Industry Update

December 1, 2008

SAINT LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER UNVEILS NEW $1.1 MILLION LIFE SCIENCE LAB

The Saint Louis Science Center unveiled its most recent and dynamic experiential learning environment, the Life Science lab. The new space puts visitors into a realistic lab where they can explore, observe and discover the growing field of life sciences. The $1.1 million lab, on the Science Center’s main floor, was substantially funded by a federal grant. The lab includes an atrium entrance, activity benches, a lab classroom and a staff workroom. In the interactive atrium entrance, visitors of all ages receive an introduction to various life science concepts and skills as well as the chance to view and use constantly changing collection items, biological specimens and science tools.

Visitors in the 5th grade and higher can enter the Activity Benches area where they don lab coats and safety gear and work with the real tools of real scientists. Experiments range from isolating DNA from wheat germ to seeing DNA without a microscope to solving a “crime” using chromatography. This area is self-guided and the activities are self-paced.

In the Lab Classroom, visitors experience staff-facilitated activities that require them to observe and follow laboratory rules. The classroom is intended for all ages, families, school groups and educators.

The Staff Workroom is a hub of activity where staff and volunteers perform real experiments and prep experiments for the Lab Classroom and Activity Benches. Visitors also get a behind-the-scenes look into the workings of an authentic laboratory. They are invited to ask questions through the observation window, and learn from the staff inside this state-of-the-art facility.

The Life Science Lab and all experiments are free to the public. For more information, visit www.slsc.org.

SOPHIA M. SACHS BUTTERFLY HOUSE ACCREDITED BY THE ASSOCIATION OF ZOOS & AQUARIUMS

The Association of Zoos & Aquariums (AZA) has announced its accreditation of the Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House in Chesterfield through the year 2013. The Butterfly House is the only facility in the world dedicated entirely to insects and arachnids to achieve AZA accreditation.

To be accredited by the AZA’s independent Accreditation Commission, the Butterfly House underwent a thorough investigation to ensure it will continue to meet ever-rising standards of animal care, veterinary programs, conservation, education and safety. The AZA requires zoos and aquariums to successfully complete this rigorous accreditation process in order to be members of the Association. Institutions are required to resubmit to this process every five years.

The mission of the AZA Accreditation Commission is to establish and uphold the highest zoological and aquarium industry standards through self-evaluation, on-site inspection and peer review. The accreditation process includes a detailed application and a meticulous on-site inspection by a team of trained zoo and aquarium professionals.

Founded in 1924, the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the advancement of zoos and aquariums in the areas of conservation, education, science and recreation.

The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House opened to the public in 1998. Highlights include the 8,000-square-foot glass conservatory, where more than a thousand tropical butterflies mingle in free flight. Dozens of arachnids and other invertebrates from around the world can also be seen in living exhibits.

For more information on the Butterfly House, visit www.butterflyhouse.org or call (636) 530-0076. For more information on the AZA, visit www.aza.org.

PRO BASKETBALL IS COMING BACK TO KANSAS CITY

The Kansas City Spartans is a proud team in the distinguished American Basketball Association (ABA).  The team will begin playing in December 2008. The Spartans are committed to competing at the highest level, by recruiting and training quality players who strive for excellence.

The Kansas City Spartans will provide a fun, safe and family-friendly environment for all sports fans. The team will offer community programs with a strong emphasis on literacy in the urban areas of the city. For more information, visit www.kansascityspartans.com or www.abalive.com.

ACOM LAUNCHES 2nd ANNUAL CONVENTION SERVICES SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

The Association for Convention Operations Management (ACOM), an organization dedicated to advancing the practice of convention services management in the meetings industry, has kicked off its 2nd annual scholarship program sponsored by Freeman Companies.

In an effort to support students studying in the hospitality management field, the Donald S. Freeman, Jr., ACOM Conference Scholarship will provide funding for a student to attend the ACOM Annual Conference on January 9-11, 2009, at the Westin New Orleans. This year, ACOM will distribute applications to a wide variety of colleges and universities across the nation.  The winning student will be given a behind-the-scenes look at how a conference operates as well as the opportunity to network with meeting professionals from across the U.S. and Canada through open forums and interactive sessions.  Additionally, representatives from Freeman will mentor the student before, during and after the conference.

The student will be selected by a panel of ACOM members on December 1, 2008, and will attend the conference on a complimentary basis; travel reimbursement is included within set parameters. The deadline for all application submissions is November 14, 2008.  Students interested in submitting an application can find more information on the ACOM Web site at www.acomonline.org.

For more information about ACOM and the upcoming conference, contact Lynn McCullough at (609) 799-3712 or e-mail [email protected].

