APR 2016

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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A P R I L 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 47 F L O R I D A Visit us at or call 305-293-1818 3990 S. Roosevelt Blvd, Key West, FL 33040 | EYDT something new under the sun Over 7,000 square feet of flexible space for meeti ngs and event s rangi ng from 10 to 250 attend ees. Full servi ce catering and conference services, complete range of resort amen iti es all in the heart of Ameri ca's Caribbean . B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : DoubleTree by Hilton Grand Key Resort If you're fortunate enough to be meeting in the Keys or just visiting for the sheer pleasure of it, DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Grand Key Resort is one very fine option. Just a mile from Key West International Airport, this newly renovated 2016 ConventionSouth Readers' Choice Award-winning property has conference facilities for up to 300, banquet space for 200, a full-service restaurant, poolside Tiki bar, a zero-entry pool with decks and cabanas – and the distinct advantage of being located in the Florida Keys. Plus, it's a pet-friendly property so bring Rover! n Contact: Sarasota Sarasota is home to 35 miles of beachfront and 30 hotels. Two good conference hotels are the 294-room Hyatt Regency Sarasota with 20,000 square feet of meeting space and the 110-room Ramada Water- front Sarasota with 10,000 square feet of meeting space. A 139-room Aloft opened downtown in February. The Ritz-Carlton Sarasota ren- ovated its 266 rooms, meeting spaces, ballroom and lounge recently. Westin plans to open a 255-room, full-service hotel overlooking Sarasota Bay in early 2017. Off-site meeting spaces in the city include the 1,736-seat Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, with a 6,000 square foot Grand Foyer that opens onto a terrace and large lawn. As the historic first winter home for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Sarasota maintains a strong circus presence at sev- eral locations. The Ringling, which is the State Art Museum of Flor- ida, includes the 31-gallery Museum of Art, the Circus Museum, the Historic Asolo Theater, an Education Center and the 66-acre Bayfront Gardens. The Circus Arts Conservatory offers year-'round perfor- mances from several circus troupes. Charlotte Harbor & The Gulf Islands With a remarkable 830 miles of shoreline, 200 miles of the Charlotte Harbor Blueway Trails and 28 miles of beaches, this ecotourism destination features barrier islands, salt marshes, mangrove habitats, pine flatwoods, rivers, canals and creeks. Punta Gorda's waterfront downtown district is home to the Char- lotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, with 44,000 square feet of event space. Three hotels surround it and provide a combined 350 guest rooms. Palm Island Resort, on a very small barrier island off of the main- land of Cape Haze, is an option for small meetings and executive retreats, with one-, two- and three-bedroom villas. Fort Myers, The Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel This region has about 50 miles of beaches, 12,000 hotel rooms and a variety of meeting spaces. The Harborside Event Center in historic downtown Fort Myers offers 41,000 square feet of multi-purpose space including a grand foyer entrance with great views of the Caloosahatchee River. Another prominent conference hotel is The Sanibel Harbour Marriott Resort & Spa, with 45,000 square feet of meeting space. ► St. Petersburg/Clearwater Visit St. Pete/Clearwater

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