Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at Reagan Washington National. (Photo courtesy of JetBlue)

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy at Reagan Washington National. (Photo courtesy of JetBlue)

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy flew roundtrip between Bradley International Airport and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on June 19 to celebrate the inaugural flights in JetBlue Airways expanded service at BDL and DCA.
With the addition of flights to Washington, JetBlue offers Bradley fliers nine daily departures, including service to Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, West Palm Beach, and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Malloy took the 6:35 a.m. flight from Bradley and participated in a new conference in Washington before retuning. Besides the Bradley flights, JetBlue also added routes to DCA from Charleston, South Carolina, and Nassau, Bahamas.
The governor, in remarks in Washington, said JetBlue has been a huge success in Connecticut, and welcomed the opportunity to “sample the product.”
U.S. Rep. John Larson, of the 1st District, also participated in the June 19 news conference.
JetBlue also announced two new nonstop routes from DCA — to Fort Myers and West Palm Beach — that will launch Dec. 18.
The new routes and increased frequency follow the allocation of 12 slot pairs to JetBlue by the U.S. Department of Justice as a result of divestitures from the American Airlines-US Airways merger.
JetBlue’s new flights are being operated with the 100-seat Embraer 190 jet.

Introduced in 1988 by InsideFlyer magazine’s Randy Petersen, the Freddie Awards are named in honor of Sir Freddie Laker and have become the most prestigious member-generated awards in the travel loyalty industry. The goal of the Freddie Awards is to give voice to the frequent flyer and to honor the efforts of an industry that counts more than 300 million members. Winners of the 2014 “Freddies” in the Americas, awarded April 24 at the Museum of Flight in Seattle,:
Airline
Best Customer Service — Southwest Airlines — Rapid Rewards.
Best Promotion — Avianca — LifeMiles.
Best Elite Program — American Airlines — Aadvantage.
Best Redemption Ability — Avianca — LifeMiles.
Program of the Year — American Airlines — Aadvantage.
Hotel
Best Customer Service — Marriott Hotels — Marriott Rewards.
Best Promotion — Marriott Hotels — Marriott Rewards.
Best Elite Program — Hyatt — Gold Passport.
Best Redemption Ability — Marriott Hotels — Marriott Rewards.
Program of the Year — Marriott Hotels — Marriott Rewards.
— freddieawards.com

NEW HAVEN — Tweed New Haven Regional Airport’s acting manager, Diane Jackson, has been named to be the airport’s manager on a permanent basis.
Jackson, a Tweed employee for 13 years and assistant manager for five, has served in the acting manager position for the past six months since the departure of former manager Lori Hoffman-Soares.

WINDSOR LOCKS — The New England Air Museum will SOAR into the adventure, stories, simulation and science of flight this summer. Visitors will have the chance to get up close and personal with the museum’s 80 display aircraft. A variety of activities will be offered each day, including build-and-fly challenges, flight science demonstrations, the chance to sit in the cockpit, and using state-of-the-art simulators with real cockpit controls. Additional activities are scheduled for the following weeks:
June 30-July 6 — Build and Race an Air Trolley. In small groups, design and build a trolley that will race down a nylon line. Two trolleys powered by rubber bands and propellers will race each other on two parallel tracks, the faster of the two trolleys will be the winner.
July 7-13 — Build and Race Balloon Rockets. Design a rocket balloon that will move faster than the other competing rocket balloons.
July 14-16 — Zip line Challenge. Given certain materials, design and build something that can carry a Ping-Pong ball the fastest from the top of a zip line string to the bottom.
July 17-20 — Straw Rocket Competition. Design a rocket built around a straw that will fly to a specified target using a compressed air launcher.
July 21-22 — Imagine Our Future Beyond Earth Lego Competition. The museum will provide the Lego bricks that entrants need to participate. Prizes will be awarded by the Museum for age groups 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12. Start your research today on the many missions NASA has planned to explore our universe beyond planet Earth and imagine the aircraft and vehicles that will be needed to accomplish these exciting goals.
July 23-27 — Parachute Drop. With a given weight, design a parachute that will take the longest to drop to the ground.
July 28-30 — Rotochute. Given a specific drop zone, build a rotochute that will drop to the ground. The slowest wins. Teams compete until a winner is determined for each half-hour slot.
July 31-Aug. 3 — Egg Drop. Design, build, and test a contraption that will protect an egg from breaking when dropped from a height of 20 feet.
Aug. 4-8 — Bottle Rockets. Build a rocket onto an inverted water bottle using materials provided. Given 60 psi of compressed air, design the rocket to launch as high as possible and carry a half cup of water.
Aug. 9-10 — Helicopter 2050 Lego Challenge. Create a helicopter of 2050 that helps overcome today’s global challenges! The museum will provide the Lego bricks. Prizes will be awarded for age groups 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12.
Aug. 11-13 — Blimp Maze. Design and build a blimp using a helium balloon that will float at shoulder height. The blimp should be designed to be blown through a simple maze in the fastest time possible.
Aug. 14-17 — Hot Air Balloon Race. Design and build a balloon that will lift with hot air and race it to the ceiling.
Aug. 18-22 — Straw Gliders. Design a glider built around a straw that will glide the longest distance possible in a straight line.
The New England Air Museum is a private, nonprofit educational institution that was organized in 1959. Three large hangars and an outdoor display contain more than 80 aircraft that include the oldest surviving aircraft in the U.S., the 1870 Silas M. Brooks Balloon Basket, andan S-39 Amphibian plane – the first aircraft built in Connecticut by Igor Sikorsky.
The museum is at 36 Perimeter Road (off Route 75) on the north end of the Bradley International Airport airfield in Windsor Locks. It is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week. For more information: www.neam.org, (860) 623-3305,or Facebook at New England Air Museum.

