Washington D.C. making Olympics bid for summer 2024

WASHINGTON (AP) — The inconveniences of the daily routine in the nation's capital will be a selling point as Washington, D.C., makes a push to host the 2024 Olympics.
"We are the safest and most secure city in the world," said Bob Sweeney, president of DC 2024. "The largest expense of any Olympic Games is security, and the fact that we've got it pretty built in to our everyday life here in Washington, we would leverage that asset tremendously to put on this high-profile event."
Sweeney announced Tuesday the formation of a nonprofit group aimed at making D.C. the first American city to host the Summer Games since Atlanta in 1996, and the first to host an Olympics since the Winter Games were held in Salt Lake City in 2002.

The bid has a long way to go. Washington was one of 35 U.S. cities to receive a letter from the U.S. Olympic Committee to gauge interest, and Sweeney expects about 10 to step forward as serious candidates. The USOC hasn't even decided for certain that it wants to bid for the 2024 Games, which will be awarded by the International Olympic Committee in 2017.

"They need to make sure there is a strong horse to ride," Sweeney said. "And we certainly intend to be that."

Los Angeles, which hosted the 1932 and 1984 Olympics, Philadelphia and Tulsa, Okla., have announced their interest. San Diego wants to host a cross-border Olympics with Mexican neighbor Tijuana. Other potential 2024 contenders from around the world include Paris; Rome; Doha, Qatar; and a city in South Africa.

Washington made a push for the 2012 Games a decade ago and was thought to be the favorite to be the U.S. representative, but the USOC chose New York instead. There was concern at the time that the D.C. bid was tainted by hearings held by Congress in connection with the Salt Lake City bribery scandal, the thought being that the IOC would not want to put the Olympics in the city where its then-president, Juan Antonio Samaranch, was grilled by lawmakers under oath.

New York went on to finish fourth in the international bidding, losing out to eventual winner London. Chicago made a bid for 2016 and suffered a stinging first-round exit, with Rio de Janeiro winning the games.

Chicago's defeat was blamed partly on a revenue-sharing feud between the USOC and IOC. The two sides have since resolved the dispute, and USOC leaders have worked hard to improve their standing in the international Olympic community.

"It's a different USOC than it was, certainly, for Chicago," Sweeney said.
Sweeney, a former president of the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, helped out with D.C.'s 2012 bid and said he has no concerns about the political problems that hurt that effort. He pointed out that Washington was recently chosen to host a major Olympic meeting — the general assembly of the Association of National Olympic Committees — in 2015. D.C. is also making a push to host the 2017 fencing world championships, which would be timely if Thomas Bach, a former German fencer, is chosen as the next IOC president in an election next month.

Sweeney said he hopes to raise $3 million to $5 million to support the D.C. bid by the end of 2014. He estimates the cost of hosting the Olympics in D.C. would range from $3.5 billion to $6 billion, although he expected it would be toward the lower end because a good deal of the infrastructure is already in place.

There will be the need, however, for a new stadium to host the opening ceremony and track and field. Sweeney said he has met with the Washington Redskins, whose lease at their current stadium in Maryland expires in 2026. D.C. leaders will be pushing hard for the team to come back to the city at that time, so a stadium built for the Olympics could become an NFL stadium shortly afterward.

Otherwise, DC 2024 boasts that the area has "more sporting facilities in a 40-mile radius than any other city in the U.S." and "more than 100,000 hotel rooms." Sweeney said the events would stretch from Baltimore to Richmond, Va., but would be mostly concentrated around D.C.

"We are the only major capital city in the world," Sweeney said, "not to have hosted the games yet."

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/washington-dc-to-bid-for-2024-summer-olympics-95947.html#ixzz2dHuRtOz1

Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2013/08/washington-dc-to-bid-for-2024-summer-olympics-95947.html#ixzz2dHuAl200

JetBlue goes after high-income fliers with lie-flat seats

Los Angeles Times

JetBlue Airways, the low-cost New York-based carrier, will begin vying for big-spending business travelers with the introduction next spring of upper-class seats.
The airline, which until now has offered only economy seats, will install new lie-flat seats and private suites on transcontinental flights on the highly competitive routes between Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco and New York.
JetBlue is not skimping on comfort. The new seats added to Airbus A321 planes will have adjustable firmness, a massage function, a 15-inch wide-screen television  and a "wake-me-for-service" indicator if the flier decides to sleep.
The private suites will include a closeable door for privacy.
The airline plans to dedicate 11 planes to serve the two transcontinental routes, with expansions along the same routes and the addition of lie-flat seats on other routes, depending on demand, the airline said.
"Transcontinental routes have had high premium fares we believe we can beat," said JetBlue Chief Executive Dave Barger"By offering our own unique seats and enriched service elements that will include some soon-to-be-announced partnerships, we are creating a one-of-a-kind experience that will serve this market in a way only JetBlue can."

