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Happy Black Friday

Happy Black Friday (and Thanksgiving) everyone! I hope by now you’ve all had your fill of turkey, pumpkin pie and football…maybe even a little midnight rush to the mall to wade through the hordes of shoppers for those mega-deals. Now that the actual day is upon us, it’s all hands on deck – developers testing the website to make sure there are no hiccups while the marketing and senior management wait for the final tallies on revenues. For this, I wish you all a very successful day. Arranging for a fruitful Black Friday takes lots of hard work and (I’d estimate) a minimum of a month’s prep time. If you’re hoping to scrounge together a last minute ad hoc promotion for today, take a deep breath and save that gusto for next year. Moreover, the postmortem on individual consumer spending habits are equally as important as the gross figures. Who …

lmaadminHappy Black Friday
wine barrels amd winemaking equipment in Montepulciano, Italy

In Vino Veritas XXVII: Piedmont Power

For those of you who haven’t visited Italy yet, fake an injury and hop on the next flight out. Well, maybe don’t go that far, but, as an Italophile, I purport that the country should definitely be on your bucket list. The beauty of Italy lies with its vast depth of history and culture as well as the exceptional qualities of its individual regions (remember that Italy as a modern, unified nation has only existed for just over 150 years). One of these regions is the Piedmont in the northwest, centered on the city of Turin with the main appellations in Montferrat around the cities of Asti and Alessandria. For a very long time, it was a part of the Duchy of Savoy, meaning that it still has many cultural links to France. As far as winemaking goes, I wrote a previous article on Tuscany – which is often first …

lmaadminIn Vino Veritas XXVII: Piedmont Power
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10 Pet Peeves of Hotel Fitness Centers

With the desire for healthy eating, exercise and all-round wellness on the rise, creating an environment conducive for guests at your hotel’s fitness facilities is paramount. As a road warrior, staying at some 35+ different properties annually, I’ve had the opportunity to experience a wide variety of these amenities. I don’t contend to be an expert on fitness equipment – this likely requires a PhD in bio-mechanics – but it is nevertheless easy to spot where some hotels are excelling in this regard over others. On this basis, here is my top ten list of pet peeves with hotel fitness centers. 1. Not being open when I want to exercise. I am an early riser. A fitness center that is not open is like candy in a window of a closed store. You drool, but cannot get satisfaction. A 7am opening is way too late; 5am is better. As for …

lmaadmin10 Pet Peeves of Hotel Fitness Centers
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Larry Judges the Copper Skillet

This past Friday, November 21, Larry Mogelonsky was asked to judge the annual Copper Skillet competition for the International Association of Conference Centres (IACC) at the BMO Institute for Learning in the northern end of Toronto. Sponsored by Maison LeGrand, the food competition was amongst five acclaimed Canadian chefs who each had to prepare a dish within 30 minutes. These five included: Luc McCabe – Executive Chef, NAV Centre Rick Doucett – Sous Chef, Donald Gordon Centre Alan Van Heerden – Executive Sous Chef, BMO Institute for Learning Tim Lentz – Sous Chef, Ivey Spencer Leadership Centre Rexy Barit – Baker, BMO Institute for Learning Given a standard assortment of basic ingredients and vegetables (olive oil, butter, red wine, carrots, scallions, broccoli, herbs, spices etc.), the mystery mains were then revealed – red snapper, beef sirloin and pork belly – and each chef then had an additional ten minutes to …

lmaadminLarry Judges the Copper Skillet
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Reservationists Are Unsung Hospitality Heroes