Airlines ranked by 2013 baggage fee revenue:
Rank Airline Revenue
 1. Delta $833,183,000
 2. United $624,821,000
 3. US Airways $527,591,000
 4. American $505,697,000
 5. Spirit $211,961,000
 6. Southwest $143,540,000
 7. Allegiant $112,453,000
 8. Alaska $96,033,000
 9. JetBlue $74,316,000
10. Hawaiian $70,034,000
11. Frontier $69,226,000
12. Virgin America $58,525,000
13. Sun Country $15,581,000
14. Mesa $3,924,000
15. Island Air Hawaii $3,200,000

Source: U.S. Department of Transportation, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, updated May 5, 2014

CROMWELL — Celebrating National Tourism Week, more than 100 Tourism industry advocates from all over Connecticut convened on May 5 at Central Regional Tourism District’s “Spring/Summer Great Brochure Swap.” Representatives of attractions, hotels, restaurants and group tour companies were gearing up for tens of thousands of visitors by exchanging hundreds of visitor guides and brochures and sharing the latest travel news. The event at the Crowne Plaza Cromwell marked the debut of the Central Regional Tourism District’s new Greater Hartford & Connecticut River Valley Visitors Guide.
The Central Regional Tourism District serves 65 cities and towns in Greater Hartford, Connecticut’s River Valley, and Greater New Haven. To download or order any of its visitors guides, brochures, and more information about Central Connecticut, visit www.CenterofCT.com or call (860) 787-9640.

Great Brochure Swap

Among those at the “Great Brochure Swap” were, from left, Frank Collins, East Hartford; Mimsie Coleman, Hamden; Debbie Giantonio and Anne Orsene, Central Regional Tourism District; Maryan Muthersbaugh, Nehemiah Brainerd House, Haddam; and Lorraine Erickson Mancini, Lily House Bed & Breakfast in Suffield.

