Industry Update

December 23, 2012

On September 18, 2012, Driftwood Hospitality Management announced their appointment to manage the 420-acre Tan-Tar-A Resort in Osage Beach, Missouri. The sprawling 750-room resort, which includes 150 family-friendly suites, is located in the heart of the Lake of the Ozarks.  Tan-Tar-A Resort is the fifth independent property to join Driftwood’s portfolio.

“We are excited to work with the incredible staff at Tan-Tar-A Resort and to help take the property’s extensive features, amenities and activities to new heights,” said Brian Quinn, EVP of Development at Driftwood Hospitality Management. “Growing our independent business continues to be an area of focus for Driftwood and adding such a dynamic resort, in a market like this, brings terrific diversity to our portfolio.”

Tan-Tar-A Resort features an extensive range of amenities and resort activities, making it a destination in its own right. From boating to waterslides and spa pampering to mini golf, this Osage Beach complex has something for everyone. Tan-Tar-A boasts Missouri’s largest indoor waterpark, Timber Falls, with 600 feet of waterslides, a lazy river, a pool and a giant whirlpool. A state-of-the-art arcade, bowling, billiards, tanning beds and fully equipped fitness center are also available to guests. Outdoor activities and amenities include boat rentals, tennis courts, two outdoor pools, a miniature golf course, a full-service marina, water ski rentals, paddleboards, parasailing and horseback riding.

Boasting 90,000 sq. ft. of flexible indoor function space, TanTar-A’s 29 meeting rooms can accommodate up to 3,500 guests. From themed parties to golf tours and excursion boat rides, TanTar-A’s full-service convention managers have that eye for detail to make even the largest events trouble-free.

Based in North Palm Beach, Fla., Driftwood Hospitality Management, LLC is a leader in providing solutions-based services for the domestic and international hotel industry. Guided by The Driftwood Difference – Flexibility, Diversity, Integrity, Accessibility, Originality, the company covers the full spectrum of lodging business needs. From full-service, upscale and upperupscale hotels to mid-size extended-stay, select and limited-service properties, Driftwood’s portfolio represents virtually every segment of the hospitality industry. Focused on strategic acquisition, development, third-party management, asset management and receivership, Driftwood has extensive management experience and relationships with most major brands, including Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Hilton Worldwide, InterContinental Hotels Group, Inc., Carlson, Choice Hotels International, Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide. With additional offices in Costa Rica, Scottsdale, Ariz. and Miami, Fla., the company and its hotels have received more than 20 industry awards in the past three years. For more information, visit or call (800) 826-8272.


Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. has taken over management of the newly branded Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center. The hotel has recently completed a $13 million renovation, including a new front drive entry area, plus architectural and decor updates throughout. The 40-story, 730room hotel, built in 1980, is located on the southern edge of downtown Kansas City. Crown Center offers fine hotels, entertainment, dining, shopping, offices and residential living. Home to the international headquarters of Hallmark Cards, Inc., the complex attracts more than five million visitors each year.

“Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center is a terrific addition to our growing portfolio in this vibrant metropolitan area,” said Hoyt Harper, Global Brand Leader, Sheraton Hotels & Resorts. “The fully refurbished hotel will serve as a fine representation of the brand’s new look and feel, and will showcase all our signature brand offerings.”

The hotel’s renovated lobby features the [email protected](R) experienced with Microsoft® – a social hub where connections, whether face-to-face or webcam-to-webcam take place. All guest rooms will be equipped with an oversized work desk, custom-designed ergonomic chair, high-speed Internet, LCD flat panel television, MP3 docking station and the all-white Sheraton Sweet Sleeper® bed.

“We are thrilled that Starwood operates both hotel properties at Crown Center,” said Bill Lucas, president of Crown Center Redevelopment Corp. “This greatly simplifies group negotiations and provides significant efficiencies that improve the customer experience. Crown Center is now an unbeatable, one-stop convention destination.”

The Sheraton Kansas City Hotel at Crown Center is adjacent to the 52,000 square-foot Crown Center Exhibit Hall and less than a mile from the city’s convention center. A city within the city, Crown Center features 80 acres of shops, restaurants and theaters. The Sea Life aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center will open there in 2012. Also nearby are the River Market and the Union Station and Country Club Plaza, while Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium, homes of the Chiefs and Royals, are 15 minutes from the hotel.

