ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.
Issue link: http://conventionsouth.epubxp.com/i/599265
⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ N O V E M B E R 2 0 1 5 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m A L A B A M A 34 • Hampton Inn & Suites: 150 guest rooms; meeting space for up to 150 • Holiday Inn Downtown: 206 guest rooms; 10,000 square feet of event space • Arthur R. Outlaw Convention Center: 317,000 total square feet; two exhibit halls, two ballrooms, and 45,000 square feet of outdoor function space • Gulf Coast Exploreum and Imax Theater: event space for 15 to 1,500 • Mitchell Center at University of South Alabama: seats up to 10,000 • Saenger Theater: seats up to 1,800 Montgomery Centrally located along the Alabama River in the heart of the Southeast, "Montgomery is steeped in the history of world-changing events and is in the midst of a re-emergence with a revitalized downtown, new museums, restau- rants, attractions and accommodations," said Dawn Hathcock, vice president for the Mont- gomery CVB. In winter 2016, Hilton Garden Inn will open a brand-new, state-of-the-art, full-ser- vice hotel at the Shoppes at EastChase, fea- turing 4,000 square feet of meeting space. Downtown, a new multi-use development along the nation's most historic short street, Dexter Avenue, is set to open in 2016, with restaurants, retail venues and a perform- ing-arts space. Montgomery's downtown revitalization was led by the development of Riverwalk facilities including a 4,500-seat baseball stadium and the Union Station Train Shed that can seat up to 3,000 for dinners. Nearby, the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa is connected to the 73,000-square-foot Montgomery Convention Center and 1,800-seat Performing Arts Cen- tre. The AAA Four Diamond 342-room hotel has a 14,000-square-foot ballroom and 18 breakout rooms. Also downtown, Troy University's Davis Theater seats up to 1,200 and RSA Plaza Terrace has banquet space for up to 160. Facilities at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival include seating for up to 750 for the Festival Stage, banquet seating for up to 85 and outdoor garden or lobby reception areas for up to 150 people. Creek Casino in Montgomery is open- ing an expanded gaming floor, new "Beale Street"-themed restaurants and a 123-room hotel. The final phase is expected to be completed by early 2016, according to the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, owner of Creek Casino and the Wind Creek Casino and Hotels. Montgomery Meeting Space: • Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel and Conference Center at Capitol Hill: 95 guest rooms and 21,000 square feet of meeting space with new 10,000-square-foot ballroom • Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center: 237 guest rooms; banquet space for up to 720 • DoubleTree: 131 guest rooms; can host up to 600 for receptions • Holiday Inn Montgomery Airport South: 90 guest rooms; 1,700-square-foot ballroom; two meeting rooms • 129 Coosa: can host up to 300 for receptions • Jasmine Hill Gardens: can host up to 600 for receptions, 350 for banquets • W.A. Gayle Planetarium: 220-seat auditorium ➤ The Orange Beach Event Center at The Wharf is the largest meeting and event facility in the Gulf Shores/ Orange Beach area. Owned and operated by the City of Orange Beach, the Event Center has 18,000 square feet of rent- able space and the flexi- bility to host large events ranging from trade shows or concerts to meetings and smaller gatherings. "For large events, there are no columns to impede view or to work around. We can seat up to 2,500 for concerts and every seat has a clear view of the stage," said Angela Bateman, with the City of Orange Beach. The Event Center works hard to meet planners' technological expectations, Bateman said. "It's up to us to meet those expectations. Over the past year and in the coming year, we are continuing to upgrade our sound, lighting and video components to enhance the needs of our clients for both meetings and events." Because the center is owned by the city, rates are very competitive, added Ken Grimes, Orange Beach City Administrator. "Our rates are often below market rates for rental fees and costs. The city uses the facility as an economic-development driver by attracting attendees year-'round who will enhance the local and regional economy in their spending. Rental rates are structured to allow competitive discounting if lodging and accommodations are booked within the city limits of Orange Beach." The center is part of The Wharf, so meeting and event attendees have immedi- ate access to shopping, restaurants, entertainment and lodging. A new 132- room Springhill Suites is under construc- tion adjoining the Event Center with a target completion date of June 2016. The Wharf Ferris Wheel Contact: www.orangebeacheventcenter.com B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : The Event Center At the Wharf in Orange Beach