JUL 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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Texas Horse Country, which has one of the largest concentrations of horse farms in the U.S. A Small Market Within an Expansive City Small markets are not necessarily small towns, as demonstrated by Jacksonville, Fla. With its city limits extending 840 square miles, this destination is, geographically speaking, the largest city in the continental U.S. However, within this destination are a number of smaller, distinct communities that offer a the feel of a smaller town, according to Visit Jacksonville and the Beaches, which describes it as "a melting pot of cultures and tastes, with a thriving culinary culture pioneered by local chefs that have been nationally and internationally trained." One venue that specializes in small-market meetings is the Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront hotel, featuring more than 116,000 square feet of meeting space and 951 guest rooms, which underwent a floor-to-ceiling, multi-million dollar renovation last year. "The inspiration for the look of the redesigned guest rooms lies adjacent to the hotel: the natural beauty of the majestic St. Johns River," said Cory Baum, the hotel's director of sales and marketing. "Soft hues and natural tones in shades of blue, green, gray and taupe create a tranquil ambiance conducive to rest and relaxation." Baum mentioned several unique and "experience-creating" function spaces in the Hyatt, including a deck overlooking the St. Johns River, the Main Street bridge and Jacksonville's Southbank cityscape. "The Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront has emerged from a multimillion-dollar renovation, which complements its unique riverfront location, and we just welcomed Morton's The Steakhouse as an additional amenity for our guests," said Gino Caliendo, general manager for Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. "Our meeting planners are often pleasantly surprised to discover the convenience and opportunity of a large convention hotel in a city that is easy to navigate." A Small-Market Golf Mecca with World-Class Service The Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area of North Carolina offers a good example of a smaller destination that has a wide variety of exceptional meeting facilities suitable for groups ranging in size from 12 to 1,000. As a seven-time winner of ConventionSouth's annual Reader's Choice Award, this region is known for world-class golf as well as world-class service. Along with the legendary Pinehurst Resort, this area features venues such as Pine Needles Lodge & Golf Club, Little River Golf & Resort and The Fair Barn, the oldest surviving early 20th Century fair exhibition hall in North Carolina. Built in 1917, The Fair Barn was recently restored and is now a multipurpose facility for exhibitions, receptions, private parties, auctions, educational clinics, business seminars, concerts, and art and antique shows. A significant advantage of scheduling a meeting for the Pinehurst, Southern Pines, Aberdeen area, according to the CVB, is the laid-back atmosphere and pace. Beyond golf, which is everywhere, there are great hiking trails, opportunities for cycling, disc golf, fishing and walking tours. Independent restaurants, craft breweries and local wineries abound. Unique attractions include the North Carolina Pottery Center, the Sandhills Horticultural Gardens and the Carolina Horse Park. n J U L Y 2 0 1 7 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 23 SMALL MARKETS...BIG ON MEETINGS b o r n t o c e l e b r a t e Y O U R N E X T C O N F E R E N C E W I N A C H A N C E T O V I S I T H I S T O R I C M O B I L E F O L L O W E D B Y A C A R I B B E A N C RU I S E ! F O R M O R E D E TA I L S , G O T O W W W.M E E T I N M O B I L E.O R G Pine Crest Inn Lobby in Tryon, North Carolina

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