HARTFORD — Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced June 19 that the Connecticut Airport Authority board of directors has approved the first application submitted by a business in the Waterbury-Oxford Airport Development Zone. The business, Autonomy Technology Inc. (ATI), has applied to take advantage of the tax incentives available to eligible businesses within the zone. ATI plans to create or retain 18 to 20 jobs in the company’s first two years of operation in the development zone.
“We created Connecticut’s airport development zones because we recognize the tremendous potential of our five general aviation airports and the role they play as regional economic drivers,” Malloy said. “These zones allow businesses to thrive and create jobs for residents, and that’s a win-win for the state.”
CAA is responsible for ensuring that the economic development potential of Connecticut’s five general aviation airports, in addition to Bradley International Airport, is realized, and that appropriate business, strategic and marketing plans for the airports and surrounding areas are established. This includes creating new jobs, attracting new capital and increasing tax revenue to the state and regional municipalities.
“This is an exciting step for the Connecticut Airport Authority and the Waterbury-Oxford Airport Development Zone,” said CAA Board Chair Mary Ellen Jones. “We are pleased at this early success for the zone, and we hope that ATI’s approval will demonstrate the real benefits of inclusion to any other companies interested in the program.”
Businesses qualify for Development Zone tax incentives if the organization(s) acquires or leases an idle facility or constructs, substantially renovates or expands the facility and uses it for specified purposes. These include manufacturing, performing research and development directly related to manufacturing or significantly servicing, overhauling or rebuilding machinery and equipment for industrial uses, and other airport-related services. Businesses that also meet certain criteria are eligible for a five-year, 80 percent local property tax abatement on real and personal property, as well as a ten-year corporation business tax credit. Businesses qualify for the abatement based on the value of the improvements made to acquired, newly constructed, renovated, or expanded facilities.
“The Waterbury-Oxford Airport Development Zone holds great potential due to the high level of general aviation activity at that airport,” said CAA Executive Director Kevin Dillon. “Airports are major economic drivers, and this program helps the state utilize that potential. We are excited by Autonomy Technology Inc.’s approval for a certificate of eligibility and benefits under the new zone.”
ATI plans to sell, manufacture and distribute medium voltage switchgear, generator connection systems and cable assemblies to customers up and down the eastern seaboard. This will be the first northeastern facility for ATI, which already operates in Oregon, Alaska and Nevada. The company’s application indicates an initial projection of 18 to 20 new, full-time positions at its Oxford location over the next two years.
Waterbury-Oxford Airport is a public-use general aviation airport, located about seven miles southwest of Waterbury. The airport has the highest concentration of general aviation activity in Connecticut. It provides maintenance, fuel, aircraft storage, and support facilities to meet the demands of corporate jet and single- and multi-engine aircraft. In 2010, the total economic contribution of the Waterbury-Oxford Airport totaled more than 1,670 jobs and $235.4 million of output.

WINDSOR — Travelers seeking the comforts of home combined with the beauty of a modern hotel are in luck. The Courtyard Hartford Windsor has unveiled its reimagined guest rooms after a major renovation project breathed new life into the hotel.
Guests will feel the difference the moment they step into one of the hotel’s modern rooms. The sculptural design of the lounge-around sofa and chairs add to the aesthetic that lacks the clutter of traditional artwork. New lighting enhances the architecture and design of each room.
A luggage drop for easy storage greets visitors upon entry, and a tech-drop ledge accommodates cellphones, tablets, computers and other personal devices with easy-to-access electrical outlets for convenient charging. Visitors will appreciate more power outlets and ports throughout each room.
Hospitality cabinets in the rooms store coffeemakers, and a new bathroom nook allows guests to access towels and other amenities without having to leave the shower.
Business travelers in town for a conference or convention can take advantage of the spacious, redesigned workspaces that boast ergonomic chairs to maximize productivity.
The Courtyard Hartford Windsor also has a new lobby that features The Bistro —Eat. Drink. Connect — as well as cozy media pods with personal flat-screen TVs and welcome pedestals that have replaced the traditional front desk. The casual, cafe-style eatery serves breakfast and dinner.
The Courtyard Hartford Windsor at 1 Day Hill Road in Windsor, 6 miles from Bradley International Airport. The hotel has 137 rooms and 12 suites on two floors as well as two meeting rooms with 1,250 square feet of flexible event space. A fitness center, indoor pool and high-speed Internet access are among the other amenities. For information, visit www.CourtyardHartfordWindsor.com or call 1-860-683-0022.

Courtyard Hartford Windsor guest room

Reimagined guest rooms at the Courtyard Hartford Windsor are part of the hotel’s major renovations.

IMG_2965a

Story by Robin Lee Michel
Photos by Marissa Carole Dembkoski

Melissa and Brian Gatesman, who live in the Albany, N.Y., suburb of Colonie, N.Y., had an unusual route when they took their holiday-time trip to New York City. Instead of heading directly south, they drove 120 miles east. Their first stop was Windsor Locks to take part in the Not-So-Snooty, Beer, Wine and Cheese Tasting Adventure. This year, Bradley Family Day’s event at the New England Air Museum was held Nov. 22.

The fest, sponsored by JetBlue Airways, benefits the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, a program founded in 1988 by actor Paul Newman to give seriously ill children ages 7 to 15 the opportunity to experience camp with fun, friendship and spirit of childhood. The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp also offers family programming and brings outreach activities to hospitalized children unable to attend camp. The first camp opened in Ashford, and there are now 15 camps collectively known as SeriousFun Children’s Network in the United States and abroad. Each year, more than 20,000 children and family members use the services — all provided free of charge.

“We first came six years ago because the proceeds go to a good cause,” Brian Gatesman said. Since that time they have seen many more breweries and wineries showcased. “The food is spectacular and the service is unbelievable. We feel spoiled,” he said. The couple had reservations to stay in one of the high-end hotels near Bradley International Airport and then were heading the next morning to New York City for shopping and sightseeing.

