FEB 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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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 5 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 42 N O R T H C A R O L I N A T R I A D Winston-Salem's downtown continues to develop but still retains its comfortable ties to the past. "Our downtown is a huge asset," said Christian Schroeder, Director of Sales & Services for Visit Winston-Salem. "It continues to evolve. The convention center and major hotels are right in our very walkable down- town. You see new restaurants and shops coming in regularly." The evolution (and historic sensibility) in- cludes the city's iconic downtown structure, the Reynolds Building, a 314-foot-tall Art Deco sky- scraper that opened in 1929, designed by the same architects who later used it as inspiration for the design of the Empire State Building. According to Schroeder, the Reynolds Build- ing was purchased last June by an organization that Kimpton Hotels is affiliated with. Schroeder said plans call for a 175-room hotel with more than 6,000 square feet of meeting space and also luxury condos in the building. It will be the first Kimpton in North Carolina. "Renovations have begun and it will probably be sometime in 2016 before the new facility opens," said Schroeder. "The R.J. Reynolds Company has had such a huge impact on our community. Kimpton is coming in and putting new life into this space." Winston-Salem's primary convention facil- ity, the city-owned M.C. Benton Convention Center, is also going to get a major upgrade, according to Schroeder. The City of Winston- Salem has made a commitment of $17.5 mil- lion to renovate the facility, explained Schroeder, who added that an architect has been engaged to come up with the designs but Winston-Salem: Evolving Downtown & Historic Sensibility City's Icon Tower to become hotel

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