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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M A R C H 2 0 1 4 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 42 south central one-stop-shop destination: Blount County, Tenn. sponsored content Oftentimes, what happens outside the meeting room is just as important, if not more so, than what happens during the meeting. That's why finding a space that fits your goals not only involves looking the actual location where your convention or meeting will be held, but explor- ing the area outside the meeting room. In the Smoky Mountains of East Tennessee, where the beauty, heritage, history and fun of the region culminate, there are many options that allow meeting planners to create the ideal setting for both large and small groups— inside and outside the meeting room. Getting Here: Blount County is centrally located within a day's drive to half the nation's population and is home to McGhee Tyson Airport. It is also just minutes from Interstates 75 and 40, mak- ing it a convenient drive from any direction. Meeting Facilities: The meeting facilities near the airport provide space for groups of all sizes, state of the art technology and quality accommodations: ■ The Hilton Knoxville Airport Hotel is connected to McGhee Tyson Airport by a covered walkway. It has 17 meeting rooms that can accommodate groups of two to 600 people. ■ Maryville College and the Clayton Center for the Arts are two prime meeting locations with 35 meeting rooms and classrooms, five dining rooms accommodating groups up to 250 people, and four auditoriums accommo- dating groups up to 1,100 people. ■ Comfort Suites has meeting space accom- modating up to 30 people. ■ Country Inn & Suites has two meeting spaces accommodating up to 25 people each. ■ Courtyard Knoxville Airport Alcoa offers meeting space accommodating up to 100 people. ■ Days Inn has meeting spaces accommodat- ing up to 300 people each. ■ Fairfield Inn has meeting space accommo- dating up to 20 people. ■ Hampton Inn Knoxville Airport with two meeting spaces accommodating up to 25 people each. ■ Holiday Inn Express Alcoa includes two meeting spaces accommodating up to 25 people each. ■ Jameson Inn has meeting space accommo- dating up to 15 people. ■ Mainstay Suites includes meeting space accommodating up to 50 people. For gatherings in the mountains, there are several alternatives to consider that offer unique meeting facilities and spectacular views: ■ Dancing Bear Lodge in Townsend provides meeting areas accommodating groups of two to 125 people. ■ Highland Manor Inn's conference center provides an ideal place for a retreat, seminar, group meeting, class reunion or banquet for small- to medium-sized groups. ■ The Richmont Inn's Chalet is suited for small business groups, and is ideal for train- ing seminars for up to 16 people, and a Great Room accommodating 20 to 25 people comfortably. ■ The Barn Event Center of the Smokies provides a rustic, elegant and picturesque setting for to just about any type or any size gathering. ■ Butterfly Gap Retreat sits on 900 acres of wooded property providing peaceful solitude for a unique indoor or outdoor gathering. ■ Talley-Ho Inn has meeting space accommo- dating up to 50 people. Outside The Meeting Room: With the majestic Smoky Mountains in its backyard providing ample outdoor recreation opportunities, as well as a rich history dating back thousands of years, Blount County is a destination hot-spot that provides first-hand cultural tourism experiences, thrilling out- door adventures and peaceful mountain escapes. Known as the Peaceful Side of the Smokies, the area has become one of the area's most visited locations without losing its charm, making it a great place to explore outside the meeting room. From high-energy, outdoor sports to relax- ing by a glistening creek or stone fireplace, there are both exciting and peaceful activities to experience after your meetings are com- plete. Whether you want to explore the caves at Tuckaleechee Caverns; hike, horseback ride or zipline through the mountains; do some teambuilding at Maryville College's Mountain Challenge; enjoy a group tour of Cades Cove with a knowledgeable guide; experience Appalachia from 5,000 B.C. to 1930 at the Great Smoky Mountains Heritage Center; learn about the area's railroad history at the Little River Railroad Museum; fly-fish in a mountain stream; take a motorcycle ride along the Foothills Park- way; or a hike in the national park—this unique area is sure to provide team-building opportunities uniting everyone in business AND pleasure. Planning Services: The Smoky Mountain Tourism Development Authority is available to help meeting plan- ners and groups create their perfect event both inside and outside the meeting room. For more information about the area, as well as a full listing of meeting facilities, accommodations, attractions and restaurants, please visit www.SmokyMountains.org. Download the travel app and virtual visitors guide, "Peaceful Side of the Smokies," on iTunes and Google Play. For meeting planning services, please call (888) 923-3149. ■ Create The Perfect Meeting Inside & Outside The Meeting Room Tami Vater, Director of Tourism, Blount Partnership Tami Vater's position within the Smoky Moun- tain Tourism Development Authority (SMTDA) consists of recruiting events in the areas of leisure, business and resort sectors to the county for overnight stays. (888) 923-3149 firstname.lastname@example.org www.smokymountains.org get to know: 34-44 CS MARCH 2014_Layout 1 2/26/14 2:56 PM Page 42