Sometimes we forget the power of a real, live, human salesperson. Jodi Tower, a senior reservation sales agent for FRHI Hotels & Resorts, dishes on her job at the Global Reservation Center. With so much attention on digital sales channels, we sometimes forget the power of a good salesperson, specifically a reservationist. In an attempt to elucidate more about this crucial position, I sought out Jodi Tower, a senior reservation sales agent for FRHI Hotels & Resorts. For those unfamiliar with FRHI, it is a Toronto-based hotel management company that supervises the Fairmont, Raffles and Swissôtel brands with more than 110 properties in 32 countries. With experience in human resources and marketing, Tower works out of FRHI’s Global Reservation Center in Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada, with 300 other specialists who deal primarily with inbound telephone calls but all loyalty program services and technical support issues. The GRC offers services in …

lmaadminReservationists Are Unsung Hospitality Heroes
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Florida Keys to Serve Free Key Lime Pie; Raise Money for Toronto’s Second Harvest

Spreading the Florida Keys’ warmth and free samples of the subtropical island chain’s signature dessert, a Key Lime Pie food truck is set to roll on the streets of Toronto and Hamilton Monday, Nov. 24, through Friday, Nov. 28. While enjoying a complimentary piece of pie, Canadians will be asked to make a donation to the Toronto-based Second Harvest food rescue program. “We want Canadians to get a taste of the Florida Keys,” said Harold Wheeler, director of the Florida Keys & Key West tourism council. “We can’t bring our warm winter temperatures to Toronto, but we can certainly share our favorite dessert.” Wheeler added the tourism council was pleased to be part of an initiative for Second Harvest. “When the Florida Keys & Key West approached us to be part of this unique food truck experience, we were thrilled,” said Tonia Krauser, Second Harvest communications director. “In bringing a …

lmaadminFlorida Keys to Serve Free Key Lime Pie; Raise Money for Toronto’s Second Harvest
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Florida Keys Breakfast Draws Top Montreal Media

LMA organized an exclusive Breakfast event with Montreal media editor and writers. The exclusive media breakfast featured a tasty menu inspired by chef Paul Menta from Key West. Carol Shaughnessy with the Florida Keys & Key West flew up to meet with media members during the breakfast and at deskside meetings to discuss what is new and exciting in the Florida Keys & Key West for 2015. The meetings went well with all of the media outlets asking how they can go down right away!

lmaadminFlorida Keys Breakfast Draws Top Montreal Media
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Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach Debut Breakfast in Toronto

LMA Communications was delighted to host a successful informal breakfast on behalf of COMO Hotels and Resorts at The Windsor Arms Hotel in downtown Toronto today, to select members of the media and travel trade publications. Here to speak about what COMO Hotels and Resorts has to offer Canadian travellers was Javier Beneyto, General Manager of the new Metropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach, De’Anne Nunziato, Account Director for The Americas and Sharon Lee Thony, PR and Marketing Director for The Americas. Media were given the opportunity to try two signature COMO smoothies (the Stress Reliever and the Tropic Aid) as well as the delectable Eggs Royale (Poached eggs with smoked salmon and its roe, fine herbs and Hollandaise Sauce on English muffins) in addition to learning more about COMO’s newest and only property in the United States. LMA would like to thank the COMO Hotels and Resorts team, The Windsor …

Jerry GrymekMetropolitan by COMO, Miami Beach Debut Breakfast in Toronto
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LMA Brings a “Taste of Philadelphia” to Toronto

Visit Philadelphia, in conjunction with LMA Communications, hosted an incredibly successful ‘Philly Foodie’ event at DISH Cooking Studio in Toronto yesterday. Toronto A-list media were on hand to eat, drink and hear everything Philly has to offer foodies (and travellers) from Director of Communications, Donna Schorr and award-winning food and drink journalist, Drew Lazor. Highlighting the evening was native Philadelphian chef, Joncarl Lachman’s incredible signature dish – clams and zuurkol (sauerkraut or sour cabbages as he calls them). From the event, Philadelphia received a number of press trip requests and media coverage with top newspapers, magazines and sites. LMA would like to thank Visit Philadelphia, Drew Lazor, Chef Joncarl Lachman, DISH Cooking Studio and all who attended for making the event a resounding success!

Jerry GrymekLMA Brings a “Taste of Philadelphia” to Toronto