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Click to learn more...HOSPITALITY      BREAKING NEWS BY MYRIAM HUTTON

AAA Reports Increased Lodging, Dining Vacation Costs.

Gas prices aren't the only expense increasing for vacation travelers this year. AAA's annual vacation costs survey reveals lodging and dining costs have increased a combined average of 5 percent since last year. AAA's survey shows that a family of two adults and two children can expect to pay an average of $247 per day for food and lodging. Lodging rates will average $129 a night, up 3.9 percent from last year. Meals will cost $118, up 6.5 percent. These increases are attributed to two main reasons -- increased demand pushing hotel rates higher and escalated transportation costs for meat, dairy and produce impacting dining costs. The least expensive U.S. vacations this year are in Nebraska, where the daily cost of food and lodging for a family of four will average $184; North Dakota, $185; Kansas, $186; Oklahoma, $188; and Iowa, $189. The most expensive state for vacationers remains Hawaii at $518 per day. Other destinations with a high average daily cost include the District of Columbia, $441; Rhode Island, $307; New York, $307; and Massachusetts, $303. "Travelers can save by booking accommodations in advance to ensure availability, selection and the best rate," said Karen Lefler, director of Travel Services, AAA Minnesota/Iowa. "Staying at a hotel that offers free breakfast or getting a room with a small kitchen can cut down on meal costs." AAA has tracked vacation costs since 1950, when the average cost of meals and lodging was $13 per day. AAA's meal and lodging costs are based on prices from more than 55,000 lodgings and restaurants listed in AAA's TourBook guides, the most widely distribute d travel guidebook series in North America with more than 24 million copies given out last year. AAA offers automotive, travel, insurance and financial services to more than 45 million members in the United States and Canada. AAA Minnesota/Iowa is part of The Auto Club Group, with 4.1 million members in eight Midwest states.- AAA 2005 Vacation Costs Survey


Mobil Travel Guide Announces the First Ever Mobil Five-Star Hotel & Resort Spa; Introducing America's Best Hotel & Resort Three- Four- and Five-Star Spas.

Mobil Travel Guide today announced its 2005 America's Best Hotel and Resort Spas, including the first spa property to achieve the coveted Mobil Five-Star Award. The Spa Montage at Montage Resort in Laguna Beach, Calif., has been identified as the country's number one spa according to the undercover inspectors at Mobil Travel Guide. It joins the elite group of 31 Mobil Five-Star hotels and 14 Mobil Five Star restaurants. "In our second year of rating hotel and resort spas, we are extremely pleased to honor the first Mobil Five-Star winner, Spa Montage," said Kenneth P. Cohen, vice president, public affairs, Exxon Mobil Corporation "We are also delighted to highlight the additional 68 spas achieving 2005 star ratings." "The spas awarded today are committed to service and have dedicated themselves to providing their guests with more than just luxurious facilities -- they provide the consumer with an oasis of calm in a fast-paced world," Cohen added.

Each of the featured spas underwent rigorous inspections similar to the process that Mobil Travel Guide has been applying to lodgings and restaurants for more than four decades.

Using objective standards created to mirror the average traveler's needs and expectations, inspectors traveled to properties across the country, conducting visits without the properties' knowledge. From making reservations to selecting treatments, inspectors used the same set of standards, evaluating 450 different attributes of their experience. General evaluation criteria for each Mobil star rating level can be found at www.mobiltravelguide.com. According to the International Spa Association's 2004 report, the spa industry is hotter than ever. In 2003, over 36 million people visited a hotel and resort spa, and hotel and resort spa revenue represented 41 percent of the total industry revenue of $11 billion.  

For a complete list of the 2005 Mobil Award Winning Three-, Four- and Five-Star Spas and to determine which spa best suits your needs, please visit our website at www.mobiltravelguide.com. About Mobil Travel Guide; Mobil Travel Guide publishes more than 30 guidebooks and atlases covering the US and Canada, including our Regional Travel Planners, NASCAR Travel Planner, the Where To Eat series, On the Road with your Pet, the America's Byway Series, America's Best Hotel & Resort Spas, and America's Best Hotels and Restaurants. Mobil Travel Guide's online Road Trip Planner at www.mobiltravelguide.com offers online customized vacation planning and hotel reservations. When it comes to travel, Mobil Travel Guide provides consumers with recommendations they can trust. Mobil Travel Guide is operated by EMTG, LLC. As originator of the authoritative and highly respected Star Rating program, Mobil Travel Guide has been committed to identifying and celebrating travel and hospitality excellence in North America since 1958.

Fortune Announces the Closing of the Acquisition of Andros Isle Development Ltd.

Fortune Real Estate Development Corporation (formerly Pink Sheets:FRDJ) is proud to announce that on Monday, April 18th, it closed on the acquisition of 100% of Andros Isle Development Ltd. As a result of the acquisition, Fortune's name has been changed to Andros Isle Development Corporation and the new trading symbol on the Pink sheets is AVPJ (Pink Sheets:AVPJ). The acquisition of Andros Isle Development Ltd. gives the newly named Andros Isle Development Corporation the exclusive right to development a 247 acre tract of beachfront property.

 

It is the intention of Andros Isle Development Ltd. to build a luxury resort community on the property. This acquisition should give Andros Isle Development Corporation, formerly Fortune Real Estate Development Corporation, the ability to greatly enhance shareholder value in a number of ways. First, the development rights being acquired through the acquisition marks a substantially larger development than the former Fortune had in portfolio of new projects. Secondly, it provides the company the opportunity to acquire full ownership of the property that is to be developed which would dramatically increase the company's asset base. In addition, the size and scope of the new project will give Andros the opportunity to develop partnerships with other large players in the high-end luxury real estate development market, thus allowing Andros to have the opportunity to participate in other large projects in the future.

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SEND YOUR PRESS RELEASES TO: Editorial Staff, Attention: Myriam Hutton , at
 editorialstaff@americanhospitalityinstitute.org

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