ConventionSouth

APR 2017

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ A P R I L 2 0 1 7 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 52 F L O R I D A Tours can accommodate up to 12 people at a time. Charlotte Harbor is home to the King Fisher Fleet, which offers a number of fishing charters and sightseeing cruises. The new vessel in the fleet is the "Charlotte Lady," a custom-built double-decker boat with a topside canopy and well-appointed interior that can accommodate 125 passengers. It's a great option for a business event. Shopping and dining options at the adja- cent and newly renovated Fishermen's Village include five restaurants and the Military Heritage Museum. The Charlotte Harbor Event & Conference Center provides 26,000 square feet of meeting space and the Englewood Event Center another 6,400. Within walking distance, The Four Points by Sheraton Punta Gorda Harborside provides 106 guest rooms, meeting space for up to 100 and a Tiki Bar along the water. Punta Gorda Wa- terfront Hotel & Suites has 5,300 square feet of meeting space, along with 187 guest rooms. The Wyvern Hotel Punta Gorda is a boutique property with 63 guest rooms, the 750-square-foot River Room, which accommodates 50, and the Rooftop Terrace pool, bar and event venue overlooking the bay. Riverwood, an 18-hole championship golf course, has a conference room that accom- modates 60 and is a popular place for group tournaments. Nearby, the Palm Island Resort at Cape Haze offers 160 accommodation in one-, two- and three-bedroom villas and 1,200 square feet of meeting space, along with many recreational options. The Charlotte Sports Park in Port Charlotte is another interesting Punta Gorda/Englewood Beach-area venue. The 5,400-seat baseball sta- dium has group function areas and is the spring training home of the Tampa Bay Rays. Sarasota Only 60 miles south of Tampa, modestly sized Sarasota offers a mix of 30 beachfront and bayfront properties with more than 5,000 guest rooms, including the 140-room Aloft Sarasota that opened last year. Lynn Hobeck Bates of Visit Sarasota County said 1,200 guest rooms are expected to be added in Sarasota County by the end of 2018. A 300-room Westin Hotel will open next to The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota this year and will include about 20,000 square feet of meeting space and A four-time winner of ConventionSouth's Readers' Choice Award, South Walton host everything from large corporate meetings to intimate reunions. "Of course, the beach is the primary draw, and the attractive and efficient meeting venues and award-win- ning lodging are designed to make group events easy and the event staff can take care of even the smallest detail," said Visit South Walton's Marketing Coordinator Kelli Carter. Along with a stretch of sugary white beaches, this area offers 16 distinct commu- nities, with something new and exciting for every meeting planner, attendee and family member. Recently, Visit South Walton welcomed P.J. Loughman as the new director of mar- keting. In other area news, construction is underway on the Seascape Towne Centre, an innovative 55,000-square-foot in- door-outdoor gathering space. Part of the Seascape Resort, a 300-acre golf, beach and tennis resort in Miramar Beach, the new venue features a ropes course, climbing walls and Thrills Laser Tag & Arcade. "Towne Centre is poised to become the premier restaurant and entertainment complex in the Destin-Miramar Beach area," said Jay Net- tles, general manager. To support area wildlife, South Walton is undertaking artificial reef construction, which will also provide swimming, snorkeling, div- ing and fishing opportunities for group team building. In addition, more than 30 vendors offer "ecosploring" tours and activities that showcase the unique ecosystem of brackish coastal dune lakes, longleaf pine forests, moss-draped oaks and native palmetto groves. n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Visit South Walton Contact: www.meetinsouthwalton.com

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