Special Events

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Hotels Profit From Online Bookings Hotel companies that aren't riding the Internet wave of online booking could lose business to hotels that do offer the service.

Online expenditures for hotel bookings were $6 billion last year and are expected to reach $20 billion to $30 billion by the end of 2001, according to the American Hotel & Motel Association.

AH&MA says that 90 percent of hotel companies have Web sites. Of these, 94 percent have detailed photographs of their properties, 78 percent have maps, and 39 percent allow users to book rooms online. And of those that offer online booking, 82 percent of their Internet business comes through their sites.

Hotel companies aim to raise the number of online bookings from the 1 percent to 2 percent industry average. Many expect the Internet to account for 10 percent of their annual bookings, according to AH&MA.

Though online booking offers monetary profit, many properties aren't rushing to offer the service. "Some hotel properties are still 'mom and pop' operations and their consumers are fine with that," says Tia Gordon, AH&MA marketing and communications coordinator. "They choose to not be as technologically savvy to cater to that group of people."

American Hotel & Motel Association

1201 New York Ave. N.W., Suite 600

Washington, DC 20005

202/289-3100

Web site: www.ahma.com

Dallas-based The Freeman Companies, provider of exposition and convention services, has acquired related service companies PM Displays and Party Time Rentals, both of Ottawa. Freeman will incorporate the companies into its Canadian subsidiary, Freeman Decorating, which provides themed decoration for special events. PM Displays has taken the Freeman Decorating name and will be managed by Ron Loves. Ken Crooker will manage Party Time Rentals, which will retain its name. 1120 Old Innes Road, Ottawa, ON, Canada K1B 3V2; Freeman Decorating, 613/748-7180; Party Time Rentals, 613/745-4652; Web site: www.freemanco.com.

Meeting and event planner Corporate EventSolutions has relocated its office to San Jose, Calif. 1658 E. Capitol Expressway, #335, San Jose, CA 95121; 408/532-8939; Web site: www.eventsolutions.com.

Lincolnwood, Ill.-based off-site catering company Food For Thought is expanding its corporate headquarters by 9,000 square feet to accommodate 12 new offices, a classroom, a library/resource center and additional garage space. 7001 Ridgeway, Lincolnwood, IL 60712; 847/982-2608.

Pacific World Nusantara, a destination management services company based in Sanur on the Indonesian island of Bali, has created a special event division. Yvonne Suberamaniam will serve as director of the new division, which will operate out of the Bali International Convention Centre. P.O. Box 36, Nusa Dua 80363, Bali, Indonesia; 62 361 778379; Web site: www.pacificworld.com.

Southfield, Mich.-based broadcast production management company Palladium Productions has changed its name to The Palladium Co.. The company has opened new offices in Las Vegas, Dallas and Chicago. 21674 Melrose Ave., Southfield, MI 48075; 248/354-2571.

Los Angeles catering firm An Original Occasion has become the in-house caterer for 5th & Sunset Studios West. Chef David McMillan will base his food operations out of the studio's kitchen. An Original Occasion also will provide off-site catering on photo shoots. 5850 W. Third St., PMB 350, Los Angeles, CA 90036; 323/467-2111; Web site: www.aooevents.com.

The shareholders of Sturtevant, Wis.-based Johnson Worldwide Associates, parent company of Binghamton, N.Y.-based Eureka! Tents, have approved a name change to Johnson Outdoors to reflect the corporation's shift to manufacturing and marketing outdoor recreation products. The company's Nasdaq trading symbol changed from JWAIA to JOUT on March 1. 1326 Willow Road, Sturtevant, WI 53177; 414/884-1500; Web site: www.jwa.com.

Los Angeles-based Premiere Valet Services, a provider of valet parking for special events, has acquired Goldbergs Valet of Canoga Park, Calif. 6601 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 201, Los Angeles, CA 90038; 323/957-4177.

What's new with you is news to us. Contact Keri O'Brien, associate editor, Special Events Magazine, at 800/543-4116, ext. 243; fax: 310/317-0264; or e-mail: [email protected]

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