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 4 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 29 H U N T S V I L L E Huntsville's primary meeting facility is the Von Braun Center, a 170,000-square-foot multifaceted operation. The building's largest space is the South Exhibit Hall, a massive 100,800-square-foot area with 35-foot ceilings, a convertible 16,000-square-foot ballroom, and additional smaller meeting rooms. VBC also contains the Propst Arena; the luxurious Mark C. Smith Concert Hall, which can seat more than 1,900 and has a large stage; the 24,000-square-foot East Hall and the similarly sized North Hall. These spaces have been ren- ovated within the last few years. Another prominent Huntsville tourism and meetings center is the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Alabama's top paid tourist attraction and an "amazing" location to host an event, according to Tim Hall, director of communications at the facility. "Last year, people from all over the world visited to see what's been called one of the world's greatest collections of space artifacts," said Hall. "On display is the Saturn V Moon Rocket, 363 feet long, and the largest artifact owned by the Smithson- ian. We also have the only full space shuttle stack in the world." Hall noted that the space center has a full catering staff capable of managing crowds up to nearly 1,000. Huntsville has two smaller conference centers. The Bevill Conference Center and Hotel—out on the University of Alabama-Huntsville campus—features 100 guest rooms and 10,000 square feet of varied meeting space, as well as an on-site restaurant and catering. Jackson Center is a conference center located in the Cumming Research Park near the UAH campus that features 13,000 square feet of meeting space. ■ U.S. Space Huntsville CVB Spacious Hotels In This Space City There are more than 6,000 hotel rooms in Huntsville, hundreds of them within walking distance of the centrally located Von Braun Center. The newest is the 101-room Homewood Suites by Hilton Huntsville – Downtown that opened last month. A 109-room Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites Huntsville West-Research Park is due to open in May, close to University of Alabama- Huntsville and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Huntsvilleʼs additional major hotel offerings include the 295-room Embassy Suites Huntsville – Hotel and Spa, connected by a sky bridge to the Von Braun Center and featuring an on-site Ruthʼs Chris Steak House. The 290-room Marriott Huntsville is located on the grounds of the U.S. Space and Rocket Center and offers 12,500 square feet of meeting space. The 210-room, pet-friendly Westin Huntsville is located at the cityʼs Bridge Street Town Centre, an upscale entertainment and retail development located by a 10-acre lake that offers gondola rides, pedal boats, and lakeside performers. The property offers 13,000 square feet of meeting space. ■ Rocket City Centers The Huntsville Botanical Garden is a 112-acre wonder- land of picture perfect backdrops for events. Located , the garden has numerous event spaces—indoors and outdoors— for rent. ■ A C C O M M O D A T I O N S : Picture P erfect! H u n t s v i l l e B o t a n i c a l G a r d e n 23-52 CS April 2014_Layout 1 3/27/14 4:18 PM Page 29