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 56 F L O R I D A Buccaneer Bay offers a fun-filled flume ride for thrill seekers of all ages. The Weeki Wachee River offers the best location to see and interact with the Florida manatee and Weeki Wachee provides a team-building side trip during or after a meeting. Tallahassee Florida's capital city and surrounding Leon County saw its seventh consecutive year of growth in 2016, with more than 2.35 million visitors from 47 different states and 36 countries, generating $863 million in economic impact, according to Visit Tallahassee. Among the good news was a 61.8 percent increase in hotel occu- pancy, with $17.5 million in visitor spending re- lated to meetings and leisure groups and 99 youth and adult sports events held during the past year. "There are positive indicators in visitation, spending and tourism-related jobs that frame our goal of achieving even more and reaching new heights," said Visit Tallahassee Executive Direc- tor Kerri Post. "We are closer to becoming a na- tionally recognized destination acclaimed for our tremendous outdoor recreation, dining, arts and culture, history and heritage, and entertainment." One project underway is the redevelopment of the Centre of Tallahassee (formerly the Talla- hassee Mall), which will become the city's hub for arts, retail and dining, with a 10,000-seat am- phitheater and a local brewery. Additionally, the city is constructing a Capital City to the Sea Trail, which will run through town and continue to the Gulf of Mexico. Tallahassee has 58 hotels offering 6,000 guest rooms, with approximately 34,000 square feet of exhibit space and 40,000 square feet of meeting space at a variety of properties, including Four Points by Sheraton Tallahassee Downtown; Hotel Duval, Autograph Collection; Aloft Tallahassee Downtown; and Doubletree by Hilton Hotel Tal- lahassee. A variety of meeting and event venues accom- modate groups of 10 - 1,200 people. The Florida State University Conference Center has 47,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting space, while the 35,000-square-foot Tallahassee Auto- motive Museum offers the city's largest banquet facilities. The Tallahassee Museum has 10,000 square feet of function space on a 52-acre lake- side setting and the Cascades Park Amphitheater is a 3,500-seat outdoor venue often used for mu- sical performances. Panama City Beach Panama City Beach boasts 27 miles of sug- ar-white sand beaches bordering the clear turquoise waters of the Gulf of Mexico and St. Andrews Bay. Family attractions, championship golf courses, sporting events, award-winning din- ing, predictably sunny weather and a vast number of recreational activities draw visitors to this seaside destination and a wide variety of meet- ing venues provide 160,000 square feet of event space. Additionally, there are four conference resorts and 20,000 additional rooms at area hotels and condos. Following a multi-million-dollar renovation, the Sheraton Bay Point Resort recently re-opened its main hotel, with 200 all-new guestrooms, 60,000 square feet of indoor event space and several outdoor event venues. Nestled within a 1,100-acre wildlife preserve on St. Andrews Bay the resort also offers 120 golf villas, two 18-hole golf courses, five clay tennis courts, three outdoor pools, a full-service luxury spa, a private bay beach and boat trips to nearby Shell Island. Destin Area The beachside cities of Destin, Fort Walton Beach and Okaloosa Island beckon travelers with the lure of stunning sugar-white beaches, vibrant emerald-green waters and an abundance of dining options focused on the Gulf-to-table philosophy. Accommodation options include budget to luxury hotel rooms and condominiums. The Destin-Fort Walton Beach Airport (VPS) is just eight miles from the beaches. On Okaloosa Island, the Emerald Coast Con- vention Center has 35,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space within a short stroll of the Gulf of Mexico, and offering views of Choc- tawhatchee Bay. The facility has 12 breakout rooms, the 21,000-square-foot Emerald Grand Ballroom and a 6,000-square-foot kitchen. Other meeting facilities include the Emerald Grande, which overlooks the East Pass and the Imagine a team-building event on the beach, a sunset social event on a gulf-side deck nestled in the dunes, or breakout sessions under beach umbrellas. The Resorts at Pelican Beach in Destin offer all of these options, along with a two-story conference center that accommo- dates groups of us to 300 people and has a circular staircase and signature artwork to wel- come attendees. All meeting space in the con- ference center is located on the second floor with a terrace and large window views over- looking the outdoor pools and the Gulf. Addi- tionally, the resort offers the Dolphin Room, located on the third floor above the lobby in the Pelican Beach Resort, serves groups up to 30 people. The Terrace Room, located on the lobby level of The Terrace at Pelican Beach, serves groups up to 40 people and overlooks the pool deck. For outdoor functions, a beachside deck is nestled in the dunes overlooking the beach and Gulf of Mexico and serves up to 250 people in a social setting. Located on the west side of Destin, The Resorts of Pelican Beach are close to all the popular area attractions. Accommodations include one-, two- and three-bedroom condos, with pools, tennis courts, fitness centers, a tiki bar and lounge among the on-site amenities . n B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Pelican Beach Resort & Conference Center Contact:

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