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Holiday Inn Express Partners With Reading Is Fundamental to Promote a Smart Start in Education|
ATLANTA, GA, (PRNewswire), March 25, 2007 - Holiday Inn Express is partnering with Reading Is Fundamental, Inc. (RIF), the oldest and largest non-profit children's literacy organization in the U.S., to help put books and literacy resources in the hands of the children who need them most -- and "smart" guests can help.
As part of the partnership, RIF will receive a donation equal to 9 percent of the consumed room rate for every guest who initiates a reservation via www.hiexpress.com/rif starting today. This ongoing program does not limit travel timeframes and offers the lowest Internet rate guaranteed for each of the brand's nearly 1,700 properties worldwide. The brand has pledged to raise at least $100,000 for RIF by the end of the year through this and other programs. Each reservation made through the site is a crucial step in helping RIF serve 4.5 million children in need each year.
In addition, Holiday Inn Express properties across the country are committing to raise at least $1,000 per hotel this year by engaging their staffs and local communities in unique ways such as hosting book reading parties. All hotel funds raised will stay in local communities for the purchase of new books and literacy resources, and will benefit local RIF programs. To kick-off the program at the local level, the Holiday Inn Express brand and Scholastic will distribute 150,000 books to RIF programs across the country. Scholastic, a global children's publishing, education and media company, is a long-time supporter of RIF.
"As America's fastest growing hotel brand, we have an opportunity to leverage our system size and strength and make a substantial impact on children's literacy nationwide," said Verchele Wiggins, vice president, Brand Management, Holiday Inn Express. "Helping guests 'stay smart' is what the Holiday Inn Express brand is all about, and what could be smarter than developing a love for reading at an early age? We're proud to rally our team and our guests behind this meaningful cause."
Corporate and consumer participation in helping RIF with its mission is critical as the organization provides 16 million new, free books and literacy resources each year to the children and families who need them most. RIF's highest priority is reaching underserved children from birth to age 8.
"With more than a third of our fourth graders reading below basic levels, we have an important mission to improve children's literacy," said Carol H. Rasco, RIF president and CEO. "Through the generous support of Holiday Inn Express and its guests, we can build a culture of literacy where all children have the language skills to succeed in school and life."
Seminole Tribe Finalizes Acquisition of Hard Rock International
MARCH 5, 2007 - Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Mitchell Cypress signs a ceremonial resolution to finalize the Tribe's acquisition of Hard Rock International. (PRNewsFoto/Seminole Tribe of Florida)
HOLLYWOOD, Fla., (PRNewswire), March 11, 2007 - Under the sprawling branches of the "Council Oak" tree, site of multiple milestones in the recent history of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, members of the Tribal Council finalized the acquisition of Hard Rock International with a ceremonial closing event. Chairman Mitchell Cypress, Vice Chairman Moses Osceola and other leaders of the Tribe signed a ceremonial acquisition resolution. As of early afternoon today, the Seminole Tribe officially took ownership of Hard Rock International, Inc.
In December, 2006, the Seminole Tribe announced it had contracted to acquire Hard Rock International and other related entities from The Rank Group Plc for approximately $965 million. Hard Rock International is one of the most globally recognized music, entertainment, leisure and dining brands and has a network of 124 signature Hard Rock Cafes in 46 countries.
It includes the world's largest collection of authentic music memorabilia. The purchase includes the Hard Rock brand controlled by The Rank Group Plc and the entire collection of music memorabilia, as well as 68 company-owned Hard Rock Cafe Restaurants and retail stores, including 44 in the United States, three in Canada, 17 throughout Europe, three in Australia and one in Puerto Rico. The deal also includes licensing or franchise agreements for another 56 restaurants and five hotels, plus Hard Rock Live performance venues. Hard Rock Cafe International is headquartered in Orlando, Fla.
The purchase is believed to be the first of a major international corporation by a Native American Indian Tribe and marks a milestone in the growing economic power and prominence of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and other Indian tribes in today's business world. The Seminole Tribe is funding the purchase price from a combination of debt issued by a new Hard Rock operating company and equity funding from the Tribe's Gaming Division capital structure. The Seminole Tribe of Florida currently owns and operates two Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., under terms of a license agreement with Hard Rock International.
Growth Planned for Hard Rock International
Both Seminole Tribe Chairman Mitchell Cypress and Seminole Gaming Chief Executive Officer James Allen stressed the Tribe's plans to work with current Hard Rock International management to build on the existing growth plans and implement new strategies for accelerated growth for the company, which will continue to be headquartered in Orlando, Fla.
"This is a proud moment for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and for all Indian Tribes," said Cypress, who heads an elected Tribal Council. "It is also an opportunity for the Seminole Tribe to diversify its business operations and help a very successful company to achieve even greater growth. Hard Rock International has an experienced management team and dedicated employees at every restaurant, hotel and Rock Shop."
The driving force behind the Tribe's purchase of Hard Rock International is Seminole Gaming Chief Executive Officer James Allen, who is responsible for spearheading the tremendous success of the two Seminole Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos. Said Allen, "This is an outstanding opportunity. Licensing fees contributed by the Seminole Tribe have been in excess of 25 percent of Hard Rock International corporate profits, and this acquisition allows the Tribe to redirect those millions of dollars for the purchase of Hard Rock International. Given the huge success of Hard Rock International and the strong impact of Hard Rock hotels and casinos, the growth of this brand has unlimited potential."
Four Seasons Named to Fortune 100 Best for Ten Consecutive Years
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), March 11, 2007 - When management at Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto started the hiring process, the response was overwhelming. Three thousand people applied for the 300 jobs available at the Hotel, which opened last January.
"In North America and around the world, when we open a new hotel or resort, we are fortunate that so many people have an interest in working for Four Seasons," said Isadore Sharp, chairman and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. "We are truly grateful for the recognition by our employees in FORTUNE magazine each year. It has gone a long way to build our reputation as a top employer."
For the 10th consecutive year, Four Seasons is included in FORTUNE magazine's list of the "100 Best Companies to Work For," ranking 53rd. It is also considered an "All Star" company by the magazine as it is one of only 18 organizations that have been on the list every year since it launched in 1998.
"There is no greater endorsement than one that comes from your employees," said Nick Mutton, executive vice president, human resources. "Over more than 40 years we have worked very hard to build a culture where our people feel as respected and cared for as our guests and we're honoured that they have recognized us in such a meaningful way."
Archived Hotel News:
• Hilton St. Louis Downtown Recognized for Best Overall Performance
• Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel St. Louis to Undergo Multi-Million Dollar Renovation
• Marriott Makes Sweeping Move To Eliminate Trans Fats from Food At Over 2,300 Hotels in North America
• Loews Hotels Bans Artificial Trans-Fats at
Its 18 Hotels and Resorts
• Adults Miss the Luxuries of a Hotel Stay When Traveling Home for the Holidays
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