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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W E S T V I R G I N I A Charleston Hotels Make News Headlines The greater Charleston area includes more than 3,500 sleeping rooms, offering a wide variety of options from upscale full service to extended stay and economy. The downtown area alone includes seven hotels with more than 1,450 rooms that are within walking distance of the Charleston Civic Center, Charleston Town Center Mall, dozens of restaurants, unique shopping and much more. Several big hotel projects are either just finished or in process in Charleston. Renova- tions should be complete by the end of the year at the Ramada Inn Downtown Charleston, which will then become a Four Points by Sheraton. The $15 million renovations will include a remodeled ballroom with moveable walls capable of accommodating up to 350. The 12-story, 176-room hotel overlooks Haddad Riverfront Park and the Kanawha River. The hotel will be the first Starwood Hotels & Resorts in West Virginia. The recently renovated Charleston Marriott Town Center has 17,500 square feet of meeting space, including a Grand Ballroom capable of handling 700. It also features one of the city's favorite food and drink destinations, Brick Salt Bar + Kitchen. On the horizon is a proposed 73,000-squarefoot, 119-room Courtyard by Marriott that is set to be located along the Elk River in downtown Charleston. According to Charleston CVB officials, the property is expected to open no later than October 2014. ■ Arts Alive! 2 Must-See Unique Venues In Charleston 1. Maier Foundation Performance Hall The Maier Foundation Performance Hall maintains a regular schedule of big-time performers and the Charleston CVB's Bailey calls it "arguably one of the five best acoustical theaters in the world." 2. Clay Center For Arts & Sciences Charleston's Clay Center for Arts and Sciences of West Virginia is a great venue for after-meeting entertainment or to use for off-site meeting space. The Center has eight spaces available for rental. The beautiful Maier Foundation Performance Hall seats more than 1,800. The more intimate Bessie & Rome H. Walker Memorial Theater can seat 200 and is often used for banquets. The Benedum Grand Lobby provides additional space as do, on a small scale, the Founder's Lounge, Clay Center Classrooms, Juliet Museum of Art, Greater Kanawha Valley Foundation Science Center and the Intermezzo Café. ■ PLANNER-2-PLANNER INSIGHT "Charleston, with easy access by air, car and rail, provided a vibrant, exciting, friendly and historic atmosphere for our 1,032 attendees from the U Canada and .S., 11 other foreign countries. Attendees were very pleased with easy access to hotels, restaurants, shopping and the Charleston Civic Center, where sessions were held. The CVB was of great assistance in winning the bid. They supported us, and worked with us during the entire process." —Ron Williams, SR/WA, 2013 Conference Co-Chair and Past International President, International Right of Way Association's 59th Annual International Educational Conference 46 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜NOVEMBER 2013 w w w. c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m