A New Boutique Hotel Opens in Cincinnati!

When you think boutique hotel, Ohio isn’t the first location to come to mind. And as Ohio-natives, of course, this news excited the McConnell Marketing team.

21c Museum Hotel opened to the public this week in downtown Cincinnati. The hotel is a result of a three-year renovation of the 100-year-old former Metropole Hotel in the city centre (across from the Aronoff Center for the Arts and around the corner from the Contemporary Arts Center).

“The location is perfect, it could not be any better,” Steve Wilson, co-founder and CEO, said.

Like all 21c Museum Hotels, the boutique hotel also doubles as a contemporary art museum. Wilson refers to his 21c properties as “the only museums in the country that are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week and are free to visit.”

According to the Business Courier, “The hotel is also home to the Metropole restaurant, led by executive chef Michael Paley, it has 8,000 square feet of exhibition meeting and event space, the 21c Spa will open soon and the rooftop bar will open in spring 2013.”

Wilson and his wife, Laura Lee Brown, opened their first 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky in 2005. The Cincinnati property is their second location, with a third scheduled to open in Bentonville, Arkansas and a fourth to open also in Louisville.


Our Favorite Thanksgiving Traditions

Living in a country known as the melting pot, Americans celebrate an abundance of different holidays. However, there’s one holiday that we all have in common—yep, you guessed it—Thanksgiving.

Sure, tons of families and friends gorge on a big meal and watch football and the parade, but every family has different traditions that make their Thanksgiving unique and special! And that’s no exception for the McConnell Marketing team.

Check out some of the team’s favorite Thanksgiving traditions:


My favorite Thanksgiving tradition involves waking up way too early on Thanksgiving Day. I get the coffee going, then let the dog out while it’s brewing. I head back inside to savor the silence. With steaming cup in hand, I then head to the den. For one or two glorious hours, I surf the web without purpose, avoiding any site that has to do with news, my career or my commitments. Thankful.

Katie H.

When I was the producer on Sparkle Markets Great Groceries, host, Nancy showed these turkeys years ago, and I’ve been making them with the twins for the last few years. All you need is one potato, four toothpicks, paper and markers. They make simple and cute place settings that give the kids a way to contribute to Thanksgiving (and keeps them occupied while waiting to eat).


Every year on the day before Thanksgiving, I go over to my mom’s house, where we drink wine while I help her cook. The family favorite is my grandma’s stuffing recipe. After she passed away, I’d spent years perfecting it, trying to make it taste exactly like hers. There’s no exact recipe written down anywhere, so it’s completely done from memory…and I finally have it down.

Katie W.

I love waking up early on Thanksgiving morning to the smell of my mom’s cinnamon rolls. My family watches the Thanksgiving Day Parade while we all rip bread, cut celery and carrots and help make the famous stuffing that will later be devoured by the 30+ family members at our Thanksgiving feast!


Since all of our extended family lives out of town, my parents, brother and I get celebrate Thanksgiving with our long-time family friends that live right down the street. We only see everyone once or twice a year, but every time we get together, it feels like we take off right where we left. We’ve been doing this ever since I was a little kid, and this time next year, a new generation will be taking part in our Thanksgiving tradition! *Note: I’m not the pregnant one.


After a warm, luxurious feast with the family, all of the cousins gather around for a fierce game of everyone’s favorite board game—Monopoly. As dinner comes to an end, the cousins quickly turn on each other—for there can be only one winner of the game. With a handshake to the shark, we crown the winner Victor of Monopoly until the next year’s Thanksgiving.


Over the last few years my high school buddies and I meet at the 50 yard line, and we play in the Western Reserve Turkey Bowl. For a few hours, we relive the glory days of high school, and then soon after come to the realization of how hopelessly out of shape we’ve gotten.

Everyone at McConnell Marketing wishes you an amazing Thanksgiving with family and friends!

Have Travel Plans for Thanksgiving? More Than a Third of Americans Do!

Can you believe Thanksgiving is already two weeks away? If you haven’t by now, it’s time to start making plans with friends and family, especially if it requires traveling.

After surveying more than 1,500 U.S. respondents, TripAdvisor announced the results of its Thanksgiving travel survey. Thirty-five percent of travelers are planning to travel this Thanksgiving (up from the 34% who did so last year).

“More than a third of Americans are traveling for Thanksgiving, and for some the journey is as much a part of the tradition as the turkey,” said Brooke Ferencsik, director of communications at TripAdvisor. “Even with rising airfares, travelers will find their way to see family and friends for the holiday, whether it’s booking early or driving instead of taking to the skies.”

Check out more of the results:

– Peak Thanksgiving Travel Days

  • 31% – Thanksgiving Day, November 22
  • 28% – Wednesday, November 21
  • 19% – Earlier than Monday, November 19

*Half of travelers will head home on Sunday, November 25 or later.

– Distances Traveled for Thanksgiving

  • 41% – Traveling more than 500 miles
  • 26% – Traveling between 100-300 miles
  • 18% – Traveling 300-500 miles

*70 percent will drive at “off-peak” hours to try and avoid the worst of the Thanksgiving holiday traffic.

– Effect of Rising Airfares

Forty-seven percent of travelers said rising airfares impacted their Thanksgiving travel. These are the top three ways they were affected:

  • 41% – Booked their flight early
  • 35% – Will drive to their destination instead of fly
  • 3% – Still waiting for prices to come down

– What Travelers Plan to Spend on Thanksgiving Travel

  • 38% will spend more on Thanksgiving travel this year than in 2011
  • 46% will spend the same
  • 10 % will spend less

– Most Popular U.S. Cities for Thanksgiving

  1. New York City
  2. Boston
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Orlando
  5. Philadelphia

– Where Travelers are Staying for Thanksgiving

  • 47% – At the home of family or friends
  • 33% – Hotel
  • 8% – Vacation Rental

– Appetite for Technology

Among those traveling for Thanksgiving, 47% will use a smartphone or tablet device to plan or assist in their Thanksgiving holiday travel. The top uses include:

  • 80% – Checking the weather
  • 51% – Researching restaurants
  • 51% – GPS navigation
  • 38% – Checking the status of a flight
  • 27% – Researching a destination

What are your plans this year? Traveling? Staying home? Whatever your plans may be, we at McConnell Marketing wish you and your friends and family a Happy Thanksgiving!