SEP 2016

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 32 L O U I S I A N A for the New Orleans CVB. "Coupled with our world-class meetings infrastructure and partners, New Orleans is a leading destination for organizations in busi- ness that know the meeting environment is as important as the agenda," said Banasch. "So we invite everyone to 'Let our way of life in- spire your way of work.' When you bring your meeting to New Orleans, your ideas loosen up along with the rest of you." One of the biggest projects underway in the Big Easy is a new venture to revitalize 47 acres of land upriver from the existing Ernest N. Mo- rial Convention Center. The Convention Center District Development Project will bring new cultural, entertainment, dining and arts options, and feature a four-star headquarter hotel, trans- portation hub, new restaurants, shops, galleries and outdoor entertainment space, as well as high-rise residences, according to the CVB. Featuring the 1,800-acre Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge, where cypress-studded waters and trails offer a range of outdoor experiences, the area that includes Monroe and West Monroe also of- fers historic and cultural attractions as well as ample meeting space for nearly all sizes of groups. "With our convenient location on I-20 between Jackson and Shreveport, the Mon- roe-West Monroe area is a prime spot for a meeting," said Harolyn Falgoust, senior convention and tourism sales director with the Monroe-West Monroe CVB. "We offer a host of facilities that are ready to accom- modate the most intimate of gatherings or a large conference. With over 2,000 hotel rooms, over 100 local restaurants and many shopping choices, Monroe-West Monroe has what meetings need to be a success." According to Falgoust, the area added two new hotels with meeting space between 2015 and 2016; the Hampton Inn & Suites in Monroe, with 1,000 square feet of meet- ing space, and LaQuinta-West Monroe, with 86 guest rooms and 21 suites. Additionally, a Home 2 will be opening soon. At the Chennault Aviation & Military Museum of Louisiana, there's a new exhibit area named "Way of a Fighter," based on General Claire Lee Chennault's 1949 mem- oir by the same name. The exhibit gives visitors a unique, first-person view of the visitors a unique, first-person view of the life and accomplishments of Chennault and the men he commanded in China during World War 11. The area's primary meeting facilities include the Monroe Civic Center Complex which spans 31 acres and includes a theatre that seats 2,000; a 46,025-square-foot arena with seating for 7,600; a 14,000-square- foot conference hall; a 22,000-square-foot convention center and a 30,000-square-foot equestrian center. Additionally, the recently renovated West Monroe Convention Center is a multi-func- tional facility with three conference halls, an executive board room and three meeting rooms. Located in the center of West Mon- roe, it is within a short drive of more than 30 restaurants, nine hotels and many shopping opportunities. Also available is the 260-room Clarion Inn & Suites Conference Center, which has 21,000 square feet of meetings and exhibit space, and can accommodate 500 for ban- quets. The 134-room Hilton Garden Inn has 2,786 square feet of meeting space and there are a host of meeting facilities and hotels with meeting space to accommodate small groups, Falgoust said. For special events and free-time fun, groups can tour the elegant home of Joseph Biedenharn, first bottler of Coca-Cola, or Biedenharn, first bottler of Coca-Cola, or Biedenharn, first bottler of Coca-Cola, or visit the Northeast Louisiana Delta African American Heritage Museum, which has a collection of African American art, culture and history. Situated in an architecturally in- teresting building, the museum offers chang- ing art exhibits featuring local and regional African American artists. Other options in- clude wine tasting at Landry Vineyards, lo- cated in the rolling hills of West Monroe, or visiting the Duck Commander Warehouse, where meeting attendees can shop and learn where meeting attendees can shop and learn how to make their own duck call. "It is our goal at the Convention & Visi- tors Bureau to make a meeting, convention or event a success," Falgoust said. "We offer a number of complimentary services to assist in the planning and implementation of each event." B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Monroe/ West Monroe Contact: Black Bayou Visitor Center New Orleans Night City Scape

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