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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F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 45 O K L A H O M A "The first question a planner asks after they decide we can handle the meeting or conven- tion requirements is, 'What can my attendees do?'" Johnston said. "Bricktown, our entertain- ment district, is just two blocks from the Cox Convention Center. But there is also the Boat- house District, Automobile Alley, Film Row, Deep Deuce, Midtown, the Plaza District and The Paseo [Arts District]. The real question should be, 'Where should they start?: Oklahoma City Meeting Space • Biltmore Hotel Oklahoma City: 509 guest rooms; 18 meeting rooms • Renaissance Oklahoma City Convention Center Hotel and Spa: 311 guest rooms; 170,000 square feet of function space • Sheraton Midwest City Hotel at Reed Conference Center: 151 guest rooms; 14 meeting rooms • Sheraton Oklahoma City: 396 guest rooms; 28,000 square feet of meeting space • Clarion Hotel & Conference Center: 200 guest rooms; 6,000 square feet of event space • Waterford Marriott Hotel: 197 guest rooms; 9,200 square feet of meeting space • The Skirvin Hilton Oklahoma City: 225 guest rooms; 18,500 square feet of meeting space Tulsa Tulsa is the original "Oil Capitol of the World," rich with oil baron, cowboy and Native American culture—and a perfect destination for visitors looking for history with a western flair, said Vanesa Masucci, vice president, VisitTulsa. "Tulsa is also a city with rich musical history and is home to the Woody Guthrie Center, a GRAMMY museum. And Tulsa's Gilcrease Museum is home to the largest collection of Remington and Russell art in the world." Tulsa is undergoing a "renaissance of down- town growth and development," Masucci said. "Visitors will have opportunities to experience events and locations that will please all the senses. Native American powwows and cul- ture, Art Deco architecture, gaming, hiking and biking trails, and the home of Route 66 are just a few of attractions that provide visitors with unforgettable memories." Major meeting and event venues in Tulsa include the 310,000-square-foot Cox Busi- ness Center, 17,000-seat BOK Arena and the Tulsa Performing Arts Center, which has four theaters, studio space, an art gallery and a reception hall. The Mabee Center, located on the campus of Oral Roberts University, is an 11,300-seat arena. Hard Rock Hotel and Casi- no Tulsa features the 2,700-seat "The Joint" for concerts or general sessions. A couple of downtown hotels completed major renovations in 2015, Masucci said. "The Doubletree by Hilton Downtown, connected via skyway to the Cox Business Center, has been completely renovated, providing guests with a beautiful, fresh experience. The bou- tique Ambassador Hotel also had a complete renovation coinciding with its integration with the Marriott Signature Collection. Several more are slated to be completely or partially renovated in the next calendar year." Tulsa Meeting Space • Doubletree by Hilton Tulsa Downtown: 417 guest rooms; 24,189 square feet of event space • Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa: 454 guest rooms; 75,000 square feet of event space • Hyatt Regency Tulsa: 455 guest rooms; 38,000 square feet of event space • Wyndham Hotel Tulsa: 320 guest rooms; 14,340 square feet of event space ► Opened in 2003, the Oklahoma Aquarium is a non-profit educational and research facility located in Jenks, a suburb of Tulsa. Facilities at the aquarium include the Event Center, attached to the aquarium but featur- ing a separate entrance and lobby, that has customized space for meetings or classes of up to 96 people or event space for up to 240. The entire aquarium has 86,000 square feet of space and can host up to 1,400 for receptions or 800 for a seated dinner with tables in various "destination" rooms such as Coral Reef, Shark View and Oceans. "An event at the aquarium is unique because it gives you the feeling that you're somewhere else altogether," said Kara Lovell, special events supervisor. "It's a destination without leaving Oklahoma and the only place around where you can walk through a shark tank at a party or recep- tion. Guests are able to stroll through an undersea world that they typically don't get to enjoy in a landlocked state." In addition, the aquarium has outdoor deck and patio areas, and large picnic areas that can accommodate more than 3,000 people. Oklahoma Aquarium event in Shark View Room Contact: www.okaquarium.org B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Oklahoma Aquarium