JUL 2018

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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J U L Y 2 0 1 8 ⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 27 Sponsored Content Small Markets ...BIG ON MEETINGS! See Ad On Page 2 eek new landscapes in Wilmington's new Convention District. Located riverfront and within the city's walkable River District, connected by a nearly two-mile scenic Riverwalk, the Convention District is now home to the new full-service Embassy Suites by Hilton Wilmington Riverfront Hotel located adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center, several restaurants, a marina and an event pier. A transformation of Wilmington's riverfront is already underway. Recent openings and future developments nearby and along the riverfront include: • The Hampton Inn Downtown has officially opened its doors; the property offers 92 guest rooms and suites, along with a 1,222-square- foot meeting room for up to 75 people. • The new Embassy Suites opened this year with 186 two-room guest suites and 6,600 square feet of meeting space. Cloud 9, a 4,003-square- foot roof deck and bar located on the ninth floor, features expansive views of the Cape Fear River and downtown Wilmington. • Additional new properties will include the Aloft Hotel, a 125-room property featuring a rooftop courtyard with a fire pit and bistro, as well as 7,000 square feet of meeting space; the proposed Hotel Indigo, located across from the Wilmington Convention Center; and another yet-to-be-named downtown hotel. • The Hotel Ballast, Tapestry Collection by Hilton (formerly the Hilton Wilmington Riverside) recently completed an $11 million renovation. The project included complete guestroom and guest bath renovations, the addition of a bridal suite, a refresh of the guest corridor, and complete renovations to all public areas of the property. All ballrooms and meeting spaces at the hotel received a complete rejuvenation, along with a transformation of the outdoor pool area and the addition of two new restaurant concepts. One of these concepts, Board & Barrel, is an indoor/outdoor bespoke bourbon bar offering scenic sunset views of the Cape Fear River. • Several new riverfront restaurants are opening in the heart of the Convention District, including the now open Marina Grill and Marker 14 slated to open in 2018. • The Event Pier at Port City Marina, a waterfront venue perfect for weddings, live music and private events, can accommodate more than 4,000 people and is located on the water at Port City Marina, a 204-slip full- service marina adjacent to the Wilmington Convention Center. • The largest and most technologically advanced performance center in Eastern N.C., the Wilson Center features the best of Broadway, a sampling of stars and a dash of dance. The Center is also available for group rentals with seating for 1,600 people. • Wilmington's Riverwalk has received improvements, including a new streetscape at the foot of Market Street. Future work will involve more streetscape and Riverfront Park improvements. When finished, the Riverwalk will run for more than two miles. • River Place, a 13-story mixed-use building with condominiums, apartments and a parking deck, along with nearly 32,000 square feet of retail space overlooking the river, is expected to be finished in late 2019. • The design phase of North Waterfront Park is currently underway. Among the features envisioned for the park are a children's play area, splash plaza, beer gardens, extensive open lawn space, an inland boardwalk and connection to the Riverwalk. The largest feature is an outdoor performance space that will host outdoor events and concerts managed by Live Nation. • Wilmington International Airport (ILM) offers non-stop flights to Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Philadelphia, New York and Washington D.C. and Dallas beginning in December. Wilmington was selected as one of TripAdvisor's 2018 Travelers' Choice "Top Destinations on the Rise" for good reason. Our burgeoning River and Convention Districts combine the city's historic charm and rich past with modern design and new attractions. A walkable downtown, easy access to more than 200 restaurants, shops and attractions, plus three nearby beaches, all come together to create a meeting location that feels like a vacation. Check out Wilmington's website at and view the city and its Convention District through SkyNav™ 3D Tours at ■ Wilmington, N.C., Showcases Convention District's Transforming Riverfront S John W. Sneed II, CHSP Vice President of Sales and Services John has been in the hospitality industry for nearly 20 years and has worked for several hotels and CVBs, including the Wilmington CVB, since 2009. John, his wife and their four children love outings to Wilmington's natural and historic areas. Wilmington and Beaches CVB (800) 650-9064

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