MAY 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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M A 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 11 Previously, Talbert worked for Visit Wichita for seven years, as well as the Nashville CVB, work- ing the Mid-Atlantic market. South Carolina New Director Of Sales And Marketing MYRTLE BEACH—Alan Fabris is now director of sales and marketing at the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton, Myrtle Beach Oceanfront. Prior to this appoint- ment, he was area director of sales and marketing for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, overseeing 14 properties through- out the Midwest. Texas Statler Hotel Appoints New Sales Staff DALLAS—The Statler Hotel, which is undergoing a $225 million redevelopment expected to be complete this spring, has appointed Evan Danziger as general manager and Jennifer Wasserman as director of sales and marketing. Danziger previously served as general manager of the Embassy Suites Denver Inter- national Airport and as assistant general manager of the Embassy Suites Phoenix – Scottsdale. Was- serman has more than 20 years of hospitality experience and most recently served as director of sales and marketing at the Highland Dallas. Dual-Branded Hotel Opened DALLAS—The dual-brand- ed Aloft and Element Dallas Love Field has opened just south of Dallas Love Field Airport. The Aloft offers 133 guest rooms, a 24-hour fitness center, free Wi- Fi and a keyless entry system, while the Element offers 91 guest rooms, a complimentary "Bikes to Borrow" program and healthy dining options. The properties share 6,500 square feet of meeting space. Major Renovation Completed DALLAS—The Westin Dallas Park Central has completed a multi-million-dollar renovation. The update included upgrades to all 536 guest rooms, the lobby, restaurant and bar, fitness facil- ities, rooftop pool and 42,000 square feet of meeting space. Virginia New Sales Managers at Virginia's Blue Ridge ROANOKE—Visit Virginia's Blue Ridge (Visit VBR), formerly the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau, recently name Ashley Woodlief as Senior Na- tional Sales Manager, and Kayla Crutcher as Sales & Services/ CRM Manager. Both recently joined Visit VBR and are responsi- ble for booking citywide, associa- tion and corporate business. Woodlief previously worked in the hospitality industry in Ra- leigh, N.C., and will work from a satellite office in Raleigh focusing on sales opportunities along the Mid-Atlantic region and I-95 corridor, a new position for the organization. Crutcher comes to Visit VBR from Destination DC, where she held a meeting services manager position servicing groups in all markets between 10 and 1,349 room nights on peak. "The Roanoke Valley in Vir- ginia's Blue Ridge is a perfect meeting destination that offers top-quality facilities with tremen- dous value amid all the natural beauty of the region," stated Alex Michaels, vice president of sales and services for Visit VBR. "We're thrilled to welcome two more seasoned sales profes- sionals to the Visit VBR team to help bring more meetings sales opportunities to our region." Major Renovation Completed WASHINGTON—The 470- room Washington Marriott Georgetown has completed a $28 million renovation. The hotel updated its 18 meeting rooms and added three new rooms, bringing its total meeting space to 22,000 square feet. n CORPUS CHRISTI, TEXAS — A new experience, Caribbean Journey, will open May 13 at the Texas State Aquarium (TSA). The $58 million, 71,000-square-foot expansion will double the size, species and pro- gramming of the existing facility and advance its mission to engage people with animals, inspire appreciation for the sea and support wildlife conservation. TSA will premiere a 12-minute film, "Shark: A 4-D Experience," which explores the complex nature of sharks and their survival in- stincts, spotlighting 10 species of sharks with underwater visuals and special effects. "Caribbean Journey enhances our guests' experience with one- of-a-kind, immersive exhibits that bring the marine world of the Caribbean Sea to life in the Gulf Coast of Texas," said Texas State Aquarium President & CEO Tom Schmid. "This substantial expansion, alongside our show stopping 4-D film, transforms the aquarium expe- rience into a highly interactive, educational and action-packed adven- ture that is a must for marine life enthusiasts of all ages." The final product is estimated to increase the annual economic impact of TSA to $69 million, supporting 887 area jobs and more than $10 million in annual hotel room sales, and create more than 50 new full-time jobs with salaries and benefits of nearly $2 million. n Caribbean Journey At Texas State Aquarium Woodlief Crutcher

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