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 ⎜ S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 6 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 30 L O U I S I A N A • Alexandria Convention Hall: auditorium seating for 750 • Paragon Casino Resort (Marksville): See Breakout Spotlight page 40 Baton Rouge Baton Rouge has several claims to fame. It is Louisiana's capital city, its second-largest city, and it is home to Louisiana State University (LSU). Grand old buildings such as the Old State Capitol and the Old Governor's Mansion dot downtown. The Capitol Park Museum offers fascinating artifacts such as a rare Civil War submarine, a huge wooden shrimp trawler and an oil-well head and scale model of a drill- ing rig, all illustrating facets of Louisiana's exceptional history and culture. "Baton Rouge is an easily accessible city with our airport only seven miles from the hustle and bustle of downtown and we are conveniently located near three major inter- states: I-10, I-12 and I- 49," said Paul Arrigo, president and CEO of Visit Baton Rouge. "Our hotels are very accommodating and flexible with the needs of groups and our affordabil- ity makes it that much easier to plan your convention or event. Baton Rouge is a great destination at any time during the year due to our semi-tropical climate and our Southern hospitality that you are sure to experience from beginning to end." Arrigo noted several projects underway in- cluding the expected opening this fall of The Watermark, an Autograph Collection hotel by Marriott, and the imminent opening of a newly renamed downtown event venue to be called The TradeMark. The 148-room Watermark is housed in an iconic downtown building, constructed in 1926 as Baton Rouge's first skyscraper. It was orig- inally home to the Louisiana National Bank and the preserved bank vaults offer interesting, if small, hosting possibilities for the upscale property. Overall, it will have about 2,300 square feet of meeting space in four spaces, with the largest one capable of accommodating about 100 people. B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Jefferson Parish Jefferson Parish stretches long and narrow Jefferson Parish stretches long and narrow from Lake Pontchartrain to the Gulf of Mex- ico alongside New Orleans. Gretna, Kenner, Harahan, Harvey and Westwego are its most prominent cities and, combined, the area boasts almost 250,000 square feet of meet- ing space, 7,500 hotel rooms, a multitude of venues in the parish and all sorts of fun things to do. One of Jefferson Parish's most enticing off-hours offerings is the 1,066-seat Jeffer- son Performing Arts Center in Metairie. The venue hosts a regular lineup of top-notch entertainment and also has space suitable for small meetings or receptions. An iconic Jefferson Parish attraction is the Bayou Barn, a unique rustic barn/dance hall Bayou Barn, a unique rustic barn/dance hall Bayou Barn, a unique rustic barn/dance hall located just 15 miles from the French Quar- ter. The multifaceted Bayou Barn is a music ter. The multifaceted Bayou Barn is a music venue, an outdoor venue featuring a covered pavilion, an eatery and catering operation specializing in Cajun and Creole cuisine, and the outlet for canoe and kayak rentals for a trip into the Jean Lafitte National His- for a trip into the Jean Lafitte National His- torical Park and Preserve. Maybe the biggest news for the parish of late is the recently announced estab- lishment of the headquarters of startup riverboat cruise line French America Line at the JEDCO Business Innovation Center in Fairfield. The cruise in Fairfield. The cruise line offers premium tours along America's waterways. Also moving its headquarters into the facility is Uncommon Journeys, a luxury train Journeys, a luxury train and cruise travel oper- ation. Gretna has also reaped French America bounty, as the Jefferson Parish city's ferry terminal will become the Parish city's ferry terminal will become the home port for line's deluxe 150-passenger vessel, the Louisiane. Inaugural sailings of the Louisiane are scheduled to begin in Sep- tember 2016. Additional Jefferson Parish Meeting Spaces • Pontchartrain Convention & Civic Center (Kenner): 46,000 square feet of column-free exhibit space; 14,680 square feet of meeting space; six meeting rooms; 25,000-square-foot mezzanine lobby; 9,750-square-foot lobby • John A. Alario, Sr. Events Center at the Bayou Segnette Sports Complex (Kenner): 40,000 square feet of meeting and exhibit space; 30,000 square feet of floor space floor space • Hilton New Orleans Airport Hotel (Kenner): 21,180 square feet of meeting space; 23 meeting rooms • Boomtown Casino & Hotel New Orleans (Harvey): 15,000 square feet of meeting and conference space; 150 guest rooms • The Best Western Plus Landmark Hotel & Suites (Metairie): 15,500 square feet of meeting space; 250 guest rooms including 95 condo-style tower suites • Crowne Plaza New Orleans Airport (Kenner): 12,000 square feet of meeting space; 292 guest rooms • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel New Orleans Airport (Kenner): 12,000 square feet of meeting space; 245 guest rooms Contact: www.VisitKennerLA.com Comey Castle - Rivertown