Monday, March 30, 2015

VISIT DENVER Promotes Four New Managers

Four new managers have been promoted at VISIT DENVER, The Convention & Visitors Bureau, where they will help in the mission of bringing more conventions and tourism to The Mile High City.  Tourism is Denver’s second largest industry, employing more than 51,000 people while generating $4 billion in annual spending.

“We are always proud to promote from within, and we have recently been able to help four of our team members advance their careers in tourism,” said Richard Scharf, president & CEO of the Bureau.

Advancing their careers with promotions are:

Brittany Froelich has been promoted to convention sales manager, Midwest region. Froelich joined the Bureau in 2010 as a sales coordinator and was quickly promoted to executive meetings manager, Eastern region. With strong local hotel sales relationships, she consistently exceeded her goals and has now been promoted to convention sales manager, Midwest region. In this role, she will be responsible for convention sales for association groups using up to 950 hotel rooms a night for groups headquartered in the seven Midwestern states of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. She is a graduate of Florida State University.

Amanda Rodriguez joined VISIT DENVER as a convention services coordinator in 2013 and is being promoted to executive meetings manager, East region. In this position, she will be responsible for selling Denver as a location for small meeting business of up to 150 hotel rooms from all of the major east coast and southern U.S. states. She is a graduate of Johnson & Wales University in Denver.

Phillip Rohrbach is being promoted to executive meetings manger of the West region. Rohrbach joined VISIT DENVER as a convention sales coordinator after stints at the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Albuquerque Convention & Visitors Bureau. In his new position he will be responsible for small meeting business of up to 150 hotel rooms from groups headquartered in all Western states. He is a graduate of Colorado State University.

Jenna VanOort has been promoted to tourism manager. VanOort joined VISIT DENVER in 2014 as a visitor information specialist, and previously worked in the Tourist Information Center, providing information to visitors. In her new position, she will support international tourism marketing efforts, help arrange familiarization tours and site inspections of Denver, and help manage the video content at the Bureau’s new high tech Tourist Information Center, which opened earlier this month. She will also assist on various other tourism initiatives, from Denver Arts Week to Mile High Holidays. She is a graduate of Northwestern College in Iowa.

With these recent promotions, VISIT DENVER has also hired two young professionals who will be assisting with convention sales and services.

Ursula da Silva, convention sales coordinator, will be assisting the department in arranging meeting planner tours and helping with potential convention bookings in the city. She is a graduate of Temple University.

Erin Frazier, convention services coordinator, will be assisting the department with conventions already booked into the city.  She is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Frazier recently earned a VISIT DENVER Go the Extra Mile Hospitality Award for her work at The Crawford Hotel.

For more information about VISIT DENVER and career opportunities with the organization, please go to

Monday, March 16, 2015

Curley Named GM of Westin Denver International Airport

Denver, CO…March 16, 2015…Tom Curley has been named as General Manager of The Westin Denver International Airport.   Curley comes to the hotel from The Westin Denver Downtown, where he has served for the past 12 years as General Manager. Curley will continue to serve as Area Managing Director for Starwood Hotels and Resorts in Colorado overseeing Westin, Sheraton and St. Regis brand hotels.  Curley serves as a board member for Visit Denver and has chaired the Convention Committee as well as serves as a board member for the Colorado Hotel and Lodging Association.

“We were delighted that Tom has been named GM for The Westin Denver International Airport,” said Denver International Airport CEO Kim Day.  “He is a well-respected professional, a wonderful community partner and we look forward to working with him in his new position.”

Curley came to Denver from the Radisson Resort and Spa in Scottsdale where he served for four years as General Manager and Area Managing Director. At that time he was appointed by the Scottsdale Mayor and City Council to the Tourism Development Commission.  He also served on the Executive Committee of the Arizona Tourism Alliance, the Board of Directors of the Valley Hotel Resort Association, and the Board of Directors for Scottsdale CVB.  During his time in Scottsdale, Curley had area responsibility for six properties in the Phoenix metropolitan area as well as Sedona, AZ., with a portfolio that included Radisson, Hilton, Sheraton, Crown Plaza, Residence Inn by Marriott and Homewood Suites brands.

