Black Meetings and Tourism

March / April 2015

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mated cost of the overall Resort development exceeds $300 million. The existing beachfront Henderson Park Inn, also owned by Dunavant Enterprises and one of the most acclaimed small hotels in the country, will continue to service guests. Since ground was broken on The Henderson in January of 2014, the multi-million dollar project has already created hundreds of jobs. An economic impact study projects that the 171-room resort hotel will cre- ate a total of over 1,557 direct and indirect jobs. This includes 677 con- struction jobs, and 261 staff positions that The Henderson will employ. Governor Rick Scott said, "Florida businesses have created more than 700,000 jobs since December 2010, and the creation of the Henderson Beach Resort is great news for local families and the millions of visitors who come to our state each year. Florida is home to many of the world's most beautiful beaches, and our tourism industry is a signif- icant economic driver. We are proud to live in a state where so many people choose to live, work and visit, and I look forward to the comple- tion of this project." For more information on The Henderson: visit www.TheHender- For group inquiries, call (540) 687-3710. The Resort is not yet accepting individual reservations. 11 B M & T ••• March/April 2015 ••• Recognizing exceptional service and accommodations, AAArecently awarded MGM Resorts International seven 2015 Five Diamond Awards for its resorts and restaurants. Included on this prestigious list are Bellagio Resort & Casino, ARIA Resort & Casino, ARIA Sky Suites and SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand. Renowned restaurants Picasso and Le Cirque, both at Bellagio, and Joël Robuchon Restaurant at MGM Grand also received the accolade. Bellagio, the first resort in Las Vegas to achieve this milestone received its 14th consecutive AAA Five Diamond this year. Two of the resort's restau- rants were also bestowed Five Diamond status: Chef Julian Serrano's cele- brated Picasso received the distinction for the 15th consecutive year and Le Cirque for the 13th year. "The AAA Five Diamond Award symbolizes the highest level of excel- lence in luxury and guest relations," said Randy Morton, president and COO of Bellagio. "Each year, this is an important accomplishment for Bellagio, Picasso and Le Cirque, recognizing the dedication and impeccable service our team provides guests each and every day." ARIA Resort & Casino and ARIA Sky Suites each earned Five Diamonds once again this year. In 2010, within its first year of operation, ARIA was recognized as a AAA Five Diamond resort, a distinction rare for hotels to achieve in such a short time. This year marks the fifth consecutive recognition for ARIA and the fourth for Sky Suites. Bobby Baldwin, ARIA president and CEO, said, "The AAA Five Diamonds are a testament to our team's tireless commitment to delivering extraordinary experiences for our guests, exceeding expectations at every turn." Additionally, AAA has awarded SKYLOFTS and Joël Robuchon Restaurant at MGM Grand with Five Diamond Awards for the ninth and tenth years, respectively. Scott Sibella, president and COO of MGM Grand, said, "Our team works diligently to maintain our exceptional service standards and provide a first-class luxury experience in both hospitality and fine dining." To be considered for a AAA rating, properties and restaurants undergo an extensive evaluation by AAA experts while Five Diamond establishments go through a much more thorough process. Accommodations are judged on the facility exterior, public areas, guest rooms, amenities and bathrooms. Restaurants are evaluated on various criteria including food, service and decor. Each year AAA reviews more than 29,000 hotels with only .4 percent awarded a Five Diamond. Out of the 30,000 restaurants evaluated, only .2 percent are honored with the distinction. In 2014,183 establishments earned a AAA Five Diamond rating. MGM RESORTS INTERNATIONAL CELEBRATES PRESTIGIOUS 2015 AAA FIVE DIAMONDS Four Resorts and Three Restaurants Recognized

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