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Obama signs $1.1 trillion spending bill into law
The Associated Press via Yahoo News
With little fanfare to mark a rare bipartisan achievement, President Barack Obama on Dec. 16 signed a massive, $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps the government operating over the next nine months. The legislation was a compromise that angered liberals and conservatives alike but avoided a government shutdown and put off partisan clashes over immigration to next year.
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InterContinental Hotels to buy Kimpton for $430 million
InterContinental Hotels Group Plc., owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza brands, agreed to buy Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants for $430 million, gaining a boutique chain with high-end properties in cities across the U.S. Kimpton, established in 1981, is the largest independent boutique hotel operator and restaurant company in the U.S., with 62 properties in 28 cities, InterContinental said in a statement.
Federal employees honored in Time's 'Person of the Year'
Think all the rhetoric toward federal employees is negative and inflammatory? In a rare exception, some federal employees were recognized in Time's Person of the Year. The annual recognition went to "Ebola fighters," and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health both receive special shout-outs in the write up.
It is a crucial time for government meetings
The 2015 SGMP National Education Conference & Expo on April 28-30 in Minneapolis is coming during a crucial time in government meetings. Our industry has seen dramatic change in recent years, placing planners and suppliers in challenging roles to accomplish more with less (all while abiding by unprecedented rules regarding procurement and perception). SGMP is your source for the latest in industry best practices, knowledge sharing by experienced professionals, and a marketplace which is tailored to the unique work for which we are all responsible. This is your opportunity to sharpen your skills, to expand your expertise and to be a part of the future of government meetings.
We look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis! Thank you for your steadfast membership in and continuing support of SGMP.
What it's really like to attend a White House holiday party
The Washington Post
When 1600 Penn. dived into a very digital holiday season this year, the humble brags on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram were virtually unavoidable: "Eggnog in the East Wing! #WHHolidays #NBD." Are the numerous holiday receptions held at the White House in December just as "awesome!!!" as those twitpics clearly want the rest of us believe? Or is the all-American experience of a lucky few thousand actually "no big deal"?
Hotels respond to consumers' desire for healthier food
Consumers are paying more attention to what they eat, and their desire for healthier food isn't lost when they go out to eat. Recent research by Technomic shows that most consumers want restaurants to be more transparent about menu-item ingredients. Further, 2 in 5 consumers cite a rising concern over food additives.
How much sleep do Americans trade for work?
The Atlantic via Government Executive
The American Time Use Survey reports that employed Americans spend on average one more hour working than they do sleeping on workdays. Worldwide, America lags behind Europe in OECD's work-life balance index. And although the recommended amount of sleep is seven to eight hours a night, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 30 percent of employed Americans sleeps six hours or fewer each night.
Free Wi-Fi and resort fees more common at hotels
Los Angeles Times
Good news for holiday travelers who will be staying in a hotel: You are more likely this year to get free Wi-Fi, a free breakfast and high-definition television than in the past. That was among the findings of a new report by the American Hotel & Lodging Assn., a trade group for the nation's lodging industry. The bad news is that the number of hotels that charge a resort fee is up to 7 percent, compared with 3 percent in 2012.
A new strategy for earning and keeping airline elite status in 2015
As the year begins to close and frequent travelers lock in their status for the 2015 travel year, many are now looking forward towards their strategies for the year to come. For most, that game will change significantly.
It only takes a minute to login to the new SGMP website
SGMP no longer sends membership dues invoices by mail. If you are in your renewal cycle and have logged into the member portal, you can print your invoice or simply pay online! You can login at www.sgmp.org by simply entering the primary email address we have on file as your username and then enter Password1 as your new and temporary password (once you login, create and save a new password). Thank you for your membership!
What are the odds your city will have a white Christmas?
Those determined to have a White Christmas should grab crampons and something warm and prepare for a tough slog. Many places in the lower 48 with a lock on holiday snow are located in rugged, altitudinous climes — the bony ridge of the Sierra Nevada, for instance, and the wind-burned peaks of the Rockies.
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