Kathy Maznicki, who is one of the fundraiser’s founding committee members, said the affiliation between the Bradley Family Fun Day organization and the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp began 13 years ago when a camp board member suggested involving the Bradley International Airport community in supporting the good cause. At first the family day was exactly that: an open house to give the public the opportunity to see aircraft up close. Even though the family event has been phased out, the name remains, and two fundraisers —the wine and beer fest, and a breakfast — continue.

More than 450 guests mingled in the air museum’s two main indoor exhibit areas to sample wine, beer and food, while listening to live jazz by the Pratt & Whitney Screamin’ Eagles. They also browsed the displays, tried flight simulators and viewed the collection of authentic and replica aircraft representing aviation history from pioneers to the jet age.

North Granby resident Deborah Zanella said she was quite impressed by and pleased to be at the event for the first time. “I’m really surprised with the variety of the collection,” she said as she viewed a display about the role the Polish Air Force played in World War II. “I never knew about this,” she said, referring to the little-known history.

Maria Angelita Gomez, director of annual giving for the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, said the air museum was an exciting venue. “This event is in the top 15 percent of our fundraisers. It’s terrific how the committee has taken ownership of our mission. It’s great to have them for advocates,” Gomez said.

The venture would not be possible if not for all the corporate sponsors and fleet of volunteers, Maznicki said. This year’s major raffle prizes included roundtrip tickets (JetBlue), overnight stays (five different hotels) and women’s basketball tickets (Signature Flight Support). Executive Cuisine Catering, of New Milford, which caters food for private jet customers, served an extensive array of hot and cold delicacies.

“JetBlue has been a proud supporter of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp since we launched our service from Bradley Airport in November 2010,” said Ronda Ivy McLeod, manager of regional marketing for JetBlue. “We have a longstanding commitment to supporting the people, places and events that matter most to the communities we serve, and we are proud to support the good work of the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp.”

Maznicki said she expects future Not-So-Snooty, Beer, Wine and Cheese Tasting Adventures to continue to grow in popularity and attendance. “We don’t advertise. It’s all word of mouth,” she said. “It’s a nice night out. And benefits a wonderful cause.”

 

Waterford Hotel Group has announced the promotion of Christopher Allen to general manager of the 237-room full-service Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley Airport, located in Windsor Locks. The hotel is owned by R.K. Bradley Associates, a partnership between affiliates of Konover Hotel Corp., the hotel’s asset manager, and Waterford Hotel Group, which operates the hotel.
Allen boasts more than 25 years of food, beverage and hospitality experience, and as general manager for the Sheraton Hartford will oversee all operational, sales and administrative aspects of the property. He joins the Sheraton team from his most recent role as director of operations for the 285-room Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa, where he oversaw the rooms and food and beverage departments of the hotel. Before joining the Mystic Marriott, Allen served as resident hotel manager for the Boston Cambridge Marriott in Massachusetts, as well as food and beverage director for several properties, including the Marriott Seaview Resort & Spa in New Jersey and the Statler Hotel & J.W. Marriott Executive Education Center at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration in Ithaca, N.Y.
“Chris has been an important asset to the company due to his extensive hospitality management experience,” said Rob Winchester, president and COO for Waterford Hotel Group. “This is a well-deserved promotion and we wish him great success in his new role at the Sheraton Hartford.”
Allen holds a certificate from the Executive Education General Manager’s Program at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration, a bachelor’s degree in hotel, restaurant and travel administration from the University of Massachusetts, and an associate degree in occupational sciences-culinary arts from Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. He currently resides in Medford, Mass.
The Sheraton Hartford Hotel is located inside the Bradley airport complex, with an elevator from the indoor, underground 300-car parking garage providing direct access to the hotel and Bradley International Airport terminals. The Sheraton has been renovated to include new beddinChristopherAlleng, bathrooms and amenities. On-site amenities of the 10-story hotel include a concierge floor and lounge, an indoor swimming pool and complete exercise facility, high speed Internet access, 15 meeting rooms, a full-service restaurant, lounge, Starbucks Café, and grand ballroom to accommodate meeting and banquet functions up to 400 people.
Waterford Hotel Group is one of the nation’s leading hotel and convention center management companies. The company operates 29 properties in eight states, representing more than 3,500 total rooms and nearly 700,000 square feet of meeting and convention space. For more information, visit www.waterfordhotelgroup.com.