JAN 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 ⎜ J A N 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 N . V I R G I N I A / D . C . / M A R Y L A N D Our nation's capital is the true center of the action not only for politics but also for excep- tional and unique tourism. There simply is no other location in the nation with anywhere close t o the same number and quality of attractions and the cultural cache of Washington, D.C. "It's a very exciting time in the city right now," said Sarah Maciejewski, director of com- munications at Destination DC, the organization tasked with marketing the area as a convention, tourism and special events destination."There is some $8.5 billion in development currently un- derway. This is more than any other destination in America and D.C. is becoming more and more visitor-friendly with all of this new progress." CityCenterDC is among the hottest projects. The-acre urban hub just east of the White House will have hotel space, condominiums, offices, restaurants, shops and more as it gradually evolves. When complete, CityCenterDC will offer 295,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, a luxury hotel and a 1.5 acre public plaza/park. Four major new attractions are scheduled to open in Washington, D.C. in the next three years. The American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is slated for this autumn and The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture for next year. The National Law Enforcement Museum and Buz- zard Point DC United Stadium, the new home to D.C.'s soccer team, are set for 2016. The D.C. central metro area continues to sprout hotels, even with nearly 30,000 hotel rooms already. Maciejewski points to three t hat opened last year, two slated for this year, and one planned for 2016 that will redevelop an existing iconic structure. Scheduled to open May 1, the massive Marriott Marquis Washington D.C. will have 1,175 rooms, more than 100,000 square feet of event and meeting space, 55 breakout rooms, and retail and restaurant space. Also opening this spring, Cambria Suites Hotel at CityMarket at O will offer 182 suites, a rooftop pool and a terrace with expansive views of the city. CityMarket at O is a still-developing upscale mixed-use district with retail, lodging and restaurants one block north of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Set to begin development as these new prop- erties open, Trump International Hotel - Old Post Office -Washington, D.C., the somewhat cumbersomely named product of a $200 million redevelopment of the iconic postal facility that first opened in 1899. The hotel will have 270 large guest rooms with 14- to 16-foot ceilings, a nine-story atrium and 39,000 square feet of meeting space including a 13,000-square-foot Grand Ballroom with soaring double-height ceilings. The luxurious new building is sched- uled to open in 2016. These new properties will join last year's D.C. newcomers: the 147-room, three- meeting-room Courtyard by Marriott Washington D.C./Foggy Bottom right beside George Washington University; the 116-room Hampton Inn Washington D.C./White House with meeting space sufficient for up to 135 just down the street from that most famous home; and the 48-room Capella in Georgetown with a 14-seat executive boardroom and a private rooftop lounge. It's also getting even easier to get around the D.C. metro area. The Silver Line Metro Extension is proceeding apace and the line to Tysons Corner should open this year. Meanwhile, first phase of the D.C. Streetcar project should have H Street NE Streetcar passenger service available this year. n This aptly named community has 10 miles of beach, a three-mile boardwalk, some 200 restaurants, 18 golf courses within a short drive, 9,500 hotel rooms, and a 214,000-square-foot convention center—just right for modestly sized con- ventions. A new performing arts center in The Roland E. Powell Convention Center is what has Jessica Waters of the Town of Ocean City most excited. It's sched- uled for completion this December. "The project, which consists of con- struction of a 1,200-seat performing arts auditorium is expected to attract major shows, concerts, plays and other per- formances," said Waters. In other developments, Waters noted that a new 101-room La Quinta Inn is under construction, and a new restaurant, as well as a new brewery, are in the works. Top resorts in Ocean City include Ocean City Clarion Resort, a beachside property with a 40,000-square-foot con- ference center; the Grand Hotel and Spa, a 250-room hotel on the Ocean City Boardwalk with 10,000 square feet of meeting space; and the Holiday Inn Oceanfront Hotel, which offers several pools, tennis courts, an on-site restau- rant, a pub and 6,700 square feet of meeting space. n Washington, D.C. Ocean City, Maryland Ocean C ity P erforming Arts Center Marriott Marquis Washington 52

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