TSA Expands Access to PreCheck Program

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced that it will add a new process allowing more U.S. citizens to enroll in TSA PreCheck , an expedited screening program that allows pre-approved airline travelers access to a more efficient security checkpoint experience.
Once enrolled in PreCheck, fliers can leave on their shoes, light outerwear and belt, keep their laptop in its case and their 3-1-1 compliant liquids/gels bag in a carry-on in select screening lanes.
Previously, to be eligible for TSA PreCheck, travelers had to opt-in through an airline’s frequent-flier program, or to register in one of CBP’s Global Entry, SENTRI or NEXUS Trusted Traveler programs.
To date, more than 12 million travelers have already experienced TSA PreCheck at 40 airports nationwide.
Starting later this year, U.S. citizens will be able to apply online and visit an enrollment site to provide identification and fingerprints.  TSA will launch the expanded program at two initial enrollment sites—Washington Dulles International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport—with plans to expand to additional enrollment sites nationwide.
The TSA PreCheck application program requires a background check, fingerprints, and an anticipated enrollment fee of $85 for a five-year membership.  Following approval, travelers will receive a Known Traveler Number (KTN) and the ability to go through TSA PreCheck lanes at security checkpoints at participating airports.
TSA will continue to incorporate random and unpredictable security measures throughout the airport, and no travelers are guaranteed expedited screening.

AEG To Manage Los Angeles Convention Center

by Michael C. Lowe | July 03, 2013
The Los Angeles City Council has voted to allow Anschutz Entertainment Group to run the city's convention center, the first time in its 42 years of operation that it will be managed by a private company, according to the Los Angeles Times. The vote came amid concerns from local hoteliers that AEG would have an unfair advantage in filling its hotel rooms while booking conventions (it owns the JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotel complex near the convention center). However, according to AEG officials, hotel bookings would primarily be handled by the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board, a nonprofit organization that operates separately from AEG. In June, Pennsylvania-based SMG challenged the pending appointment of AEG, claiming the company didn't have enough experience to run the facility. That challenge was dismissed by the city council. The management company will be paid $250,000 as an annual management fee and can qualify for another $250,000 if it meets certain performance measures.
The IEI Spotlight: 
Anaheim, CA April 24, 13

Over 7000 middle school, high school and college students from 24 different countries traveled to Anaheim CA, along with their parents, friends and their robots to compete in the 2013 Vex Robotics Competition World Championship at the Anaheim Convention Center on April 17 - 20, 2013.

This event was a massive undertaking, led by the Robotics Education Competition Foundation who tapped INFINITY EVENTS inc as the event management company. Also attended by countries from as far as Jordon, Bahrain, Brazil, China and Japan, this three day event is literally the robotics and technological equivalent to the Olympic games complete with a Parade of Nations kicked off by Art Attack, A Live Speed Artist who created a live 10 minute speed painting of a robot as each country took the stage proudly carrying their nations flag.

On the first day of competition, thousands of hopeful competitors entered the convention center and stepped onto miles of red carpet that served as a roadway to each of the (9) competition divisions throughout the 500,000+ square feet of exhibit Halls A,B & C as well as the Anaheim Arena. Each division included large bleachers for the public to watch these battles take place. "This event is like managing a small city" mentioned Infinity Events owner, Robb Thornsberry.There was something happening every minute of every day. Infinity Events planned and managed over 70 different food functions, multiple main stage presentations and awards ceremonies in the Anaheim Arena, media coverage, speaker symposiums and receptions at the conclusion of each day. These receptions took place through out the Anaheim Convention Center, The Anaheim Marriott and The Anaheim Hilton.
On Friday evening, April 19, the highly anticipated reveal of the 2014 game for competitors eager to get a jump on next year's robot designs, included a towering, four sided Kabuki drop, dramatic lighting and pyrotechnics.

The festivities reached a crescendo on Saturday night, April 20 as over 15,000 people filled the Anaheim arena to watch the division champion alliances work together to defeat their competition in the Finals. Kicking-off the Finals, the final teams competing for the championship were lead into the arena by The UCLA Marching Band.

