restaurants and posh high-roller parties will add up to a
blockbuster New Year’s Eve celebration for the city’s

The biggest holiday on the casino calendar ensures the struggling
industry some much-needed business to close out what will be the
fifth straight year of declining revenue in the nation’s
second-largest gambling market.

“No question about it. I want to end strong and start fast,” Tony
Rodio, president and chief executive officer of Tropicana Casino
and Resort, said of the transition to 2012. “The indicators for New
Year’s Eve weekend, the metrics we look at, the rooms, the
restaurants and the parties, are extremely strong.”

Virtually all of the 17,000 hotel rooms at the 11 casinos are
expected to be filled for New Year’s Eve. Some casinos are setting
aside precious few rooms for last-minute arrivals by their most
valuable customers.

“We’re jammed,” Rodio said. “Our New Year’s Eve has continued to
stay strong. It’s the busiest night of the year in the market.
We’re seeing no dropoff.”

Asked to rank this weekend on a scale of 1 to 10, Tom Pohlman,
general manager of Golden Nugget Atlantic City, replied “20.” The
Golden Nugget is making its New Year’s Eve debut as an entirely
rebranded casino. Pohlman said Golden Nugget has sold out its hotel
rooms and has increased its New Year’s Eve business in other key
areas compared to last year, when the property was known as Trump
Marina Hotel Casino.

“Everything we’re doing, we’ve increased our participation,” he

Borgata Hotel Casino Spa expects 20,000 to 30,000 customers
at any one time over the holiday weekend. The high end of Borgata’s
crowd count would not be far off from Atlantic City’s entire
year-round population of about 40,000.

“All of the restaurants will be full. The building will be full,”
said Joe Lupo, Borgata’s senior vice president of operations.
“You’re trying to accommodate 20,000 to 30,000 customers who will
be walking through the building that day.”

With New Year’s Day falling on a Sunday, it will create an extended
weekend of revelry. Monday serves as the official holiday for the
state and federal governments.

“Having it on a weekend certainly doesn’t hurt,” said Michael
Frawley, chief operating officer of ACH, formerly known as the
Atlantic City Hilton Casino Resort.

As an added bonus, the weather is expected to cooperate, with the
forecast calling for relatively mild winter temperatures in the

“I think it will be a big weekend in town,” said Howard Bacharach,
executive director of the Atlantic City Hotel Lodging
Association. “I think we need that going into January, February and
March, the slow period in town.”

Bacharach said major noncasino hotels in town, such as the
Sheraton, the Wyndham, the Flagship and the Chelsea, also are
expecting brisk business. He predicted the holiday crowds will
spill out onto the Boardwalk and The Walk shopping district to give
stores there a boost.

The casinos capitalize on the holiday by throwing gigantic, blowout
VIP parties featuring haute cuisine and high-end Champagne.
Tropicana, for instance, will serve filet mignon and lobster to
guests in its Royal Swan Ballroom.

Some of the high-roller soirees will attract 1,000 people or more.
Those parties routinely cost in the six figures, but the casinos
say they create an air of exclusivity and are the best way to
reward their most loyal customers for their business.

“So much goes into it, especially in terms of the big party,” Lupo
said. “There’s so much excitement at the midnight hour in the
casino. The New Year’s Eve holiday has a special aspect to it. I
think everyone has such a positive outlook in ringing in the new

But as Atlantic City continues to struggle with the fragile economy
and declining revenue, some of the parties may not be as grand as
in the past, Frawley said.

“I think as far as New Year’s Eve being the financial boom it has
been has probably slacked off a little, but it’s still a nice
holiday,” said Frawley, whose financially troubled casino was saved
from a foreclosure sale this year in a deal with its lenders.

ACH will have smaller public events in its restaurants and a
private VIP party in its ballroom for New Year’s Eve. Frawley said
ACH’s hotel rooms are sold out.

Guest rooms are also booked solid at the four Caesars Entertainment
Corp. casinos — Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s Resort and Showboat.
Caesars Entertainment will mix in some headliner acts to complement
its invitation-only parties and public events. The Don Rickles show
at Harrah’s is sold out, as is the Goo Goo Dolls concert at

Resorts Casino Hotel, which has sold out its guest rooms, will host
what it is billing as “the sexiest party Atlantic City has ever
seen” on New Year’s Eve. The risque Cirque Ultra Lounge will
feature dancers, contortionists and burlesque vignettes, although
no actual nudity.

“New Year’s Eve is the culmination of 12 months of events and the
promise of new things to come, so it is no surprise that it is
always the biggest party of the year. We wanted to bring a whole
new twist to the night with Cirque Ultra Lounge and the sexy
burlesque theme,” said Dennis Gomes, Resorts’ co-owner and

Trump Entertainment Resorts Inc., parent company of Trump Taj Mahal
Casino Resort and Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, declined to discuss
its New Year’s Eve events.

Contact Donald Wittkowski:


Gay equality the rule among many of the nation’s airlines and hotels

Hyatt_CapHill.jpgReleased yesterday, the Human Rights Campaign’s 2012 Corporate Equality Index chronicles the remarkable advances that have taken place on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality in the workplace since 2002.

The CEI rates companies on 40 specific policies and practices, 32 of which are new or more demanding this year. To achieve a perfect score and the coveted distinction of “Best Places to Work for LGBT Equality,” companies must have fully-inclusive equal employment opportunity policies, provide equal employment benefits, demonstrate organizational LGBT competency, evidence their commitment to equality publicly and exercise responsible citizenship.

In the first year of the CEI, only 13 businesses achieved a top score. This year, 190 corporations, across industries, geographies and size, earned a 100 percent score on significantly more stringent criteria.

Even with the new scoring criteria, most of the nation’s leading hotel and airline companies received high scores.


  • Alaska Air Group Inc. (Alaska Airlines/Horizon Air): 90
  • AMR Corp. (American Airlines): 100
  • Delta Air Lines: 90
  • JetBlue Airways Group: 90
  • Southwest Airlines Co.: 90
  • United Continental Holdings Inc.: 100
  • US Airways Group: 85
  • Virgin America: 90


  • Caesars Entertainment Corp. (Caesars/Harrah’s): 100
  • Carlson Companies Inc. (Radisson): 85
  • Choice Hotels International Inc.: 100
  • Hyatt Hotels Corp: 100
  • Kimpton Hotels and Restaurant Group Inc.: 100
  • Marriott International Inc.: 90
  • MGM Resorts International: 90
  • Starwood Hotel and Resorts Worldwide (W Hotels/Westin): 100
  • Wyndam Worldwide Corp: 90
  • Wynn Resorts Ltd.: 90

As a result of HRC’s new scoring criteria Hilton Hotels Corp. and InterContinental Hotels Group Americas scores dropped significantly. With a score of 60, Hilton dropped 30 points from the previous year; and InterContinental received a 65, down from 85.

Hilton released the following statement:

Hilton Worldwide strives to be a welcoming and inclusive workplace for LGBT employees. We have a solid foundation in place, including an equal employment opportunity policy and spousal and partner benefits, but we also acknowledge that there’s more work to be done. We are proud of our public commitment to LGBT issues, including our ongoing relationships with the Human Rights Campaign, International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Out and Equal Workplace Advocates and Reaching Out MBA. For example, we were a platinum sponsor of the HRC National Dinner this year. We are also building out our LGBT employee group, and our director of PR for our Hilton Hotels and Resorts brand was selected as a 2011 ‘Tastemaker’ by Out.

HRC’s complete report including the scoring criteria is available online.


American Airlines press release

Caesars press release

Choice Hotels press release

Hyatt press release

Marriott press release

MGM Resorts press release

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