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 ⎜ A P R I L 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 34 F L O R I D A According to the CVB, One Daytona will include a 250-room Fairfield Inn and Suites, opening this summer, and an exclusive Marriott Autograph Collection hotel called The Daytona, opening in early 2018. Daytona Beach has more than 12,000 guest rooms in the metro area, with more than 1,200 of those within a few blocks of the Ocean Center convention center. Directly across the street from the Ocean Center, the Hilton Daytona Beach Re- sort/Ocean Walk Village has 744 guest rooms and 32 suites, with 60,000 total square feet of event space. The Wyndham Ocean Walk resort has 740 suites with full kitchens and offers 6,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 5,000-square- foot ballroom and a 1,000-square-foot conference center. A couple blocks north, the Plaza Resort & Spa has 322 guest rooms and 40,000 square feet of function space with indoor and outdoor beachside venues. Additional Daytona Beach Meeting Space • Daytona Beach Resort Hotel & Suites: 322 guest rooms; 17,000 square feet of event space • The Shores Resort & Spa: 212 guest rooms; 17,000 square feet of indoor and out- door event space • Jackie Robinson Ballpark: 4,000-seat stadium • News-Journal Center at Daytona State College: two theaters, seating 264 and 859; lobby reception space for up to 750 people • Bethune-Cookman University, Daytona State College and Embry- Riddle Aeronautical University: classroom and auditorium spaces • Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center: seats 600 in stadium-style seating • Bruce Rossmeyer's Destination Daytona: World's largest Harley-Davidson dealership, with 35,000 square feet of amphi- theater space, a 30-room hotel, restaurant, bars and meeting rooms Space Coast Florida's Space Coast, including the cities of Titusville, Port Canaveral, Cocoa Beach, Mel- bourne, Viera and Palm Bay, offers more than 11,000 hotel rooms with more on the way. "In the next 12 to 18 months, there will be nearly $200 million in new hotel development," said Bonnie King, director of sales, Space Coast Office of Tourism. "This spring, we break ground on the Space Coast Stadium complex renovation in Viera, a $25 million project to convert the former professional baseball spring training facility to a world-class youth and amateur sports complex. It will operate year-round and be the home of USSSA, the largest sports organization in the country." King also noted recent renovations and upgrades: the 284-room Radisson at the Port has 30,000 square feet of meeting space, and Comfort Inn & Suites Cocoa Beach has multiple event rooms with reception space for up to 511. The Space Coast features a wide variety of unique venues for events and team building, King said. "Everything from space-age attractions and interactive museums to America's most diverse estuary and the largest sea turtle nesting area. At the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, you can host a dinner under the Atlantis Space Shuttle and have an astronaut speak to your group. The Brevard Zoo has a meeting room that overlooks giraffes and the Exploration Tower at Port Canav- eral has a 72-seat auditorium and is the perfect place to watch a rocket launch. (A schedule of launches is at www.spacecoastlaunches.com.) Additional Space Coast Meetings Space: • Hilton Cocoa Beach Oceanfront: 295 guest rooms; 10,000 square feet of meeting space plus 10,000-square-foot oceanfront deck Historic Coast Highlights A recent visit to one of the sunshine state's lesser known gems -- the region encompassing St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra Beach and The Beaches, also known as Florida's Historic Coast – offered a chance to appreciate the inherent beauty of Florida's northern Atlantic Coast beaches. This culturally-rich part of Florida has an appealing old-world charm—dating back to 1565. At the same time, groups will find modern, up-to-date amenities and offerings in this area. From seasoned convention properties and resorts to historic, upscale boutique offerings and one-of- a-kind facilities. Here are some highlights of my four-day expe- rience. n A stay at Hammock Beach Resort, in beautiful Palm Coast, where the one- to three-bed- room suites with balconies overlook the area's pristine beaches. An intimate banquet with exquisite views of the Super Moon, a putting green lesson at the Tom Watson Signa- ture-designed Conservatory Course and a visit to the area's renowned Marineland for a tour and dolphin encounter were all great fun. n A tour of the Casa Monica Resort & Spa, Autograph Collection in St. Augustine, a restored 1888 landmark hotel and the city's only AAA Four Diamond hotel. A pirate kidnapping and a visit to the Lightner Museum, housed in the former Alcazar Hotel built by Henry Flagler in 1888 was followed by a stop at the St. Augustine Distillery Company, which distills handcrafted bourbon, vodka, gin and rum and is available for group events and outings. n A stay at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, an experiential upscale convention and meetings property, which included a morning's team-building exercise at the prop- erty's oceanfront beach club and a tour of nearby TPC Sawgrass, home of The Players Championship and the headquarters of the PGA Tour. n Site Visit By Selena Chavis Dining in St. Augustine