Participants were then entertained by Light Force who is the next generation of hi-tech drumming.  This 8-person cast tours the country lighting up the stage with their energy, their talent, and their powerful performances.  Playing custom made instruments combining LED lighting with built in drums, light sabre like drum sticks, and fire-wire light up jackets, this 3 1/2 minute performance rocked the audience all the way up to the surprise ending where the word "Robotics" was spelled out in lights on their drums.

At the conclusion of the finals, the newly crowned world champions in each category were photographed by media, coaches and families as pyrotechnics provided by Fireworks America showered a fountain of sparks behind the winners on stage.

The VEX Robotics World Championship is a gathering of top robotics teams from around the world to celebrate their accomplishments and compete with/against the best of the best which is managed by the Robotics Educational Competition Foundation.

- 300 volunteers, 70 client staff members, 30 crew members and multiple VIP's, sponsors and executives
- IE produced arena main stage ceremonies and events including a parade of nations, - 2014 Game Reveal complete with pyro and a kabuki drop and closing ceremonies.
- Produced and coordinated 3 main stage performances including Art Attack Live Speed Painting, The UCLA Marching Band and Lightforce


After making its long, complicated, and controversial journey to Los Angeles, space shuttle Endeavour's public exhibition is now open. The shuttle, which flew a total of 25 missions from 1992 to 2012, is in a temporary housing at the California Science Center, where it will remain for about five more years. At that time, the shuttle will be relocated into a new, permanent air and space wing at the museum, which will house the shuttle in takeoff position with its twin solid rocket boosters and external tank attached.

The OC Spotlight:

What's New in OC / Southern California
The Anaheim Convention Center Grand Plaza, a 100,000 square foot outdoor multi-use area designed for outdoor enjoyment and meeting space, officially opened on Saturday, Jan. 12, with a  ribbon-cutting ceremony and a free concert by the Orange County Symphony, Anaheim's resident symphony orchestra.

Located off Convention Way at Harbor Blvd., the Grand Plaza creates a pedestrian esplanade that spans from the entrance to the Anaheim Convention Center and flows between the Hilton Anaheim and the Anaheim Marriott hotels. The Grand Plaza provides a uniquely Southern California outdoor environment that can be utilized year-round for a wide variety of events.

The pedestrian plaza includes 151 palm trees (more than half of the palm trees in the new design were re-purposed from the existing landscape), 60 orange trees reminiscent of Anaheim and Orange County's citrus industry, a river of lights that will run through the middle of the plaza, water features symbolizing the mountains and ocean, a 48-foot lighted entry monument, and more than 80,000 square feet of colored concrete and pavers. Key elements to the Grand Plaza are its eco-friendly features: The lighting utilizes LED technology, adding to the energy efficiency and longevity of each fixture, and plants chosen for the design are drought tolerant.


Ok...enough about Robb.

Now that voting has closed for the Event Solutions Spotlight Awards and we no longer have to endure  another reminder to vote for Robb, let's direct our attention back to what really makes Robb good at his job, and that is finding the absolute best talent possible and somehow managing to convince them to join the team at Infinity Events!

We are excited to announce that Lucy Montoya Roberts has joined the team as Senior Account Executive.  Ms Montoya Roberts brings over 20 years of event management experience to the team working with Fortune 500 companies including: The Professional Golfers’ Association, Freeman, KIIS-FM Los Angeles,  Washington Mutual, Deloitte & Touche, Old Navy, Daisy Rock Guitar, The Anaheim CVB, LA CVB, NAMM Show, Comic-Con, Paramount Studios and Marvel Comics.

With Lucy’s tenure producing and managing high profile events, this elevates the INFINITY EVENTS' dynamic in producing an unparalleled experience for their clients.  Along with her vast experience in trade shows, exhibit management and event design, Lucy is honing her skills in Social Media Marketing at the University of California, Irvine. 

In addition, Lucy has served on the Board of Directors for the Meeting Professionals’ International, Orange County Chapter and the International Association of Exhibitions & Events Southern California Chapter and Exhibit Designers & Producers Association Southern California Chapter.  Along being an active member of the MPI Southern California Chapter.  She has been the recipient of Outstanding Leadership Award for Freeman along with The Shining Star Award from MPISCC for her dedication and leadership.

You can reach her at lucy@infinityeventsinc.com

Welcome LUCY!!!!