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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A P R I L 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 29 Florida E V E N T P L A N N E R ' S G U I D E T O FL B R E V A R D Z O O Located in Melbourne, the Brevard Zoo offers a number of options for group events, including the Nyami River Lodge, a 3,000-square-foot indoor space with A/V, Wi-Fi and a caterer's kitchen. A covered veranda overlooks a picturesque giraffe exhibit. Special animal encounters with sloths, goats, alpacas and birds add a unique touch to any event. Additional group options include a Treetop Trek ad- venture, train rides, animal feedings, kayaking and scavenger hunts. BY D. FRAN MORLEY, T. WAYNE WATERS & SABE FINK According to Visit Florida, both corporate and association meeting planners across the country gave the Sunshine State the highest ranking for affordable travel, accessibility and value in a recent research study. Along with beautiful year-round weather, and diverse hotel and venue opportunities, Visit Florida cites convenient and abundant air service, unlimited activities and a wide range of corporate social responsibility (CSR) opportunities as key reasons why it's "Good business to do business in Florida!" NORTHEAST FLORIDA Amelia Island Just 30 minutes from Jacksonville International Airport, Amelia Island has a variety of lodging, meeting and event options, ranging from upscale resorts to quaint bed and breakfast inns to tradi- tional conference spaces at brand hotels. The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort completed an extensive $85 million re-imagi- nation in 2013 and offers 404 guest rooms with 27 suites, nine dining options and 80,000 square feet of meeting space, plus additional pre-func- tion areas and an 11,000-square-foot event lawn. Lodging also includes 350 rooms at The Villas of Amelia Island Plantation. The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island has more than 48,000 square feet of conference space including several oceanside areas, with 19 meeting rooms. The 488-room resort features a private 18-hole golf course, luxury spa and numerous fine-dining options. Summer Beach Resort is adjacent to the Ritz-Carlton and offers 75 oceanfront or resort-view accommodations in private villas, townhomes and luxury condo- miniums, with meeting space for up to 84 guests. The 50-block historic district of Fernandina Beach, the largest town on the island, has doz- ens of shops, restaurants and attractions. Lodg- ing in town includes the 122-room Hampton Inn & Suites Amelia Island-Historic Harbor Front, which has 1,500 square feet of event space. ► Photo: Space Coast Office of Tourism