OCT 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 ⎜ O C T O B E R 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 8 Florida Dual-Branded Hotel Opens CLEARWATER BEACH — The dual-branded Residence Inn and SpringHill Suites Clearwater Beach opened in September, offering access to the Clearwater Beach Marina, downtown Clear- water, Pier 60, Clearwater Ma- rine Aquarium, Sand Key Park, the Cleveland Street District and St. Petersburg-Clearwater Inter- national Airport. Co-located under one roof, the Marriott dual-branded hotels in- clude 140 suites at the Residence Inn and 115 suites at SpringHill Suites. The properties share an outdoor swimming pool with an expanded sun deck and marina views, a state-of-the-art fitness center and covered valet park- ing. Three meeting rooms — The Coronado Room, The Mandalay Room and The Gulfview Room — offer a total of more than 2,400 square feet of event space. In addition, the property includes 7,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space for shopping and dining. LBA Hospitality, the prop- erty's management firm, has named Ron Bitz general man- ager and Kelly Clark director of sales. Bitz has 35 years of hospitality experience and most recently served as area general manager for Hilton Worldwide. Clark brings 15 years of hospi- tality experience and was previ- ously director of sales at a Hilton hotel in the area. Georgia Telling The Stories of Macon MACON — A new exhibit, "Un- told Stories: Macon's African American History," features archival images, documents, his- torical artifacts and works of art. Opened at the Tubman Museum in September, the exhibit docu- ments the people and places that have had a significant impact on the African-American commu- nity in Macon. It also marks the beginning of a partnership between the Tubman Museum and Historic Macon Founda- tion, which is the presenting sponsor of the exhibition. The exhibit will be on display at least through the end of 2017. Founded in 1981 and named for Harriet Tubman, called black Moses for her efforts to lead hundreds of slaves to freedom, the Tubman Museum offers diverse permanent and changing exhibitions, innovative educational programming, cut- ting-edge technology, print and digital publications, festivals, lectures, concerts and a host of special events throughout the year. Louisiana Michael Smith Named Gen- eral Manager of the Year NEW ORLEANS — Michael Smith, general manager of the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, was recently awarded the Jay A. Pritzker Award for Leadership by Hyatt Hotels Corporation. This award recognizes indi- viduals who have consistently demonstrated their ability as leaders and innovators in the hospitality industry. Michael was recognized for his achievements in managing a top-performing hotel, as well as representing Hyatt's core values as a leader within the corporation and the New Orleans community. "This is a very well-deserved honor for Michael who, during his time in New Orleans, has proven himself to be not only an accomplished general manager but also a leader in the city's business community and a major player in numerous philanthropic endeavors," said Dave Phillips, senior vice president of Hyatt Hotels Corporation. "Under his leadership and as a result of his vision and passion, Hyatt Regency New Orleans has become the city's premiere hotel destination. Michael is truly a role model when it comes to liv- ing Hyatt's purpose and values, and I cannot think of a more deserving candidate to receive the Jay Pritzker Award." across the New Sports and Entertainment Restaurant Opens FOLEY, AL— Groovy Goat, a new sports and entertainment restaurant, opened Sept. 30. The restaurant is part of OWA, a 500-acre destination resort near the Alabama gulf coast devel- oped by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The latest concept from Sunshine Ventures, an Orlando-based restaurant com- pany, Groovy Goat features large screens for watching sports, a scratch kitchen offering a twist on many of the traditional sports restaurant offerings and more than 40 arcade games. "This area of Alabama has started a tourism renaissance and we're excited to bring to fruition a concept sports fans, families and nearly anyone will find appealing," said Andrew Gross, CEO of Sunshine Ventures. "What the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is building will be a true destination for the entire Southeast and we believe a concept like Groovy Goat will become an iconic part of this growth." Opened earlier this year, OWA includes the Marriott Towne- Place Suites and The Park at OWA, a themed amusement park with 20 rides. There are also unique shopping and dining experi- ences surrounding a lake, with space for outdoor adventures, an amphitheater and music venues. n

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