Gary Diedrichs

Gary Diedrichs is senior content editor at Smart Meetings. He has degrees in history from Princeton and New York University. His journalism career has spanned staff positions in radio, newspapers, magazines and websites. Other writing includes a novel set in Sausalito, California, in the 1950s. In his spare time, he publishes an award-winning website devoted to eco-friendly travel.

Can You Negotiate Away Annoying Hotel Fees?

You Can Negotiate Away Annoying Hotel FeesPlannerTips & Tools

In this case, what happened in Vegas didn’t stay in Vegas. The resort fee—a daily charge tacked onto a hotel or resort room rate for services guests may or may not want—began there about eight years ago. Last year, the U.S. hotel market collected an estimated $2.7 billion for all manner of fees and surcharges,…

Lost Lessons of MargaritavilleMeeting Planning

You may think you know Jimmy Buffett and his “Margaritaville.” But we’re guessing that, unless you’ve been paying really close attention, you don’t. Think big…and then think even bigger. The man is light industry. Between his album sales, tours and businesses, Jimmy was estimated by Forbes to have earned $50.5 million last year. (By the way, we are referring to him by his first name, because the “patron saint of the untroubled,” as The New York Times has dubbed him, prefers it that way.) The previous year, his net wealth was said to be $500 million.

10 Great Ski Resorts for MeetingsDestinations

‘Tis the season for shussing. Combining a winter meeting with a winter wonderland can make for high-speed team building and lasting impressions. Even nonskiers will love the ambiance—and all the alternative activities major ski resorts offer. Here (in alphabetical order) are some of the best U.S. ski destinations at which to combine mastering the slopes…

World’s 8 Best New Year’s Eve PartiesDestinationsInternational

New York City, Orlando, Atlanta, Los Angeles and San Francisco ranked as the top U.S. cities to ring in the New Year in a WalletHub comparison of 25 key indicators—cost, food, entertainment and safety were top considerations. But if you could celebrate anywhere in the world, where will the absolute best parties be? Try on…

Wall-to-Table DiningFood & Beverage

“The 2020s will be the decade of the Vertical Agriculture Revolution,” proclaims futurist Ray Kurzweil, who’s also director of engineering at Google. He’s referring to veggies and herbs grown sustainably indoors without dirt, using hydroponic (plants rooted in nutrient-rich liquid) or aeroponic (no growing medium) technology and often arrayed as a living wall.


Bitcoin Explained, For Meeting PlannersGadgetsTechnologyTechnology News

Bitcoin is a decentralized, digital “cryptocurrency” powered by a vast computer network. It’s been recognized as a currency by the European Union, yet China recently closed cryptocurrency exchanges serving its local markets—where more than 80 percent of the world’s Bitcoin transactions and financing activities were taking place until recently.