Black Meetings and Tourism

May / June 2016

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the transaction, and holders of over 95 percent of Starwood shares pres- ent and voting at the meeting, representing over 63 percent of outstand- ing shares, voted in favor of a proposal to approve the transaction. Arne Sorenson, Marriott's president and chief executive officer, said, "With today's successful stockholder approval milestone, we are that much closer to completing our transaction. Our teams continue to plan the integration of our two companies, and we are committed to a timely and smooth transition. We appreciate the stockholders' vote of confi- dence in our ability to drive long-term value and opportunity as a com- bined company." Thomas B. Mangas, Starwood's chief executive officer, stated, "Today's vote is a significant step toward closing, and we are grateful for the continued enth usiasm and support for this merger. There is no doubt that this transaction puts our company on the best path forward and we remain excited about the opportunity this combination will cre- ate for our stockholders, associates, owners and guests." At closing Starwood stockholders will receive 0.8 shares of Marriott common stock plus $21.00 in cash for each share of Starwood common stock. As previously an nounced, the parties have cleared the pre-merger antitrust review in the United States and Canada and multiple other jurisdictions. The transaction remains on track to close mid-2016 pend- ing completion of Starwood's planned divestiture of its timeshare busi- ness, obtaining remaining regulatory approvals, including in the European Union and China, and the satisfaction of other customary closing conditions. 9 B M & T ••• May/June 2016 ••• G aylord National Resort and Convention Center officially announced it has begun construction on its new Riverview Ballroom project. The hotel's area general manager, Douglas Ridge, and leadership team marked the occasion with a ceremonial groundbreaking. The dramatic, freestand- ing 23,000-sq. ft. ballroom is s c h e d u l e d t o o p e n i n J u l y 2017. Situated directly on the banks of the Potomac River, the new building will feature glass windows on three sides to showcase the spectacular view of the river, Woodrow Wilson Bridge and Old Town Alexandria. The ballroom will offer 16,000 sq. ft. of indoor meeting and event space, as well as two outdoor terraces. Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center is the largest, non-gaming hotel and convention center on the East Coast, located along the banks of the Potomac River in National Harbor, Maryland. Part of the Marriott International family of brands, the resort opened in April 2008 and is only eight miles from downtown Washington, D.C. The AAA-Four Diamond resort offers nearly 2,000 rooms including 110 suites; a 19-story atrium; 500,000-sq. ft. of convention space; acclaimed restaurants including Old Hickory Steakhouse; a full-service resort spa, Relache Spa; and Pose Rooftop Lounge. For the latest updates and information on Gaylord National Resort, visit, call (301) 965-4000 or follow at CONSTRUCTION BEGINS ON NEW RIVERVIEW BALLROOM

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