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November 8, 2016

U.S. and Mexico: The Latest Venue Updates

hilton portland

New venue updates lead the meetings and events industry news this week in the United States and Mexico. Find out more. 

Hilton Portland to Wrap Renovations in Spring 2017

In Portland, the 782-room Hilton Portland has announced plans for a multimillion-dollar renovation of its events space, guest rooms, lobby and restaurant and bar venues, slated for completing in spring 2017. 

The project will add 6,500 square feet of new meeting and event space, as well as new restaurant and bar venues. Altogether, the project will bring the property’s event space total to 60,000 square feet, with the addition of two new breakout rooms converted from the hotel’s former athletic club. On the second floor of the main building, a 5,500 square foot ballroom has been added to allow for a space that is flooded with light from the windows on three of the walls and a large skylight. Additional break out space was expanded by 600 square feet to support the Plaza Level, and the new fitness room has been relocated to the first floor. 

Lobby updates will include a new front desk and a communal seating area in the area between HopCity Tavern & Market, the hotel’s locally-sourced American gastro pub which opened in 2015, and the new front desk.

The Executive Tower building of the Hilton Portland, located across the street from the main tower of the hotel, will also undergo a complete transformation into a boutique lifestyle hotel with a new name. This space will also include a new restaurant called Jackrabbit by Chef Chris Cosentino, to be completed in spring 2017. 

Hyatt Regency Coral Gables Renovates Mezzanine Level Rooms and Boardrooms

In Miami, the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables has completed a four-month renovation of its mezzanine level rooms and boardrooms, as well as the Alcazaba ballroom, once a popular nightclub. All of the newly renovated spaces make up part of the property’s 19,000 square feet of meeting and event space. 

In terms of food and beverage, the 253-room hotel has also updated its restaurants with a refresh for the Two Sisters, which first opened its doors in 1987. 

mgm national harbor

MGM National Harbor Joins ALHI Ahead of December Opening

In Maryland, the 308-room MGM National Harbor, which is set to open this December on the banks of the Potomac River, has joined Associated Luxury Hotels International (ALHI). The resort is now served by the ALHI Global Sales Organization to the North American Meetings & Incentives marketplace, according to ALHI President Jim Schultenover.

When it opens the resort will have 53,000 square feet of meeting space, including the 16,137 square foot MGM Grand Ballroom, with a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping views of the Potomac River. Additional meeting and event options include the 4,300-square-foot Bellagio Ballroom, the Grand Ballroom Terrace, a 3,000-seat theater, and picturesque Potomac Plaza (overlooking the harbor with views of the Potomac and the nation’s capital). The guest rooms and suites will have modern amenities, a 48-inch HD LCD TV, and high-speed Wi-Fi. In addition, the resort will offer a 125,000-square-foot casino, a 27,000-square-foot spa, celebrity chef restaurants, a Pan Asian restaurant, a sports bar, patisserie, food market, and luxury retail shops. The resort is just seven miles from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and 36 miles from both Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI) and Dulles International Airport (IAD).

orange county convention center

What’s Next for the Orange County Convention Center

Finally, in convention center news, Orlando reports that the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC) is nearing the 2017 completion of its three-year, multimillion-dollar capital improvement plan (CPI). 

The CIP brings a number of facility-wide renovations and upgrades and adds new spaces, like new Destination Lounges in the OCCC’s North/South Building for networking and rejuvenation. Other spaces are being modernized, including a revamp of the show offices within West Halls D and E, as well as public spaces in the West Building. The OCCC has already completed upgrades to the wireless system in both the North/South and West buildings, bringing the network to a total of 1,100 access points. Still on the docket is a fifth pedestrian bridge spanning International Drive between the West Building’s third-level lobby and the sidewalk in front of the Hyatt Regency Orlando, set to open in 2017 to join the four existing pedestrian bridges to neighboring hotels. 

The plan is wrapping up as Orlando recently passed the 60 million visitor milestone, setting a new record for the U.S. tourism industry. 

Photo by RiverNorthPhotography/iStock/Getty Images Plus/Getty Images

DoubleTree by HiltonDetroit Bloomfield Hills to Open in 2017

The new DoubleTree by HiltonDetroit Bloomfield Hills is set to open in fall 2017 with 11,396 square feet of flexible meeting space. 

Formerly the historic Kingsley Inn, the 147-room hotel will undergo a $10 million revitalization project this fall ahead of its rebranding as a DoubleTree. The hotel’s meeting space includes two ballrooms and pre-function areas. The Grand Ballroom has a dance floor and the Bloomfield Ballroom can be divided into three separate areas of approximately 1,000 square feet each. 

The hotel will also have a new full-service restaurant, Joe Muer Seafood, and an indoor pool. 

sevierville convention center

Events Space at Wilderness at the Smokies

Looking to book an event in Tennessee? In the Great Smoky Mountains, Wilderness at the Smokies is a mountain-modern resort with an array of flexible and unique meeting space options. The Deep Creek Meeting Rooms and Cades Cove Meeting Rooms, located at Stone Hill Lodge, can accommodate groups from 35 to135, depending on banquet, classroom or theater set up. Both rooms can be divided for smaller gatherings. Additionally, the resort offers six King Executive Suites, uniquely designed with a breakout boardroom. Birthday party rooms are available as part of Monty’s Party Package, and include access to Tennessee’s largest indoor waterpark, Wild WaterDome Indoor Waterpark and two seasonal outdoor waterparks. Add on options for birthday parties include waterpark cabanas, adventure forest day passes, cake and ice-cream and an abundance of build-your-own party options.

Call 865.868.2177 for more information.

The Sevierville Convention Center, located at Stone Hill Lodge, offers corporate meeting and group planners 200,000 square feet of flexible meeting and entertainment space. The 108,245 square-foot exhibit hall can host trade shows or can accommodate up to 7,000 guests for a sit-down banquet, while a 19,290 square-foot ballroom can accommodate up to 1,120 for a plated dinner function. Both the exhibit hall and the ballroom can be separated into smaller spaces via a flexible air-wall system. For smaller gatherings, private meeting rooms are available and range in size from 511 to 1,022 square feet. For a more unique setting or function, there is also a rotunda, pre-function space, and a 54,450 square-foot tent area for outdoor gatherings. The facility is equipped with ten loading docks, and more than 1,600 parking spaces. The Sevierville Convention Center is wholly owned and operated by the City of Sevierville

Visit Seviervilleconventioncenter.com

All meeting and event spaces have state of the art audio/visual equipment and technology and also offer an extensive menu of dining and catering options.

Located off Interstate 40 in Sevierville, TN, and spanning over 200 acres, Wilderness at the Smokies’ River Lodge Suites and adjacent Stone Hill Lodge have 713 guest rooms, suites and villas. Additional lodging options include seven sanctuary villas located off-site. Wilderness at the Smokies is home to the largest year-round indoor waterpark in the state, two seasonal outdoor waterparks, a family adventure center, daily activities, dining and shopping. The Sevierville Golf Club, located adjacent to Wilderness at the Smokies, offers two eighteen hole championship courses and is recognized by Golf Digest as one of the top ten course renovations in the country.

Visit www.WildernessattheSmokies.com

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