The Spring 2013 North American Bridge Championships will be in St. Louis March 14- 24, 2013 and is expected to draw 10,000 over ten days. Matches will be played at the St. Louis Renaissance Hotel and Americas Center®. The American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) which organizes more than 1100 bridge tournaments annually has more than 165,000 members is managed by 59 staff plus 170 tournament directors. Founded in 1937, the mission of the ACBL is to promote and sustain the game of bridge and serve the bridge-related interests of its Members. The Chief Executive Officer is Robert Hartman and is headquartered in Horn Lake, MS.  Good luck to our very special local UNIT 143 of GREATER ST. LOUIS.

Members of the Abel family, Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate executives, Mayor Francis Slay and Monsignor Bommarito of St. Ambrose Church participate in the ribbon cutting of the new Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company factory in St. Louis.

Founded by the Abel family in 1981, Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company quickly expanded with franchise retail locations around the St. Louis area and increasing orders to ship its candy creations around the world. The company’s products are also available in all 23 Dierbergs grocery stores, local tourist attractions and the St. Louis Airport. In 2009, the Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate took a huge leap forward with the acquisition of the original recipes from Mavrakos Candy Co., reviving a legendary St. Louis candy brand and adding a new line of products to their original offerings. It soon became clear that the company’s growth required a larger factory to keep up with demand.

On Monday, August 20, this dream became a reality when Chocolate Chocolate Chocolate Company celebrated the Grand Opening of its new, state-of the art chocolate factory on Pattison Avenue in the Hill neighborhood of St. Louis. The event featured a traditional ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Francis Slay and a special blessing by Monsignor Bommarito of St. Ambrose Church and School on The Hill. The 30,000 sq. ft. factory was then opened to the public for free tours and chocolate tastings.

The addition of a new retail store at the factory brings their total to nine locations – more than any other local candy company.

For more information visit or call 1-888-222-7710.

DoubleTree by Hilton announced on October 11, 2012 that the historic, AAA four-diamond St. Louis Union Station Hotel has joined the Hilton family as the St. Louis Union Station Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton. Formerly a Marriott, the hotel is owned by Lodging Hospitality Management, a St. Louis-based hotel owner/operator with 23 hotels and venues in the greater St. Louis area, which acquired the hotel along with the entire Union Station complex.

“For more than a century, this site has been the gateway to the Midwest, first as a train station, and for the last 25 years as a hotel,” said Bob O’ Loughlin, CEO of Lodging Hospitality Management. “When we began considering which brand would best carry on the traditions of the location and complement the rest of the St. Louis landscape, DoubleTree by Hilton emerged as the clear winner.  DoubleTree by Hilton, with their warm chocolate chip cookies and authentic CARE Culture, will resonate with the St. Louis community and the visitors who travel here for a dose of genuine Midwestern hospitality.”

“The DoubleTree brand is enjoying tremendous growth due largely to the vision of owners like Lodging Hospitality Management that see the value of affiliating with a brand without sacrificing a hotel’s unique identity,” said Rob Palleschi, global head DoubleTree by Hilton.  “St. Louis Union Station- a DoubleTree by Hilton will be a great complement to its sister Hilton hotels in St. Louis and a great addition to our collection of iconic hotels throughout the U.S.”

The 539-room St. Louis Union Station Hotel – a DoubleTree by Hilton sits on the site of Union Station, once the largest railway station in the US. In its heyday in the 1940s, 100,000 passengers passed through its Midway each day.  The famous photo of Harry S. Truman holding the Chicago Tribune headline that proclaimed “Dewey Beats Truman” was shot there as Truman boarded a train for Washington, D.C., after the 1948 Presidential election. Located in the center of the city, the hotel is within walking distance to Scottrade Center, the Peabody Opera House, Busch Stadium and the Gateway Arch and only 20 minutes from Lambert International Airport.

Despite the hotel’s four-diamond status, the historic Grand Hall and Midway are slated for upgrade starting November 1 as part of a $13 million, four-year improvement project.  Once staging and gathering areas in the train station, the Grand Hall and Midway comprise some 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space enhanced by sweeping archways and adorned with original frescos, mosaics and art glass windows.

The St. Louis Union Station – A DoubleTree Hotel is located at 1820 Market Street in downtown St. Louis, Mo. For more information, please call (314) 621-5262.

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