Les Clefs d'Or USA conference in New Orleans


What an amazing time we had here in an friendly and warm (in more ways than one) city.  The host hotel, the newly branded Le Meridien was absolutely amazing with their hospitatlity, rooms, food and pool.  I highly reccommend it if you are ever staying in the Crescent City.  

We had great meetings, includiinng an election with a new Board of Directors: 

  • Rober Mark - President
  • Shujaat Khan - Past President & Zone Director of thee Americas
  • Nathn Goff - VP Media & Public Relations
  • Danny Alford - Treasurer
  • Leigh Anne Dolecki - Director of Membbership
  • Charisse Fazzari - Director of Concierge Relations
  • Kathleen Fitzgerald - Secretary
  • Harald Mootz - Direcctor of Development
  • Robert Watson - Congress Liaison
Chalmette Battlefield

Chalmette Battlefield

There was fantastic openining night reception at Harrah's Casino New Orleans, an educational Riverboat Cruise on the mighty Mississippi and visit to Chalmette Battlefield, and an inspiring gala at the National World War II Museum with entertainment by the Victory Belles.  It was my first congress and hopefully not my last.  We have a lot of great ideas and direction from great speakers to  take back to our hotels with us and make our guest experience even better.  

Victory Belles

Victory Belles

Duane Park

So you want something different, something other than the meat and potatoes song and dance that calls Broadway home those days.  How about super hot Burlesque?  How about amazingly talented entertainers?  How about fantastic food and drink?  How about all of the above?  Crawl slowly and cautiously downtown to the last vestige of real art in New York City, the East Village. Formerly home to the Bowery Poetry Club, this is the current home of Duane Park, a crazy, bawdy and extremely entertaining venue for the lost art of burlesque and showmanship.

Your guide like mine may be high pitched and scratchy voiced Cunio, the demon spawn of Freddie Mercury and Janis Joplin in a good way, no, an awesome way. He will guide you through the the many talented performers along with a band tighter than... well let's just let your imagination run wild. There are sword swallowers, hoop masters, fire eaters and good old fashioned burlesque performers giving their all for your entertainment and adulation.  Take this back to Des Moines with you Daisy Mae!  

This is not art for the faint of heart. This is for those that like to take the horse by the reigns and drag him through the mud, the ones that heed the call to arms and those that spit in the eye of danger, for those that want to live and be inspired.  Those that want a taste of Old New York! 


Ice Skate NYC


As much as we hate to admit it, winter is coming.  But with winter comes fun winter activities like ice skating.  New York City has no shortage of options for getting your skate on in the Big Apple.  I recently went to the famous Rink at Rockefeller Center for the first time and experienced the VIP Igloo Entrance which includes skate rental, cookies, hot drinks and a warm up area just for you.  Best part is you bypass lines!  It was a great experience and the fact that they Zamboni the ice so much leaves a pretty good surface to skate on.  The VIP experience starts at $60 and goes up depending on the time of the year.  Standard entrance starts at $27 for adult and $15 for Children under 11.  Skate rental for the Standard entrance runs at $12.  I highly recommend the VIP experience as it saves a ton of time over the standard wait in line and during really cold days you will have access to warm up in the Igloo.  For those looking for another option you have the following:  

Wollman Rink opens Friday October 24th for the season and is larger than Rockefeller's rink.  Adults start at $11.25 and youths $6.00 with rentals going for $8.00.  This is a great location too as it is in Central Park so you are surrounded by trees with taller buildings peeking over the top of the treeline.

Bryant Park offers free skating as part of it's Winter Village sponsored by Bank of America.  If you need to rent skates there is a fee of $15.  Lines can be long there since it is free but there is a lot too look at with the Winter Village shops and the pop-up Celsius for warm drinks and bites.