Full plate on menu for LVIHRS

Jun 17, 2003 5:07 AM

Thousands of hotel and restaurant operators will descend on the Las Vegas Convention Center, June 18-19, for the 24th annual Las Vegas International Hotel & Restaurant Show (LVIHRS).

The convention dedicated to the hotel and dining industries will feature a full slate of educational programs, memorable special events, awards presentations, and exhibit floor competitions ”” all neatly packaged into a tight two-day affair.

"From serious and impacting state-of-the-industry presentations, to Las Vegas’ party of the year, the LVIHRS schedule of events covers all the bases," said Christian Falkenberg, LVIHRS show manager. "Show participants will have ample opportunity to network and take advantage of many programs designed to improve their business."

Of keen interest to conventioneers will be the show’s educational programs, with sessions for both hotel and restaurant professionals.

Each seminar will be led by industry experts, and will provide a candid forum for industry colleagues to exchange information and ideas on a wide range of topics, including state of the travel industry; formulating corporate strategy; technology; human resources; and restaurant trends.

Some seminars will confront current challenges facing the industry, such as public space indoor air quality, while others will provide business improvement strategies, such as Internet distribution channels and the value of outsourcing human resources needs.

The convention’s keynote addresses are always highly-anticipated, and this year is no exception. A keynote panel of top CEO’s will discuss the issues facing the lodging industry today, while giving perspectives on the future path of the industry.

Another keynote panel of high-level restaurateurs will offer their insights on the current state of the industry, describing both positive and negative trends, and their recipes for success in the present environment.

Numerous special events and networking opportunities allow conventioneers to participate on a hands-on basis.

The Epicurean Affair, considered by many to be the "party of the year," will be held poolside at Caesars Palace on Tuesday. It will feature the very best in gourmet food and wine from the city’s top restaurants.

Another popular event is the International Hospitality Awards Luncheon, held during the show and highlighted by keynote speaker Judy Girard, president of The Food Network.

Rounding out the Show-sponsored events will be the American Hotel & Lodging Association’s PAC golf outing, held pre-show, and the AH&LA’s Stars of the Industry Luncheon, which recognizes the industry members for excellence in a variety of categories, including the prestigious Hospitality Hero Awards.

The Stars of the Industry Luncheon will honor those properties, chains and people who "shine brighter than the rest" in the following categories: Outstanding Lodging Employees of the Year, Outstanding Manager/General Managers of the Year, as well as creative community service, enviro-management, guest relations, hotels of promise, and special events programs.

The event also includes the presentation of the prestigious Lamp of Knowledge Award and the Arthur Landstreet Award.

Keynote speaker Judy Girard, president of The Food Network, will share her views of the industry. Girard is credited with building the Food Network into one of the most popular destinations on cable TV.

Rounding out the activities are several fun competitions. From culinary contests to the best bartenders in the business, this series of live competitions will add extra excitement to the show floor.

The Las Vegas Culinary Challenge, which awards ACF medals to winners in several categories, is expected to be the major highlight.

Other notable contests will include the Flair Bartending Competition, which recognizes excellence in the art of showcase bartending; hospitality competitions, in which housekeepers demonstrate their skills in bed making, Johnny mop tossing, vacuum cleaner relay races and the buffer pad toss.

There will also be the Menu Design Competition, which presents new and exciting food and cocktail menu ideas, and the Golf Putting Challenge, in which putters can play for fun, show off their skills and, if good enough, walk away with a prize.

The Las Vegas International Hotel & Restaurant Show marks the third event produced under a partnership between the Nevada Hotel & Lodging Industry Association, Nevada Restaurant Association, the Hotel/Motel and Restaurant Show, the American Hotel & Lodging Association, the Hotel Association of New York and the New York State Hospitality & Tourism Association.

The LVIHRS will be held Wednesday through Thursday at the Las Vegas Convention Center. The show will feature more than 450 hospitality industry suppliers, and will attract more than 4,000 in total trade attendance.

Show hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesday, and 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday, with keynote sessions held on each of the show days from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.