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ABC News Out Of Charleston  S.C. Reports Event Planner Pleads No Contest To Fraud, Breach Of Trust

...CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV)—A local wedding planner pleaded no contest Thursday to fraud and breach of trust charges.
   Robert Lawson Smith's plea came nearly five months after he was arrested and accused of using a client's credit card to pay off personal debts.
   According to Smith's attorney, David Aylor, Smith -- who also goes by the name Lawson Roberts -- pleaded no contest to one count of financial transaction card fraud over $500 and one county of breach of trust with fraudulent intent.

Massive Undertaking Unveiled At One Of Florida's Top Resorts For Meetings

DESTIN, Fla.—Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa has completed a four-month, $12.5 million renovation of its lobby and public space, Sandcastles Restaurant and Lounge, Hadashi Sushi Bar, Spa Tower guest rooms and Serenity by the sea Spa. The renovation is part of a multi-year transformation project totaling more than $30 million.
“This was a massive undertaking and perfectly reflects our commitment to maintaining the standard of excellence that sets us apart from so many other Florida beach resorts,” said the hotel's Gary Brielmayer.

Because We Meet, Hotels In Orlando Keep Building Meeting Space

ORLANDO—The Wyndham Orlando Resort International Drive has completed of a multimillion-dollar renovation that includes a renovated lobby lounge, guest rooms and 25,000 square feet of newly constructed meeting space and an outdoor venues for weddings and events. The completed hotel renovation complements a 100,000-square-foot retail and dining development, I-Shops, taking shape on International Drive.
   The hotel’s meeting space renovation includes a new 25,000-square-foot ballroom. Exterior renovations are near completion as well, with new landscaping on the Grand Lawn that is used for events. Additional upgrades are set to take place throughout 2014.

Louisville Could Become The Next Nashville With These Two Game Changers

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Omni Hotels and Resorts is set to build a 600-room convention hotel in downtown Louisville with an opening no later than 2017. In addition to the planned 70,000 square feet of meeting space, attendees will have access to an additional 300,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space at the Kentucky International Convention Center.
   “The Omni is a game-changer for Louisville’s hospitality industry increasing our convention business potential in a competitive marketplace,” said Karen Williams, who was recently named as the new president/CEO of the Louisville CVB.
   ConventionSouth Editor Marlane Bundock says she has her eyes on Louisville, noting that "news like this shows the city is moving into the international meetings marketplace...just like Nashville is with its new convention district."

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