ConventionSouth

JUN 2015

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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J U N E 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 33 C O A S T A L V I R G I N I A experience." Another maritime attraction is the Virginia Aquarium and Marine Science Center, which has more than 300 marine life exhibits, 3-D IMAX movies and Adventure Park. NORFOLK Norfolk is a waterfront city with a remarkable 144 miles of shoreline along the Chesapeake Bay and the Elizabeth River. "We are an easily accessible urban water- front location that visitors are constantly sur- prised about, not only for the number of visitor amenities in our city but also for the quality of amenities," said Donna Allen, vice president, sales and marketing for Visit Norfolk. "It's easy to get around here, the people are very friendly, and we have top-notch facilities." Allen said Gold Key | PHR Hotels & Resorts is partnering with the City of Norfolk to build a $126 million mixed-use property in the heart of the city that will include an International Association of Conference Centers-certified (IACC) 42,000-square-foot conference center; a 20-story, 300-room luxury hotel; three full-service restaurants; a fitness center; a pool; and a 600-car garage. "Construction has begun, and it's scheduled to open early 2017," said Allen. "We are thrilled. It's going to be an iconic meeting facility for this region." Another ongoing project is the $40 million renovation of the downtown facility built in the 1980s as Waterside Festival Marketplace. To be renamed Waterside Live!, it will continue to operate as an entertainment, dining and retail complex. "We're anticipating that construction will begin soon and the renovated property should open in the latter half of 2016," said Allen. "It's being revitalized, refitted, and the back side of it will have much more open access to the river and the renewed marina." MEETING SPACES AND HOTELS Norfolk offers more than 263,000 square feet of meeting and event space. Half Moone Cruise and Celebration Center is a striking 80,000-square-foot facility on the Elizabeth Virginia Beach Convention Center Photos courtesy of Virginia Beach CVB

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