APR 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

A P R I L 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 39 New, Expanding and Repurposed Huntsville's biggest new project is the recently approved multi-use development City Centre at Big Spring, to be located on the site of the former Holiday Inn downtown. It's been ap- proved by the city as a $70 million investment that will include apartments, multiple restaurants and office space along with a 150-room hotel. Construction for the not-yet-flagged hotel should begin in October, and it's slated to open late summer 2016. Another phase on an adjacent site could bring a second hotel with 100-plus rooms, but no timetable is yet available for that. Meanwhile, the Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertain- ment facility continues to grow and expand. "We believe it's the nation's largest privately owned center for the arts," said Winters. "There are more than 200 artists in more than 125 facilities." Lowe Mill ARTS & Entertainment was fashioned out of an early 20 th -century textile mill located just outside downtown proper. It has a 4,400-square-foot space that can be used for meetings and special events, a 2,200- square-foot, partially covered space for events and a large outdoor lawn. Numerous classes are offered at Lowe Mill and the facility is also home to 20 independent businesses, including two restau- rants. Concerts on the Dock is a free Friday night concert series at Lowe Mill. Winters also noted two Huntsville craft beer operations—Straight to Ale and Yellowhammer Brewing—that are coming together at a repur- posed former school building and will have an amphitheater between them for live perform- ances. The first phase should open this year. ‰ I N S I D E R S G U I D E T O H The city, famous for its early space-age tech- nology prominence and known ever since as "Rocket City," has contnuing NASA connec- tons, a University of Alabama system campus, a major new downtown develop- ment, a great arts and entertainment facility, and a first-rate art museum among its many appealing atractons. "Huntsville, Alabama, keeps getng beter as a destnaton for meetng planners, confer- ences and trade shows," said Charles Winters, executve vice president with the Huntsville/ Madison County Conventon & Visitors Bureau (CVB), a 2014 ConventonSouth Read- ers' Choice Award-winning CVB. "There are few, if any, places in the world where you can have an event under a Saturn V rocket and the very next day have a recep&on at Baron Bluff over- looking the beau&ful Tennessee Valley." A L A B A M A H u n t s v i l l e Photos courtesy of Huntsville/Madison County CVB A R T I S T I C V I S I O N The Huntsville Art Museum (HMA) is home to more than 3,000 pieces in its perma- nent collec&on, along with revolving tem- porary exhibi&ons and considerable mee&ng space. The Loreta Spencer Hall, the Great Hall, Big Spring Hall, and the smaller Richard-Roper Room, which has floor-to-ceiling windows, can host groups for recep&ons and dinners.

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