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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A P R I L 2 0 1 7 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 53 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m F L O R I D A a 20,000-square-foot rooftop deck. A Hilton Homewood Suites is also expected to open this year. An Embassy Suites and a Hampton Inn & Suites, both in downtown Sarasota, are expected next year. All downtown Sarasota properties are situated on Sarasota Bay. The 294-room Hyatt Regency Sarasota is the county's largest property and has 20,000 square feet of meeting space. The nearby Ritz-Carlton Sarasota has 266 guest rooms with 20,000 square feet of meeting space. The 1,700- seat Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall is a nice off-site option with 6,000 square feet of flexible indoor space and additional outdoor bayfront space. Sarasota County's beachfront properties in- clude the 180-room Sandcastle Resort at Lido Beach and the 223-room luxury Lido Beach Resort property, the latter with 6,000 square feet of elegant meeting space. On Longboat Key, the new, contemporary Zota Beach Resort features 2,700 square feet of beachfront event space and 187 guest rooms and suites. The Resort at Longboat Key Club has 223 guest rooms, 12,000 square feet of meeting space, an on-site marina, golf course and spa. Sarasota County has several appealing attrac- tions, including the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus campus, which has a 31-gallery Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, the Historic Asolo Theater, an Education Center and the 66- acre Bayfront Gardens. St. Petersburg & Clearwater On the northernmost Gulf Coast reaches of the Southwest section of Florida sit St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Clearwater Beach. What's special about this coastal trio? How about mile upon mile of beautiful beach, the Gulf of Mexico, more than a dozen first-class resorts and upscale hotels, and dozens of top-caliber golf courses? As Suzanne Scully, director - International for the St. Pete/Clearwater CVB, said, "When book- ing a meeting in St. Petersburg and Clearwater, you get the best of both worlds. We have 36 miles of white-sand beaches with world-renowned resorts for those wanting their toes in the sand after a long day of meetings. For those who like to turn it up a notch after a long day, we also have a vibrant downtown that sits on the waterfront in St. Petersburg, with superb art and culture at The Dali Museum and The Chihuly Collection, live music venues and world-class restaurants, nightclubs and shopping – all just minutes from conference hotels." Overall, there are 2,000 new rooms in the works, more than 1,000 of them planned for Clearwater Beach alone. Opened in February, Opal Sands Resort on Gulfview Boulevard at Clearwater Beach has 230 guest rooms and 17,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space. The 450-room Wyndham Grand Resort at Clearwater Beach, opened in January, features ► @ocalamarion ocalamarion @ocalamarion Do More L dary Eve ts Amaz Meet s Sc ic Rides Oak -L ed Trails Outdoor Adve tures for your next meeting or event. Contact our meeting experts at or 888-FL-OCALA. Take Advantage of our Meet & Save Program

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