Sheraton Overland Park Hotel named Best of Mid-America

The Sheraton Overland Park Hotel at the Convention Center was honored with a “Best of Mid-America” award by Meetings MidAmerica magazine for the third straight year.

Readers of Meetings MidAmerica voted online or by ballot in the March/April edition. Winners were chosen using the following criteria: quality of meeting space; guest rooms; guest services and amenities; food and beverage service; the efficiency and helpfulness of staff; the availability of technical equipment; recreational facilities and activities; and overall value and experience. The awards program is designed to help event planners determine sites in North America “most deserving of their business.”

For more information, visit www.StarwoodHotels.com/OverlandPark/.

Montelle Winery takes the 2008 Governor’s Cup Award

At a wine industry event held Thursday, July 31, at Les Bourgeois Winery in Rocheport, Montelle Winery’s 2007 Dry Vignoles was named the 2007 Governor’s Cup recipient awarded to the best wine in Missouri.  This is the third consecutive Governor’s Cup win for winery owner Tony Kooyumjian, whose Augusta Winery earned the top spot in both 2007 and 2006.

More than 225 of Missouri’s finest wines were sipped at the 2008 Missouri Wine Competition held July 18 and 19 in Columbia.  A panel of expert judges awarded 10 Best of Class, 26 Gold, 47 Silver and 66 Bronze medals to Missouri wines.  Montelle Winery’s 2007 Dry Vignoles was chosen as the best of the best from the Best of Class grouping.

For a complete list of award winners from the 2008 Missouri Wine Competition, visit www.missouriwine.org.

HCW Development selects General Growth Properties to handle management, marketing and leasing of Branson Landing

Branson-based HCW Development Company, LLC, has awarded General Growth Properties, Inc. (NYSE: GGP) the contract for management, marketing and leasing services for Branson Landing, one of the premier shopping and entertainment destinations in Missouri and the Midwest.  General Growth Properties, a real estate investment trust (REIT), is nationally known for its ownership and management of more than 200 shopping malls in 45 states and the development of master planned communities and mixed-use properties.

Branson Landing is a mixed-use development with more than 420,000 square feet of retail, luxury condominiums, the Hilton Promenade, the Hilton Branson and the city’s convention center. Branson Landing offers shoppers a mix of national retailers and a variety of restaurants.

HCW Development Company LLC is a development and construction management company committed to preserving and accentuating the natural beauty and unique characteristics of the communities in which it works. For more information, please visit www.hcwdevelopment.com.

For more information on General Growth Properties, Inc., please visit www.ggp.com.

MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN ENHANCING ENTRY WITH IMPROVEMENTS

The front entry to the Missouri Botanical Garden at 4344 Shaw Blvd. in St. Louis will undergo the first phase of a facelift this fall. The main entrance and exit drives will close temporarily for upgrades designed to improve vehicular traffic flow, enhance safety for pedestrians, increase lighting and beautify the entry. During construction, visitors may access ample free, on-site parking via temporary entrances located at 1940 Alfred Ave. and 2019 Tower Grove Ave.

The Garden’s on-site parking lots will remain open and accessible throughout construction. Vehicle and pedestrian traffic will be redirected from the closed main gate at 4344 Shaw Blvd. to two temporary parking lot entrance gates. Visitors can access the west parking lot from Shaw Blvd. by turning south at the stop sign for Alfred Ave. (a half-block west of the main gate), then left into the lot at 1940 Alfred (across from Castleman). The east lot is accessible from Shaw Blvd. by turning south at the stop light for Tower Grove Ave. (a half-block east of the main gate), then right into the lot at 2019 Tower Grove. Vehicular traffic will be unable to cross between the east and west lots during this time.

Temporary pedestrian walkways will be installed for convenient access to the Ridgway Visitor Center from both lots. Handicapped parking will be available near each walkway entrance.

Additional free parking is also available in lots two blocks west at the corner of Shaw Blvd. and Vandeventer Ave.

Metro bus service will stop at the corner of Shaw at Tower Grove and at the corner of Shaw at Alfred. Visit www.metrostlouis.org to plan your route in advance using TripFinder. Show your valid, same-day Metro Fare (ticket, transfer or pass) at the ticket counter to receive $1 off general Garden admission (not valid for special admission rate events, exhibits or attractions.)

For more information, visit www.mobot.org or call the recorded line at (314) 577-9400.

About the author

The MEET® Family of Publications

The MEET® Family of Publications produces regional and national publications that keep corporate, association, medical, education, independent, and religious meeting and event planners informed about relevant industry suppliers, news, tech innovations, and resources that impact and influence how and where they plan their upcoming company function(s).