Previously, Curley served for 26 years with Starwood Hotels and Resorts (the ITT Sheraton Corporation) in various management positions in Phoenix, AZ; Atlanta, GA; Los Angeles, CA; San Diego, CA; Boston, MA and Philadelphia, PA

Curley graduated from Villanova University, Villanova, PA with a B.A. in Social Sciences. He attended Duke University Fuqua School of Business Executive Education Program.

The Westin Denver International Airport: Scheduled to open in Q4 of 2015, the 433,000 square foot, 14-story Westin is a modern, convenient destination for both business and leisure travelers at Denver International Airport (DEN). The hotel is part of the new Hotel and Transit Center, which also comprises an outdoor plaza and a public transit center with rail service to downtown Denve
Each of the 519 guest rooms, including 35 suites, offers the ultimate in comfort and technology, plus floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the Rocky Mountains and/or Colorado’s High Plains. Contemporary accommodations provide guests with thoughtful, distinctive amenities such as Westin’s signature Heavenly® Bed and Heavenly® Bath. The 37,000 square-foot conference center will feature a Grand ballroom and a junior ballroom, both divisible by two as well as 15 meeting/board rooms of varying sizes and spectacular pre-function space providing 19 meeting rooms in total when the ballrooms are divided.  The meeting space also boasts a 10,000 square foot pre-function area that showcases a panoramic three-story floor to ceiling glass curtain wall that is approximately 100 ft. wide, making meeting space truly unique compared to other meeting space in hotels.

With a sleek design by Gensler, including stunning glass curtain walls, the hotel boasts a range of world-class amenities. Reinvigorate in the WestinWORKOUT® Fitness Studio, and refresh in the 11th floor indoor swimming pool overlooking the iconic tent roof of the DIA terminal while the pool and hot tub overlook the Colorado landscape, airfields, downtown, and the Rocky Mountain Front Range. Multiple dining venues will serve a variety of cuisines and SuperFoodsRx™ options.
The RTD East Rail, opening in spring 2016, will provide passengers and hotel guests a way to travel between DIA and downtown Denver in just 35 minutes.  Guests however won’t have to go downtown as the hotel will sit adjacent to the new open-air public plaza. The plaza will be a great connector between the hotel, terminal and train station. It will be a place where travelers can relax and enjoy public events such as small concerts, farmers markets and/or arts programs which will be programmed throughout the year. 
Denver International Airport is the fifth-busiest airport in the United States with 53 million passengers traveling through the airport each year. DIA is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $26 billion annually for the state and supporting 188,338 jobs.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Global Passenger Traffic's Growth Is Solid

MontrĂ©al, 13 March 2015 – Global passenger traffic started the year strong with year-over-year growth of 4.5% for the month of January. This comes after a rise of over 5% in passenger traffic for 2014 as a whole. All regions reported gains in passenger traffic, with most of the buoyant activity in passenger traffic stemming from double-digit growth rates in the Middle East with gains of 11% in passenger traffic for the month of January. International travel continues to post relatively higher growth with an increase of 5.3%, whereas domestic traffic increased by 4% for the month of January.

Despite the continued uncertainty in the global economy and weakened business confidence that continues to jeopardize further growth in international trade, air freight volumes continue to maintain momentum after the 2014 rebound. Overall volumes increased by 3% in January. While most regions experienced gains, European air freight saw a slight decline.

ACI World Economics Director Rafael Echevarne commented, "While there is an improvement in economic conditions in the United States, weakness lingers on in Russia, the Euro area and Japan. Capital investment growth and prospects in China have also become subdued. Despite the existing perseverance in international trade volumes, particularly for a portion of 2014, weakness in these major economies may translate into bad news for the air freight market in the coming months, particularly at the major freight hubs. Thus, we should continue to monitor the on-going growth in air freight with cautious optimism.

"Although it appears to be business as usual for passenger traffic irrespective of the economic woes, there is some heterogeneity in growth across key emerging aviation markets," Echevarne continued. "While there is slowed growth in passenger traffic in China and Russia, India is now catching up to these two countries. In 2014, Indian passenger traffic rose over 10%. In January alone, Indian traffic grew by over 18% at major commercial airports in the country. The combination of a move towards a more liberalized market for aviation coupled with stronger economic fundamentals has helped to awaken the Bengal tiger."