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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Page 38 of 51

w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m E D I T O R ' S HOT PICKS CHARLOTTE Convenience, Southern hospitality and a wealth of attractions make Charlotte a great meetings destination. TOP PICKS: Gastonia Conference Center (704) 869-1949 Twenty minutes from the Charlotte Airport, Gastonia Conference Center is a full- service event venue specializing in Meetings, Corporate Events, Weddings, and Social Events." See Ad on page 19. FOLLOW UP: Cabarrus County CVB Gaston County Department of Tourism Mooresville CVB Rock Hill/York County CVB Visit Charlotte Visit Lake Norman CHARLOTTE Visit for more about Charlotte through our interactive Insider's Guide with maps, videos & more. C H A R L O T T E J U N E 2 0 1 5 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ 39 North Carolina's Piedmont-area vineyards rank 10 th in the nation for wine and grape pro- duction. Area wineries include NASCAR team owner Richard Childress's Childress Vineyards, Shelton Vineyards and Uwharrie Vineyards. Wine festivals include the North Carolina Wine Festival and Lake Norman Wine & Food Fes- tival. The city has embraced the wine industry, and the Visitor Info Center in Center City has recently started carrying wines made in North Carolina, as has the airport's Yadkin Valley Wine Bar. IT'S EASY TO BE GREEN IN CHARLOTTE Across Charlotte, green initiatives are under- way. A citywide Green Team was created to identify best practices for events and sustainable initiatives. The Charlotte Convention Center has introduced biodegradable cups made from corn products, and recycles paper, aluminum and glass. As a member of the Convene Green Alliance, the facility seeks ways to cut environ- mental costs. LEED-certified buildings in the city, such as the new Bank of America Corporate Center, which houses the Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, and the kid-friendly ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center are implementing innovative con- struction methods that meet elite standards. The light-rail system has seen phenomenal ridership success since opening in 2007, and long-range plans are in place to expand this environmentally sound public transit option into five corridors spanning the region. Charlotte also has a strong commitment to keeping its green spaces pristine. Programs are in place to protect the gorgeous tree canopies found in the city's neighborhoods and create additional park space. Visit Charlotte's Mike Butts sums up the city's message to meeting planners this way: "Charlotte is a city on the move. It is an exciting and growing destination offering many positive features for planners and meeting attendees such as easy accessibility with numerous affordable flight options and a reasonable drive from many cities in the country; a compact and walkable Center City; dozens of new restaurants, hotels and shops near the convention center in Uptown; and a variety of unique, world-class attractions, such as the U.S. National Whitewater Center and The Billy Graham Library, not to mention the Southern hospitality we are so well known for." n HOTELS WITH MEETING VENUES Westin Charlotte: 40,000 square feet of meeting space, on-site business services, full-service cater- ing, meeting-planning assistance available Charlotte Marriott City Center: 20,000 square feet of meeting space, all on one level; 9,100-square- foot Grand Ballroom that seats 1,450; and state-of- the-art technical facilities Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte: 12,000 square feet of meeting space; a 7,000-square-foot ballroom; nine function rooms; The Urban Garden atrium-style space, connected to the hotel via covered walkway Omni Charlotte Hotel: 13 meeting rooms with a total of 16,000 square feet and banquet capacity for 550 attendees Renaissance Charlotte Suites: 19,000 square feet of venue space Gastonia Conference Center GASTONIA CONFERENCE CENTER The Gastonia Conference Center, located 45 minutes from downtown Charlote, accommodates more than 450 meet- ing atendees and seats 300 for banquet functons. All 10 meetng rooms and the 5,100-square-foot ballroom in the 30,000-square foot facility are equipped with standard conference technology, high-speed Internet access, climate control and advanced audio visual equipment. There's also a full-service business center.

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