ConventionSouth

FEB 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 ⎜ F E B R U A R Y 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 18 FEATURE: CONVENTION CENTERS ADDING ACCOMMODATIONS TO PROVIDE CONVENIENCE Paducah, Kentucky Will Open New Convention Hotel In April Best known as the home of the Na- tional Quilt Museum and the host of the American Quilt Society's semi-an- nual QuiltWeek, held each spring and fall, Paducah, Ky. will soon have a new convention center hotel to add to its meeting and event offerings. "Our community understood that we needed a hotel adjacent to the convention center," said Becky Straley, director of convention sales for the Paducah Convention & Visitors Bureau. "The new hotel should be opened in mid-April and construction is going well. The exterior is complete with work being done on the interior." She added that the new hotel, a 123-room Holiday Inn, will have include Another Broken Egg, a full-service restaurant, along with 1,700 square feet of meeting space, dividable into two rooms, and a board room. According to Straley, the Paducah McCracken County Convention & Expo Center offer a combined 110,000 square feet of exhibit and meeting space, located along the riverfront in the city's historic down- town. The newly-renovated Walker Hall, located nearby, can seat up to 300. "It's a really tremendous space and is a gem for this entire region," she said. "The expo hall is drive-in ca- pable and has high ceilings. It's also very flexible and has a wide variety of uses. Recently, it's been turned into an ice rink. Even the parking area can be used for event space." Straley further said the new hotel will allow more meeting groups to enjoy the area's unique experiences, such as annual festivals, sports events and the works of local artists. "Paducah has a very authentic creative, atmosphere," she explained. "Part of what makes conventions successful in any area is making sure we have an ample number of sleeping rooms in the community and this adds some rooms adjacent to the hotel. Some conventions really require that proximity, so having the hotel positions us in a new conven- tion place." n ADOPTING ENVIRONMENTAL PRACTICES Green Initiatives Power The Greater Richmond Convention Center Sustainability was recently identified by the International Association of Venue Managers as one of five trends that will impact convention centers in 2017. Among the convention facilities in the South that is dedicated to sustainable practices is the Greater Richmond Convention Center (GRCC) in Richmond, Va. As a Certified Virginia Green Convention Center, the GRCC practices several core activities required to participate in the program, which include recy- cling, waste reduction and conservation of energy. Some specific examples of the sustainable practices at the GRCC include: Recycling of paper, plastic, aluminum, cardboard, glass, grease, toner cartridges, newspaper and fluorescent lamps No use of Styrofoam and reduction of disposables - The GRCC uses re- cycled paper, biodegradable products in concession stands and re-usable dishware, glassware and silverware. Water Efficiency – The GRCC retro-fitted all of its water fountains with filters and signage to encourage attendees to use them rather than indi- vidual bottles, reducing waste. Restrooms have low-flow toilets and other water-saving devices, including faucets retro-fitted with low-flow aerators to decrease water waste and the property is landscaped with drought-re- sistant plants. Energy Conservation - Incandescent lamps were switched to ener- gy-efficient fluorescent lighting wherever possible in the facility. State-of- the-art energy management systems were installed for HVAC and lighting throughout the building. LED lighting upgrades are being installed in several areas. Support of Green Conferences and Events - Recycling containers are provided to any and all meeting and show organizers. Additionally, the GRCC encourages the use of public transportation and walking. n

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